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Overthinking Obama (Washington Monthly)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt argues that while many authors try to construct a Grand Theory of Barack Obama, he’s really a typical democratic reformer, except that he a) got elected and b) did so during the worst possible economic moment.
Chaos governing (WaPo)
Greg Sargent notes that Republicans are openly admitting that they refuse to negotiate on the budget until they can use the debt celing as leverage, but they’ve also proved they won’t follow through on their threats. So their bargaining position is just “we win”?
Boehner Accidentally Explains Why His Deficit Position Is Phony (Bloomberg)
Josh Barro unpacks the Russian nesting doll of fallacies in John Boehner’s warnings about government debt, including the idea that something that’s happened for 55 of the last 60 years is unsustainable and that businesses don’t take on debt as they grow.
Elizabeth Warren Q&A: Students “deserve the same break that big banks get” (Salon)
David Dayen talks to Elizabeth Warren about her plan to stop the Stafford loan interest rate hike and offer students the same discount rate that banks pay to borrow from the Fed, signaling that student debt is officially as much of a rolling disaster as Wall Street.
Working Poor Face Long Odds: ‘You Have to Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come’ (HuffPo)
Saki Knafo writes that working hard is no longer a ticket to success, as Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren notes that traditional job ladders have disappeared in the new economy, if they’d even reach the top of the sinkhole many Americans are now in.
Stock Markets Rise, but Half of Americans Don’t Benefit (NYT)
Catherine Rampell notes that although the stock market reached record nominal highs this week, only 52 percent of Americans actually have investments. The rest either can’t afford to buy in or feel that their money would be safer elsewhere, like in the fireplace.
Labor wrestles with its future (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson writes that unions are getting creative about collaborating to support workers’ interests and redefining who counts as a member when most workers can’t join. Just leave the flower pot turned over and they’ll know you need to file a grievance.
Underfunded and Under Five (Prospect)
Sharon Lerner examines how the recession has affected early education, causing states to cut half a billion dollars in funding for pre-K in the last year alone. Most of that comes from teachers, who are now just doing it for the joy of cleaning up finger paints.