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A Fiscal Deal Is Emerging—But Is It Any Good? (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn reviews the plan chefs Obama and Boehner are cooking up behind closed doors, which includes ingredients that may leave a sour taste in both sides' mouths, like higher taxes on those making over $400K and a COLA adjustment for Social Security.
The Social Security Benefit Cut Obama May Agree To (TPM)
Brian Beutler notes that "chained CPI" would ultimately reduce Social Security benefits, though some progressives think it's better than raising the Medicare age or getting no deal at all. At least there's plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons and carefully oh wait.
Remember the Children (Robert Reich)
Reich argues that the failure to protect America's children extends beyond gun violence to soaring child poverty rates and neglect for children's health, all because they don't have any powerful interests to speak up for them. Sounds like a job for... everyone, actually.
How Gun-Related Crimes Cost Each Taxpayer Hundreds of Dollars a Year (Think Progress)
Tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting have an unbearably high human cost, but Travis Waldron writes that violent crimes also cost taxpayers $3.7 billion a year in medical, legal, and other expenses. Shouldn't their right to self-defense include their local economy?
All We Want for Chrismas Is... Guns (MoJo)
Maddie Oatman and Ian Gordon note that firearms went flying off the shelves on Black Friday, continuing a sales spike that occurred both times Obama was elected and a trend of current gun owners stockpiling more weapons. Maybe skip those houses, Santa.
A Real Right to Work (NYT)
"Right to work" is one of the right's 1984isms, but Nancy Folbre argues we should make sure everyone who wants a job has one by expanding the public sector to pick up the private sector's slack. The GOP thinks they're fake jobs, but they're realer than nonexistent ones.
Walmart VP: When Workers Ask About Unions, Management Tells Them Benefits 'Might Go Away' (The Nation)
Josh Eidelson notes that Walmart is trying to discourage its workers from talking about unionizing not by directly threatening them but by hinting that the entrails spell misfortune for them. "Awful job you have here. Shame if something even worse were to happen to it."
Why the unemployment rate might soon stop dropping (WaPo)
Good news: the job market is improving. Bad news: It probably won't look that way. Brad Plumer highlights a paper from the San Francisco Fed that predicts the unemployment rate will stall as those who have dropped out of the labor force begin to come off the bench.
The 'Mommy Penalty,' Around the World (NYT)
Catherine Rampell flags new research from the OECD that shows full-time working mothers in the developed world earn about 16 percent less than their male colleagues, in part because caregiving responsibiltiies come as a package deal with their bundles of joy.
More seniors trapped in children's student debt (Columbus Dispatch)
Education begins at home, and apparently it lingers there long after it should have left the nest. Mike Wagner and Jill Riepenhoff report that the trend of parents and grandparents helping out with college loans is turning the nightmare of repayment into a family affair.