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Leaving the Obama administration certainly does wonders for your ability to speak plainly. Here is Christine Romer:

President Obama’s former top economic adviser is jumping on Friday’s weak jobs numbers to make the case that the economy needs a much bigger boost from Washington than it’s getting.

….What should Washington be doing? Romer called for additional fiscal stimulus, as part of a package that reduces the deficit over the long term. That spending, she said, should take the form of a cut in the employer side of the payroll tax–an idea with bipartisan appeal–as well as more aid to state and local governments. She also supports infrastructure spending of the kind President Obama has proposed.

We could do this if elite consensus in this country accepted that chronic massive unemployment was a bigger problem than our future federal deficit. But the former affects actual middle class people right now, while the latter — might, possibly — affect the financial fortunes of the well-off in the indefinite future. Looked at that way, it’s a no brainer. Deficits it is.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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