U.S. economy hamstrung by Washington's brinksmanship
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Three budget crises ago, in early 2011, Republicans and President Barack Obama faced off over raising the debt ceiling — and Alison Brown saw the writing on the wall.
Washington had entered the cycle of partisan brinksmanship over the budget that has sown confusion among federal agencies and delayed contracts to small companies like Brown's Navsys Corp., which designs satellite navigation systems in this military town. So Brown slashed her 40-strong workforce in half. And as she feared back then, her revenues have since plunged by half.
The latest crisis hit on Friday with across-the-board automatic spending cuts. They total about $85 billion, but the economic damage created by two years of showdowns is far greater. And there's no end in sight: Temporary resolutions funding the government expire on March 27. May brings another debt ceiling standoff.
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