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Obama says he’ll renew pursuit of ‘grand bargain,’ offering specifics on agenda (WaPo)
In an off-and-on-the-record interview, the president outlined his second-term plans for a bipartisan debt deal that would trade $2.50 of spending cuts for every dollar in new taxes, indicating that he still thinks his head can make a dent in that brick wall if he keeps at it.
Obama’s Waning Leverage With the Democratic Party Left (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias notes that a grand bargain relies on the idea that liberals will accept cuts in exchange for new revenue, but with the Bush tax cuts set to expire anyway, they stand to gain more by adopting the GOP tactic of sitting back and watching the fireworks.
Why even President Obama won’t champion Social Security (Guardian)
Dean Baker writes that Obama’s reluctance to emphasize Social Security stems from the fact that millionaire donors are happy to perform their high-wire act without a safety net, and the media views cutting it as the most terribly Serious thing anyone can do.
The Entitlement Crisis That Isn’t (Truthdig)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick argues that the Beltway insider debate about whether and how we should cut spending on programs we can’t afford distracts from the real question, which is about how we raise money to pay for the things we need.
White House seeks removal of Fannie regulator (FT)
Shahien Nasiripour notes that the administration is sending signals that, like any political appointee who flatly and openly refuses to cooperate with the White House’s agenda, Acting FHFA Director Ed DeMarco could be out of a job after only two and a half years.
U.S. sues Bank of America over “Hustle” mortgage fraud (Reuters)
Jonathan Stempel reports that prosecutors are suing BofA for over $1 billion in losses suffered by taxpayers thanks to the bank’s scheme to conceal problems with residential loans and bury Fannie and Freddie in more toxic waste than a nuclear dump site.
Too Big to Handle (Project Syndicate)
Simon Johnson writes that the consensus is beginning to move toward breaking up the big banks as high-profile resignations suggest that even the people being paid handsomely to run said banks have no idea how they’re supposed to function at this scale.
The Inescapable Gender Wage Gap (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert looks at a new study that finds that the wage gap begins for women straight out of college and follows them everywhere and always, suggesting some flaws in the theory that it’s all a result of women choosing to be lazy baby machines.
In Michigan, a High-Stakes Game for Labor (Prospect)
Abby Rapoport highlights a ballot measure in Michigan that supporters say would guarantee collective bargaining rights and protect public worker unions and opponents claim would rain fire down on the state of Michigan, kill its firstborn sons, and salt the earth.
How Millennials Leaving Their Parents’ Basements Could Save the Economy (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson notes that Millennials have been scapegoats of the recession, the great unwashed (literally) mass of shiftless youth dragging us all down, but as they get on their feet and start forming new households, they could provide a major economic boost.