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The brilliantly stupid new plan to raise the debt ceiling without raising it (Salon)
Alex Pareene examines the logic behind the House Republicans’ new plan to “suspend” the debt ceiling until May instead of voting to raise it, which allows them to fulfill the bare minimum requirements of a grown-up party without actually behaving like one.
How the GOP Debt Limit Bill Will Put Them on the Hook for Killing Tax Reform (TPM)
Brian Beutler notes that part of the debt ceiling deal requires Senate Democrats to pass a budget by May 19, but unfortunately for Republicans who are opposed to raising any new revenue through tax reform, they forgot to specify that they have to like what’s in it.
How will Congress fix the sequester? Nobody knows! (WaPo)
Remember the budget-shredding sequester that was going to destroy the economy if Congress hadn’t delayed it until March? It doesn’t seem like our distracted lawmakers do, but Suzy Khimm writes that they figure they’ll just wing it when the next apocalypse is nigh.
Can Obama’s Second Term Unleash Power of His First? (Bloomberg)
Ezra Klein writes that many of President Obama’s first-term policy achievements still aren’t fully implemented, but having claimed that ground, he’ll spend the next four years trying to keep Republicans from capturing the flag and running it back to their goal.
America’s fiscal policy is not in crisis (FT)
Martin Wolf argues that while the U.S. faces many challenges, like rising health care costs, there’s only one strategy we should pursue when it comes to the national debt: calm the hell down. Take a nap. Eat some cookie dough. Catch a matinee of Les Miz. Just relax.
Unimpeded by Setbacks, the CEO Debt Fixers March On (NY Mag)
Kevin Roose notes that the executives behind “Fix the Debt” are frustrated that the White House and Congress are ignoring them, but they’re not going to let their complete irrelevance stop them from supporting the painful choices other people need to make.
‘Roe’ at 40: The Economic Divide That Denies Low-Income Women Their Right to an Abortion (The Nation)
40 years after Roe v. Wade, NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that low-income women seek more abortions but have a harder time paying for or even finding them. Freedom really isn’t free, and it may require a 50-mile road trip to a licensed freedom provider.
The Force: How much military is enough? (New Yorker)
Jill Lepore looks at the forces driving the growth of our $700 billion defense budget and at the proponents of increased military spending who imagine themselves to be the last ones with their shoulders pressed against the gates as the barbarian hordes advance.
Leverage is Back! But This Time It’s Different. (MoJo)
Kevin Drum notes that hedge funds are back to advising pension funds to maximize their returns by taking on more risk in the bond market. Sure, that advice turned out to be an epic disaster last time around, but they’ve worked out the kinks. Where’s the faith?
When Tax Cuts Were a Tough Sell (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett takes us back to January 1963, a time when John F. Kennedy was president, gas was 30 cents a gallon, Steve Lawrence’s “Go Away Little Girl” topped the charts, and fiscal conservatives thought it was important for the government to pay for things.