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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel listens during a news conference at the Pentagon, March 28. The Pentagon says it's easing the impact of automatic budget cuts on as many as 800,000 civilian employees, sharply reducing the number of unpaid furlough days they will have to take in coming months. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON: Call it the Snooze Economy. Roughly two months before the presidential election, the economy has turned both boring and mystifying. It hardly impresses anyone, and yet this plodding performance is probably helping Hillary Clinton by minimizing bad economic news. More important: The lackluster expansion, if continued for a few more years, would represent an enormous achievement. It would finally erase most of the losses of the Great Recession.