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Why is the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers Helping the Republicans? (Robert Reich)
Reich writes that the president’s fiscal cliff leverage comes from tax policy being automatically reset to a saner baseline come January, but a report on the dire consequences suggests that his team may not have gotten the memo that it’s okay to try winning this fight.
Trying to Turn Obama Voters Into Tax Allies (NYT)
Michael Shear reports that as the president makes his first big post-election legislative push, his strategists hope to use the network of supporters that reelected him to help him get stuff done rather than just foisting discount Obama/Biden sweatshirts on them.
Deadline Looms for Long-Term Unemployed (WSJ)
Ben Casselman warns that more than 2 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits if Congress fails to extend them by the end of the year, which some economists hope will give them more incentive to wish themselves into jobs that don’t exist.
CEO Council Demands Cuts to Poor, Elderly While Reaping Billions in Government Contracts, Breaks (HuffPo)
Christina Wilkie and Ryan Grim note that the CEOs working with Fix the Debt have decided, after much soul-searching, that trillions of dollars in contracts and subsidies to their companies should continue, but we need to bust up this “retirement security” racket.
Inequality and Budget Deficits: Why is Only the Latter an Emergency? (On the Economy)
Jared Bernstein writes that policymakers have a single-minded obsession with budget deficits and little to no interest in the deteriorating economic position of 90 percent of Americans, who should just sit in a corner and think about why they failed at capitalism.
Mary Schapiro’s Departure Creates an Opportunity for a Stronger SEC (The Nation)
In the wake of Schapiro’s exit, George Zornick writes that reformers are hoping her eventual replacement at the SEC will push for a strong implementation of Dodd-Frank and prosecutions that don’t end by asking bankers to say three Hail Marys to receive absolution.
Simpler Is Better (Prospect)
Robert Kuttner argues that for once, progressives and the Wall Street Journal editorial board see eye to eye: it’s better to enact simple policies like Glass-Steagall than to create overly complex regulations with loopholes companies can drive a convoy through.
The Unhappy Marriage of Capitalism and Conservatism (NYT)
Nancy Folbre writes that the growth of inequality and the destructive properties of modern corporations may cause some low-income social conservatives to question whether it makes sense to ally themselves with the descendants of the New Yorker mascot.
The Bizarre Apocalyptic Vision of Right-Wing Fundraisers (MoJo)
Kevin Drum notes that conservative fundraising appeals tend to combine the honesty of the Nigerian prince scam with the grim prophecies of those chain letters that warn you that you must forward them to at least 20 people to prevent your family from being killed.
Revenge of the Reality-Based Community (American Conservative)
Bruce Bartlett explains how he got shunned and excommunicated from the mainstream conservative movement after decades of toeing the party line because he dared to point out that observable economic reality seems to have a strong Keynesian bias.