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By Tim Price, originally posted on Next New Deal

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Either Way We're Going Over the Cliff (NYRB)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick writes that even if we avoid full-fledged disaster, the compromises on the table will slow growth and prolong unemployment. But there are smarter approaches to the fiscal cliff than placing an air mattress at the bottom.

Boehner abandons plan to avoid 'fiscal cliff' (WaPo)

Looks like the Speaker dropped a big lump of coal in everyone's stocking. Lori Montgomery and Rosalind Helderman report that after failing to muster votes for his Plan B, John Boehner has closed up shop until after Christmas and told Democrats to figure it all out.

The humiliation of John Boehner (Salon)

Steve Kornacki argues that Plan B's failure casts doubt on the negotiations and Boehner's political future, as it's clear his party won't listen if he says something they don't like. Luckily, no one else wants to tell them "We have to compromise with the president," either.

Playing Taxes Hold 'Em (NYT)

Paul Krugman writes that the fiscal cliff negotiations have devolved into the world's most high-stakes celebrity poker game, and as in 2011, the only thing saving President Obama from his own poor poker skills is the Republicans' belief that they're playing Go Fish.

Let's Celebrate the Failure of the July 2011 Great Betrayal (NEP)

William K. Black offers a reminder that no matter what terminology we use, the fiscal cliff isn't a natural feature of our economy that policymakers have blindly stumbled toward. It's a hole they dug for themselves—and for us—with their last failed push for austerity.

The progressive Plan B for the fiscal cliff (WaPo)

Suzy Khimm notes that progressives already feel the president has given up too much ground, but if they can't pull him all the way back, they're hoping they can at least nudge him in the right direction on corporate taxes, entitlements, and discretionary spending.

Revealed: Why the Pundits Are Wrong About Big Money and the 2012 Elections (AlterNet)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Tom Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen explain that while two presidential campaigns pointing cannons full of money at each other didn't have much visible impact, burying your opponent in cash was still effective in House races.

How the Right is Wrong About Happiness (HuffPo)

Jeffrey Sachs writes that an Arthur Brooks op-ed claiming generous social spending makes recipients unhappy doesn't jibe with the available data, and the super-wealthy CEOs floating on cloud nine didn't get up there without climbing on someone else's shoulders.

Today in Poverty: An Education Wish List (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann and Elaine Weiss argue that while we're in the gift-giving mood, we shouldn't stop at showering our kids in the flashy toys and gadgets they've asked for this Christmas. We should invest in providing them with healthy lives and a quality education.

Everything You Need to Know About the Economy in 2012, in 34 Charts (The Atlantic)

It might be more relaxing to stare at the Yule Log, but if you want to keep your brain stimulated over the holiday break, pour a mug of hot chocolate and pore over these graphs selected by America's top econowonks, including Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thanks for this resource /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, ratcityreprobate

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:42:34 AM PST

  •  Plan C (0+ / 0-)

    Arm America to the teeth and have every American buy  stock in weapon companies.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:50:47 AM PST

  •  Going over cliff BETTER for economy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, johanus

    A deal allows Republicans to hold the economy hostage indefinitely, it will buy just a bit of time and then we will have one near death experience after another. Does that sound like it will give business confidence to invest and hire? What will is letting the cuts and tax hikes happen and use the public outrage to put through a budget and middle class tax cut that is sound. That would cost us a bad quarter and gain us 2 years of better growth than we'd get with any deal.

  •  Van Jones (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Just Bob

    noted in his blog:

                     America isn't broke — it's being robbed.
    He's right.  And it's an inside job.

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:59:38 AM PST

    •  Yes. Austerity is needed when the government can (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      no longer sell bonds at a workable interest rate. Austerity to further enrich those already incredibly wealthy is theft.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:31:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At the risk of initiating consternation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, HeyMikey

    and mayhem, might I also recommend David Brooks' column in today's NYT for a calm Republican viewpoint, remarkably sane in fact, wherein he makes a few apparently good points:

    1. The President now has absolutely no incentive now to go beyond the offer he made prior to the Plan B debacle, and Republicans really have nowhere to go but to craft a majority House vote composed of some Republicans and most, if not all, of the Democrats. Boehner has to pass through the stages of grieving his lost Speakership first though.

    2. The President really has to get a deal early if he is to tackle the other huge issues that need to be managed in his second term. He cannot afford to blow half his remaining 4 years on this kind of trench warfare. If liberals are really upset with him, it maybe because he has to - has to - get movement on global warming, arguably mire important than chained CPI.

    3. The decline in discretionary spending, even with the expiration of the Bush tax-cuts, is seriously big and Brooks points out that such spending may decline to only 1.7% of GDP in 10 years, compared to around 3% normally. So that begins to strangle the element of choice in government, arguably what government really is. We become an insurance company with an army, as someone else pointed out.

    All issues are resolvable under 2 conditions. First, problems have to be agreed as being such by a clear majority of the larger government. Second, that majority has to be prepared to make some unprecedented choices. Brooks advises Republicans to give up on the current battle in order to win battles down the road, which brings us back to the first condition. Thought-provoking article though.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:09:59 PM PST

  •  Don't talke austerity (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats need to stop talking austerity.  They need to start talking about jobs.  Democrats should have started the negotiation not from a how to decrease the budget deficit, but how to create more jobs and ignore the deficit.

    We have been brainwashed into thinking the deficit is bad.  The Federal debt (other than intra-governmental debt) is the equals to the collective financial wealth of the US private sector plus dollars or dollar assets are held by foreign countries.  What that means is reducing the deficit just reduces our collective financial wealth.

    That does not mean we don't raise taxes on the wealthy.  It just means we also increase spending by more.

    How about we ask our Democratic elected officials to start talking about jobs?  Something simple like the aid to states in the stimulus. I am thinking a couple hundred billion to (re)hire teacher, fire fighters, police, and other state, country and local employees that have been laid off in the last 4 years, and then some.  If I recall the job stats just returning to Bush era government employment levels should create 600K plus direct jobs. And, probably another several hundred thousand indirectly.

    I wonder what direct aid to public universities to reduce tuition and fees and hire more professors would do?

    How about Democrats start offering what we want, and ask let Republicans offer what they want and negotiate from there.  Right now we have Democrats offering what Republicans might want and Republicans asking for more.

  •  The next person to call it a fiscal cliff gets hit (0+ / 0-)

    There is no cliff for anyone but defense contractors.

    The tax cuts for normal people will be there when you go to file next year.

    The giant chunks of free money for the military machine? Not so much.

    Just STOP it with this "fiscal cliff" bullshit. It's their made-up term that they rolled out five minutes after we won the election. They made it up to push the debate into these right-wing policy preference zones, and it's completely asinine that we keep using their terms.

    It'd be like if we just stopped talking about choice and started referring to ourselves as Pro-Death because someone on Fox News moaned that out between Benghazi-gasms on the 9:00 show.

    Just please fucking stop playing their games on their court. Please?

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