U.S. Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke, speaking to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress (via Daily Kos):
"The loss of output and earnings associated with high unemployment ... reduces government revenues and increases spending on income-support programs, thereby leading to larger budget deficits and higher levels of public debt than would otherwise occur," Bernanke said. [...]
As he has done repeatedly in the past couple of years, Bernanke again bemoaned the government's austerity obsession on Wednesday, including this year's payroll-tax increase and the brutal budget cuts of sequestration. Bernanke suggested that the government could replace some of this foolishness with longer-term fixes to Social Security and Medicare. A "Grand Bargain" on the deficit that does away with some short-term austerity might help the economy, Bernanke added.