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The Poor Will Be the First Over the Fiscal Cliff (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert explains how the combination of higher taxes and spending cuts will hurt the most vulnerable and argues that piling the poor up so high at the base of the fiscal cliff that the rest of us can just walk across is not the right solution.
Obama’s Message, Still Loud and Clear: Taxes for the Wealthy (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn notes that the president remained committed to ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich at yesterday’s press conference. He’s also open to alternate sources of revenue that don’t rely on magical thinking, but the GOP doesn’t have any of those.
Save the Payroll Tax Holiday (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias writes that the expiration of the 2010 payroll tax holiday has flown under the radar because it’s an offshoot of that awful stimulus that saved the economy, but renewing it is important for the sake of the recovery and people who work for a living.
2 million could lose unemployment benefits unless Congress extends program (WaPo)
Michael Fletcher writes that millions of Americans who have been unemployed for six months or more will suffer if Congress fails to renew emergency benefits. Hasn’t government done enough for these people already? I mean, except for creating more jobs.
Want Less Inequality? Tax It (Prospect)
Liam Malloy and John Case argue that it’s time to channel the spirit of Arthur Pigou with a tax on soaring inequality, which would help to persuade wealthy executives that they don’t need to make 300 times more than their mailroom clerks to lead fulfilling lives.
The new poverty measure is out, and it’s grim (WaPo)
Dylan Matthews notes that the Census Bureau’s supplemental poverty measure shows poverty much higher for groups like the elderly, who rely heavily on income from Social Security. Odd how different things would look if we didn’t freeze time 48 years ago.
Janet Yellen’s Game-Changing Speech for Monetary Policy (FDL)
David Dayen highlights remarks that suggest the Federal Reserve is warming to the idea of tying monetary policy to specific unemployment targets instead of basing it on whether or not Ben Bernanke sees his shadow when he pokes his head above ground.
No, Obama Isn’t About to Crack Down on Wall Street (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger warns that reformers hoping to see real progress on financial regulation now that President Obama is no longer beholden to bankers are likely to be disappointed, because Dodd-Frank is already written in fine print and bound with red tape.
Changing the Conventional Wisdom on Wall Street (NYT)
Simon Johnson argues that nominating Ted Kaufman, Neil Barofsky, or Dennis Kelleher to head the SEC would signal to Wall Street that it’s time for genuinely new thinking about reducing risk, not for one of their friends to whisper sweet nothings in their ears.
Mitt Romney: Obama Won With ‘Gifts’ to Blacks, Hispanics, Young Voters (AP)
In a conference call with donors, the not-at-all-bitter Romney explained that Obama turned the 47 percent into a majority by spending trillions to make their lives better. As opposed to the more noble method of inflicting brutal economic punishment on them?