Here’s some discouraging news about the direction of the economy: An economist predicts that up to 400,000 government workers could lose their jobs over the next year, because state and local governments will be laying off people en masse to close budget gaps.

According to a story in USA Today, New York City is planning 4,500 layoffs

Recession Dictionary Entry 150/n. What happens when the government issues coupons on cars but doesn’t use the same printing machine as it seems to for currency.

Spotted here, and in a comment on Facebook, in discussion of the cash that ran out on the government subsidy “Cash for Clunkers” program that gave consumers a $3,500 or $4,500 voucher per car for so-called gas guzzlers that could be traded in for fuel-efficient vehicles. The program was so successful at encouraging auto sales that Congress had to approve an additional $2 billion for it, on top of the initial $1 billion. But dealerships have to wade through extensive (17 pages) paperwork and face delays in getting paid by the auto giants—and some consumers lose out on vouchers that have run out. What’s more, so much for the environmental benefit since the clunkers are creating a pileup in the junkyard. No wonder some dealerships are opting out.

Ex. Dealerships are up to their ears in paperwork for the Cash for Clunkers program, and some owners will not be able to cash in after all, resulting in a general clunkerf*ck…