May 1st, 2013
02:50 PM ET

What we're reading

By Fareed Zakaria

With Libya “reeling from the attack on the French embassy and the blockading by hardcore militiamen of the country’s key interior and foreign ministries, Prime Minister Zeidan lamented at a press conference…the ‘disorder and terror’ striking the struggling country,” writes Jamie Dettmer on the Daily Beast. But he “insisted Libya could persevere, arguing it was still better off than Afghanistan or Iraq.”

“Libya’s perilous security situation is not being helped by an influx of Islamist fighters from Mali escaping the French-led intervention there. At the weekend, the Chadian president, Idriss Deby, complained Libya isn’t doing enough to prevent these fighters from using Libya as a training ground for new recruits.”

For four years, during and in the wake of the recession, the federal budget deficit ballooned to more than $1 trillion, writes Annie Lowry in the New York Times. “But because of belt-tightening in Washington and a strengthening economy, it has started shrinking — and fast.”

“The number crunchers at Goldman Sachs have lowered their estimates of the deficit both this year and next, on the back of higher-than-expected revenues and lower-than-projected spending. Analysts started the year projecting that the deficit in the current fiscal year would be about $900 billion. Earlier this year, they lowered the estimate to $850 billion. Now they have lowered it again, to $775 billion, or about 4.8 percent of economic output.”

At his press conference earlier yesterday, Barack Obama said “most Americans are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, even if they don't know it,” notes Dashiell Bennett in The Atlantic. “He's definitely right about the not knowing it part. Not only are most Americans painfully ignorant of the law's effects, even on their own lives, more than 40 percent of them aren't even sure if it's still a law.”

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. sand

    what I am reading is Paul Krugman international economics damn I am so cool.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  2. rightospeak

    The truth about Libya is hard to come by. So much propaganda that one can make little sense. Some say that the people of Libya and Iraq were much better off before the barbarians got in. Now the barbarians are at our own gates ( one book I read sometime ago actually said it ) and we should start paying attention. Our jobs got offshored, our economy is crippled and it will not get better till the offshored jobs return. . Our "representatives" need to stop bickering and do something useful for the US and stop worrying about the whole world.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  3. JAL

    It is time to convince President Obama to make significant (from GOP POV) concessions in helping the economy. The economic status quo of his presidency, so far, will overshadow any positive legacy, if this continues. He needs to make major concessions to the GOP, NOW. We don't have anymore time for this rampantly high unemployment rate.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • JAL

      I fear that war is inevitable, if we don't significantly change our current economic path.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    That civilians in pick-up trucks equipped with anti-aircraft guns can drive around and besiege government buildings tells how chaotic the security situation in Libya is.

    May 2, 2013 at 4:13 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Since Gaddafi's death, Tripoli and other Libyan cities have been plagued by violence and infighting.

      May 2, 2013 at 4:14 am | Reply

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