With increasing signs that the economy is laboring, most economists agree that a short-term infusion of spending, or an extension of this year's temporary cut in Social Security taxes, could help fend off a new downturn.

But whatever one thinks of the debt dealand most of its billions in cuts won't come for a few yearsthere's a near-consensus in Washington against spending increases.

Here's a brief overview of some key stats on where the economy stands.


This story was originally published by the independent, non-profit newsroom ProPublica.