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America’s Hope Against Hope (Project Syndicate)
Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that progressives can hope the next four years will see real action on inequality, unemployment, corruption, and climate change, but it’s more likely that “It could have been worse” will become our serenity prayer.
A dream SEC chief (Salon)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller talks to Neil Barofsky about how he’d change the way the SEC operates, like actually holding bankers accountable for committing crimes instead of requesting one of those non-apology “I’m sorry you were offended” apologies.
The Forgotten Millions (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that despite all the closet Keynesianism on display, class divisions make it easy for politicians in Washington to focus on the fiscal cliff they’ve created rather the millions of unemployed Americans who have already been shoved into the abyss.
Obama to GOP: No More Debt Ceiling Blackmail (MoJo)
David Corn writes that, tax rates aside, the next big question is who will blink first on the debt ceiling, and President Obama is ready to break out the Visine if it means Republicans stop taking the economy hostage whenever they don’t like the cafeteria lunch menu.
Democrats watch in awe as McConnell filibusters himself (Raw Story)
Mitch McConnell introduced a bill to raise the debt ceiling yesterday in an attempt to call the Democrats’ bluff, but when it turned out Harry Reid was holding a pair of aces, the world witnessed a rare case of self-filibustering. Please stop that, senator. You’ll go blind.
What Kind of Party Votes Against Protection for People With Disabilities? (Slate)
Eliot Spitzer argues that the GOP’s decision to block a treaty based on America’s own laws and designed only to help the disabled is a bad sign for anyone hoping moderate Republicans would drop their disguises and emerge from hiding to strike a fiscal cliff deal.
The Republican Anti-Tax Maginot Line (NY Mag)
Jonathan Chait writes that Republicans who read Watchmen and decided that “Never compromise. even in the face of Armageddon” was a workable philosophy have painted themselves into a corner now that compromise is the only way to avoid a tax increase.
The Fall of ‘Trickle-Down’ and the Rise of ‘Middle-Out’ Economics (The Atlantic)
Heather Boushey notes that the speech President Obama gave in Osawatomie, Kansas last year outlined a new economic doctrine focused on growing the middle class instead of standing back and hoping they’ll get trickled on. Now he has to follow through.
Raise the Economy’s Speed Limit (NYT)
Jared Bernstein writes that the halving of America’s economic growth rate since 2000 has contributed to soaring inequality, but policymakers can reverse the trend if they focus on spurring growth instead of the vast difference between 35 percent and 39 percent.
Ten ways to reduce inequality without raising tax rates (WaPo)
Dylan Matthews outlines policies like making it easier to form unions and making social insurance programs more generous that would help fight inequality without raising taxes. Better yet, let’s do all that and raise taxes. Boom, he just got grand bargained.