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Why do people hate deficits? (WaPo)
Suggesting America doesn’t need to balance its budget strikes a lot of people like saying bald eagle should be the main course at the next state dinner, but as Dylan Matthews writes, there’s no reason for us to consider deficit spending the eighth deadly sin.
The Stealth Sequester (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that while sequestration cuts haven’t lived up to their hype yet, that’s mainly because they’re localized, focused on the poor, causing furloughs instead of layoffs, and just getting started. If you were hoping for terrible news, patience will be rewarded.
When will this do-nothing Congress wake up to America’s jobs crisis? (Guardian)
Heidi Moore writes that while unemployment remains stubbornly high, labor force participation continues to drop, and poverty continues to rise, the only time the idea of job creation seems to stir Republicans in Congress is when they get a chance to block it.
The Economic Story of the Year: The Stock Market vs. the Labor Market (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson argues that the stock market soaring to all-time highs while jobs reports show the recovery limping along is no coincidence; it’s the result of a 40-year trend of corporations leaving workers behind like spectators at a space shuttle launch.
How Many FDR Democrats Will Oppose ‘Chained-CPI’ Social Security Cut? (The Nation)
John Nichols looks at the progressive effort to convince President Obama to leave Social Security cuts out of the “compromise” budget he plans to release tomorrow. Meanwhile, a very nervous White House intern’s mouse cursor hovers over the print button.
The People’s Choice for the People’s Pension (NYT)
Nancy Folbre notes that there’s a way to shore up Social Security’s finances that actually enjoys broad popular support: eliminating the payroll tax cap so the highest earners pay more into the system. But that option is right out, because who asked us?
The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage in Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study (HuffPo)
While conservatives like Paul Ryan often talk like there’s an IRS agent camping in the bushes outside every American home, a new study of OECD nations shows that only Mexico and Chile tax less and the U.S. has a ways to go to catch up to Slovakia.
Kitchen Sink Socialism (Jacobin)
Andrew Fogle argues that we shouldn’t be wasting our breath debating whether or not allowing same-sex marriage will destroy traditional family structures when austerity is already doing a fine job of pushing straight people to go live in hippie communes.