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Social Security: Will Obama Cave? (Prospect)
Robert Kuttner argues that progressives must keep the pressure on President Obama instead of giving him cover to cut Social Security benefits in the fiscal cliff deal. Losing a foot instead of a leg doesn’t count as a win when your original complaint was a headache.
Thoughts on the Chained CPI, Social Security, and the Budget (CEPR)
Dean Baker examines whether chained CPI is really accurate, whether even current Social Security benefits are generous enough, and whether it’s wise to tell statisticians to ask their questions differently so they can produce the answers we’ve decided on.
A rough 24 hours for the White House (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that by shifting on taxes, the debt ceiling, and now Social Security, the president seems to be falling back into his habit of making premature concessions which Republicans then throw back in his face with a counter-offer of “What, no ponies?”
Goodbye, Government, Under Either Fiscal Plan (NYT)
Eduardo Porter argues that the deep cuts to discretionary spending proposed by both sides in the fiscal cliff talks are easier than having a serious debate about what we need and what it will cost, but they won’t leave us much except an army and a retirement plan.
7 Facts About Government Benefits and Who Gets Them (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson highlights a new Pew study that finds 86 percent of American households receive some form of government benefit, including things like UI, food stamps, and college aid. Upside for the GOP: If their base is 14 percent, they’re really overachieving.
The “End of Men” in Sandy Hook (Dissent)
Sandy Hook has given us all a lot to ponder, like why it’s so often young men who perpetrate these crimes. NND Editor Bryce Covert explains why it’s not women’s fault that the boys are angry, even though they’re no longer waiting on the railroad tracks to be rescued.
Franklin Roosevelt: The Father of Gun Control (TNR)
Adam Winkler notes that while Democrats have been scared to talk about guns recently lest they paint a target for the NRA, FDR wanted to register and tax them as part of a New Deal on Crime, making people as safe from each other as from economic downturns.
After Recession, More Young Adults Are Living on Street (NYT)
Susan Saulny reports that the real problem isn’t just the young people forced to stay in their parents’ basements — it’s the ones for whom that would be an upgrade from the cars and homeless shelters they’re sleeping in while hoping for their big break in fast food.
The Unequal State of America: Redistributing Up (Reuters)
Deborah Nelson and Himanshu Ojha kick off a new investigative series with an in-depth look at how income inequality is growing in the nation’s capital as the policymakers on Capitol Hill work to show Washington’s elites the value of having friends in high places.
The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Got Its Way in Mexico (NYT)
David Barstow and Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab report on how the retail giant opened doors in Mexico by using money as a lockpick. Man, what kind of backwards country would allow corporations to buy off its politicians that blatantly? Save it for campaign season.