The chart here offers one of the better recent snapshots of the American economy that you will find.
The blue line shows the rate at which the government — federal, state and local — has been growing or shrinking. The red line shows the same for the private sector.
Quarterly change at seasonally adjusted annual rate.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, via Haver Analytics
The brief version of the story is that the government, which helped mitigate the recession, has been a significant drag on growth for more than a year now.
Read More @ The Role of Austerity – NYTimes.com.