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Joseph Stiglitz: ‘This Deficit Fetishism is Killing the Economy’ (AP)
Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that soaring inequality is America’s greatest challenge and that all the oxygen our policymakers are wasting on austerity debates is destroying brain cells they should be using to fix the economy.
The U.S. economy gets a dash of good news for a change (WaPo)
Brad Plumer notes that after a few months of economic news that was only upbeat for antidepressant manufacturers, improved labor and housing markets and a narrowing trade gap suggest the second half of 2012 may not be the end of the world after all.
It’s the Economy, Not the Uncertainty, Stupid (The Atlantic)
Matthew O’Brien points out that while uncertainy is indeed a bummer, the biggest factor holding back investment seems to be not that Barack Obama wants to give everyone health insurance but that the entire global economy is in shambles at the moment.
Obama Channels Reagan on Welfare (Jacobin)
Josh Eidelson writes that instead of arguing for a stronger safety net, the Obama campaign is engaging in a round of “who’s tougher on those lazy welfare queens?” Certainly not Romney, who wants to give them free cars to go pick up their flat-screen TVs in.
Bill Keller and Third Way’s misinformed and ironic baby boomer bashing (EPI)
Ethan Pollack agrees with Keller and Third Way’s argument that America needs more public investment. All that’s missing from their theory that entitlement spending is what’s holding us back is evidence and a coherent plan to address the problem.
Americans need to face the harsh truth and pay more tax (FT)
Jared Bernstein notes that our tax debate now involves two parties that both want to cut taxes arguing about who should pay less. And while that may be what voters want to hear, it’s not what they need to hear if we want to restore sane fiscal policy.
Obama, Not Reid, Should Be Taking on Mitt Romney’s Tax Record (Rolling Stone)
Matt Taibbi argues that instead of taunting Romney about the returns he won’t release, Obama should highlight how ridiculous it is that he got away with paying less than a 14 percent effective rate on the ones he has. But that would give Wall Street a sad.
Regulator Shines a Spotlight on a Bank, and on Himself (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg notes that Benjamin Lawsky’s decision to go after Standard Chartered has drawn both praise and criticism, since any regulator cracking down on a bank for egregious violations of the law is now considered inherently suspicious.
Groups’ Campaign Spending Scrutinized in New York (NYT)
Speaking of public officials who have very uncivilly opted to do their jobs, Nicholas Confessore reports that Eric Schneiderman is escalating his investigation into shady tax-exempt political groups while the IRS continues to act mildly interested.
250 Years of Campaigns, Cash, and Corruption (MoJo)
Asawin Suebsaeng, Andy Kroll, and Aaron Ross present a visual guide to the history of campaign finance to demonstrate that influence in American politics has been all about the Benjamins ever since the days when it was literally about Benjamin Franklin.