Paul Craig RobertsEarlier this year, it looked as if columnist Paul Craig Roberts had hung up his word processor in disgust, having just published his book How the Economy Was Lost (mostly a collection of his best columns of the past decade) and a swansong article “Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It.” Recently, however, he has returned with a few new columns, e.g., this one — and a revealing interview with the Swiss-based free-market webzine The Daily Bell.

unemployment lineThe White House on July 21 extolled the extension of unemployment insurance by the Senate, claiming it was “not only the decent thing to do but one of the most effective ways to boost our economy.” President Obama signed the extension into law immediately, saying that this was “desperately needed assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession…Americans who…will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times.”

budget and debtInstead of asking for a federal bailout, Maine is considering shifting part of its underfunded pension plan liabilities to Social Security. Without the proposed fix, the pension liability the state currently faces is “going to rip the guts out of our budget,” according to Peter Mills, the state Senator who initially suggested the plan.

Obama signs financial overhaulA triumphant and triumphalist President Obama signed the financial overhaul bill into law July 21, promising as he did that “the American people will never be asked again to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes.”

The unremitting flow of negative news about the economy has finally caught the attention of the mainstream media, causing an increasing number of economists to make comparisons between today’s recession and the Great Depression.