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The corporate ‘predator state’ (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that bipartisan agreement in Washington often means corporate interests have successfully bought off lawmakers on both sides, but there’s a real left-right alliance to be forged between workers and small business owners.
For ‘Faster Growth,’ Soak the Poor? (Bloomberg)
Josh Barro writes that conservative economists are once again trotting out the argument that we need to cut government spending on poor people in order to fix the economy, which makes sense if you ignore everything about the economy and the poor.
Why the federal budget can’t be managed like a household budget (Guardian)
Helaine Olen takes on the notion that governments and families must both maintain a balanced budget at all times, a dead horse that has been thoroughly beaten, dismembered, and restored by the finest taxidermists so the beatings may continue.
More Proof That America Doesn’t Have a Spending Problem (Think Progress)
Travis Waldron notes that a new CBO report shows that government spending under Comrade Obama is so hopelessly out of control that discretionary spending now makes up a smaller share of the economy than it did in 2007, before the recession.
Declining Wealth Brings a Rising Retirement Risk (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett writes that as workers are shifted out of defined-benefit pension plans and into defined-contribution plans, it’s become clear they’re not as good at generating a return as corporate money managers. Now let’s try it with their fall-back plans!
How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing (ProPublica)
As April 15 approaches, Liz Day notes that tax filing could be less ulcer-producing if the IRS prepared the returns. But that doesn’t appeal to the tax prep software industry or conservatives who want the government to keep its hands off our payments to it.
The GOP Needs a New Product, Not a New Brand (HBR)
Justin Fox writes that while the GOP’s current focus is on finding a spokesman who seems less old, white, and curmudgeonly, the key to success is creating and selling a product customers actually want, not just finding new ways to trick them into buying it.
Texas wants its gold back! Wait, what? (WaPo)
Channeling his inner leprechaun, Rick Perry is demanding the return of $1 billion worth of his state’s gold from the New York Federal Reserve. Neil Irwin explains why that could be a hedge against Texas seceding from the Union — Perry’s other favorite idea.