Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson has put fresh emphasis on a major and underlying aspect of our fiscal disputes: It's the yoots versus the coots. The young may not be aware of it, but they'll long bear the tax burden of the entitlement arrangements the old have instituted. Mr. Simpson's video is both merry—he dances Gangnam style to make his point—and shrewd. He casts the spending story as one involving greedy geezer organizations and sympathizes with the position of the young while teasing them for their preoccupations: "Stop Instagramming your breakfast and tweeting your First World problems ... and start using those precious social media skills to go out and sign people up on this baby."...So wise, that Alan Simpson. And remember, Simpson-Bowles advocates waiting for ACA/Obamacare to kick in before tackling Medicare cuts. Yes, that's what it says.
The oddest thing about the leftward part of the president's base is that they're always angry with him, always disappointed. A conservative sees it differently: Slowly but surely he has been trying to give them much of what they want. And it wouldn't be because he disagrees with them.
Some have likened today’s negotiations to a game of chicken, in which the loser is whichever of two cars on a head-on collision course swerves first. But that metaphor isn’t instructive without some additional texture: if Republicans are driving a Chevy Spark, the president is driving a Mack truck.Some have likened the Republicans to the Whig party. And some say they don't have any idea how to get out of the corner they are backed into. Some even say they deserve it.
Politico on entitlements:
The script for a fiscal cliff deal was always supposed to be simple: Democrats would win on taxes. Republicans would win on entitlements.Politico on taxes:
But what kind of victory can Republicans really hope to win? They’re going to have to lower their sights — by a lot — from the big ideas they pushed in the presidential campaign.
Republicans may need to concede the current tax fight to President Barack Obama, who holds the "upper hand" in that battle, Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday.In politics (and poker) you gotta have the cards. Fiorello! premiered in 1959.
"There is a growing group of folks looking at this and realizing that we don’t have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue," the Tennessee Republican told "Fox News Sunday." "I think [that notion] has merit.... I actually am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take."
Politics and Poker, Politics and PokerWaPo:
Makes the average guy a heavy smoker
Bless the nominee,
and give him our regards
And watch while he learns that in
you've gotta have
You've gotta have
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comments about 47 percent of the population dependent on the government and “binders full of women” topped this year’s best quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.Politico chronicles Paul Krugman's welcome wearing thin amongst conservative pundits, in this case George Will and Mary Matalin:
Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, released his seventh annual list of the most notable quotations of the year.
Are you an economist or a polemicist?" [Mary Matalin] asked with an expression suggesting she found the Princeton professor and winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics to be insufferable. "Do you want to talk about economy or do you want to talk about polemics?" she said.Krugman keeps saying things that gets them ticked off:
Matalin and Krugman also sparred over Medicare cuts, with the former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney insisting that any cut in payments to providers would impact beneficiaries and the Times columnist insisting that was not always the case.
As if Matalin were not peeved enough, Krugman chimed in later to correct her when she said John Maynard Keynes had said: "Ideas drive history. Ideas drive progress."
"The actual Keynes quote is....'ideas which are dangerous for good or evil,'" Krugman said.
Perhaps Matalin shouldn't have tried to quote Keynes (whom she sarcastically called "our hero") to a Keynesian. Unsurprisingly, Krugman has written on the specific quote.
Robots and Robber Barons
More specifically, while it’s true that the finance guys are still making out like bandits — in part because, as we now know, some of them actually are bandits — the wage gap between workers with a college education and those without, which grew a lot in the 1980s and early 1990s, hasn’t changed much since then. Indeed, recent college graduates had stagnant incomes even before the financial crisis struck. Increasingly, profits have been rising at the expense of workers in general, including workers with the skills that were supposed to lead to success in today’s economy.
Why is this happening? As best as I can tell, there are two plausible explanations, both of which could be true to some extent. One is that technology has taken a turn that places labor at a disadvantage; the other is that we’re looking at the effects of a sharp increase in monopoly power. Think of these two stories as emphasizing robots on one side, robber barons on the other.