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Council on Foreign Relations State and Local Officials Bulletin
July 2012

July 2012

What Is the Fiscal Cliff?

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This CFR Backgrounder examines the tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of 2012 and early 2013, also known as the "fiscal cliff," and the implications of such fiscal measures on the global economy. "The abrupt onset of such significant budget austerity in the midst of a still fragile economic recovery has led most economists to warn of a double-dip recession in 2013 if Washington fails to intervene in a timely fashion." Review the Backgrounder.


Join CFR at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Chicago, IL, August 6 to 9

Visit CFR at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit at Chicago's McCormick Place West convention center, August 6 to 9. Stop by Booth 502 to meet with CFR representatives and collect complimentary publications of CFR reports and Foreign Affairs magazine.

The CFR State and Local Officials Initiative provides resources and serves as a forum for bipartisan discussion on pressing international issues that affect the priorities and agendas of state and local governments.

Lack of Skilled Employees Hurting Manufacturing

In this USA Today op-ed, CFR President Richard N. Haass and Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld discuss the decline in manufacturing in the United States and highlight what they see as a more troubling problem, the lack of qualified workers. Haass and Kleinfeld argue that "even amidst today's high unemployment levels, some 300,000 jobs are going unfilled, often because employers are unable to find men and women with the advanced math, science and technology skills that modern manufacturers need." For their recommendations on how to close the skills gap, Read more »

CFR Interactive Guide: Politics and the Olympics

Click through CFR's interactive slideshow, which looks at how the Olympic games have served as political showcases for nations, individuals, and ideologies, since the beginning of the modern games in 1896. Author and sportswriter Frank Deford narrates the guide, highlighting the Anglo-Irish tensions in the 1906 Athens games, the tragedy of the 1972 Munich games, and the boycott by the United States and its allies of the 1980 Moscow games. View the Interactive »

Think Again: The American Energy Boom

Michael A. Levi examines in this Foreign Policy essay whether a surge in domestic oil and gas production will truly liberate the United States from dependency on Middle East energy sources. Levi argues that the United States is experiencing a renaissance in oil and gas production, but warns that "it takes more than sheer volume of oil and gas production to dominate world energy markets." To learn more about the energy boom, follow Levi's blog, Energy, Security and Climate Change. »