Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Blames Slow Growth on Beltway Gridlock

Dysfunction in Washington is one of the biggest drags on the U.S. economy, undermining confidence and crimping growth, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday.

“One of the most significant speed bumps for growth is coming straight from Washington, where some political leaders continue to generate one manufactured crisis after the next,” Lew said in remarks prepared for delivery at the City Club of Cleveland.

Lew was in Cleveland to meet with local business leaders, tour a Vitamix factory, which makes blending equipment for food, and pitch President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

He zeroed in on the local impact from $85 billion in across-the-board federal government spending cuts, known as the sequester, that went into effect at the beginning of March because Congress could not agree on an alternative.

He said the cuts meant 2,500 fewer Ohio children were enrolled in early childhood education programs known as Head Start, and less college aid for about 3,300 students in Ohio. The cuts also forced the cancellation of the Cleveland Air Show, as the aerospace and defense industries were forced to adjust.

“So it is high time we replace the sequester before it causes even more pain,” Lew said.

The spending reductions were designed in 2011 to be so onerous that it would force the White House and Republicans in Congress to find a less drastic way to trim U.S. budget deficits. Policymakers failed to reach such an agreement and now must deal with the fallout, with cuts that total $1.2 trillion over 10 years unless they are replaced.

The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.5 percent rate in the first quarter, but appeared to brake sharply as the period drew to a close. Economists blamed higher payroll taxes that went into effect at the beginning of the year, and warned that the impact of the sequester had yet to be fully felt.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.