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By Tim Price, originally posted on Next New Deal

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America Is Having the Wrong Fiscal Argument (Harper's)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick argues three groups have created a pointless deficit frenzy: tea partiers, centrists with an austerity fetish, and the CBO, whose conservative assumptions are mistaken for neutral because the law says they must be.

Battles of the Budget (NYT)

Paul Krugman writes that the fiscal cliff deal went better for progressives than it could have, but despite President Obama's assurances that he won't be blackmailed over the debt ceiling, some still worry he'll cave when he starts receiving the GOP's ransom notes.

The cliff deal is better than it looks (WaPo)

E.J. Dionne thinks liberals should quit their hand-wringing over a flawed deal that will nonetheless make the tax code more progressive, and ask barely reelected House Speaker John Boehner if he thinks President Obama gave away too much to conservatives.

Obama's Biggest Blemish (Prospect)

Jamelle Bouie notes that while many serious, respectable people are now clucking their tongues and shaking their heads over the terrible shame of Obama's failure to address the national debt, 14 million people left unemployed is apparently a big whatever.

The Supreme Court and the Next Fiscal Cliff (NYT)

Simon Johnson writes that if House Republicans renew their threats to blow up the economy over the debt ceiling, the White House may be forced to break it and let the Supreme Court sort it out later. Somewhere in D.C., John Roberts pours himself a stiff drink.

Republicans Have a Habit of Blocking Disaster Relief for Americans (MoJo)

Tim Murphy points out that although Chris Christie and Peter King might have just noticed that their party isn't big on coughing up cash for people in need, Republicans in Congress have a proven track record of being last responders in times of emergency. 

What's Inside America's Banks? (The Atlantic)

Frank Partnoy and Jesse Eisinger argue that four years after the financial crisis, big banks remain "black boxes" and efforts to police them are like riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in regulations. If we want straightforward banking, we need straightforward rules.

Financial reform battle continues over Dodd-Frank law (WaPo)

Danielle Douglas writes that despite continued Republican efforts to whittle away key provisions of Dodd-Frank, there's some potential for a bipartisan consensus that as long as the law's not going anywhere, policymakers should try to make sure it actually works.

Families Shoulder Heftier Burdens as College Debt Swells (ProPublica)

Marian Wang reports that with total college debt in the U.S. now surpassing $1 trillion, students and their parents face a crushing stack of bills, an anemic job market, and an abusive private loan industry. And they say college doesn't prepare people for the real world.

Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History (Bloomberg)

Yesterday marked the official conclusion of the 112th Congress. In his eulogy, Ezra Klein notes just how little that august body accomplished, which might be for the best considering the economic policies it did implement were like Sideshow Bob stepping on a rake.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Treading water!!! Jobless rate at 7.8%! (0+ / 0-)

    Same as last month!  155,000 hires!  Woo-hoo!  (I think)

    There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

    by NYFM on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:50:13 AM PST

  •  Wrong Fiscal Argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhecht, 3goldens
    Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick argues three groups have created a pointless deficit frenzy: Tea Partiers, centrists with an austerity fetish, and the CBO, whose conservative assumptions are mistaken for neutral because the law says they must be.
    There is a 4th group - the MMT Community - arguing against the austerity consensus. Scott Fullwiler, James A. Leach Chair in Banking and Monetary Economics at Wartburg College, completed a 5-part series yesterday at New Economic Perspectives, showing that the fears of unbounded growth in debt and debt service are unfounded when GDP growth exceeds interest rate (which is set by policy). It puts a lie to much of the deficit hawk / deficit scold BS that monopolizes the echo chambers on both sides.
  •  Again, regarding the rightwing chop licking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and palm rubbing going on over the prospects of a debt ceiling debacle, Obama should take the advice of Golda Meir and refuse to negotiate with terrorists.  Invoke the 14th Amendment powers and move on.  Leave the House sputtering, fuming and being outraged.  At least they will be doing something.  It's time for brave leadership not handholding, cajoling and being played for a patsy.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:10:50 PM PST

  •  Obama needs to act like a 6 year old (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I say this because when I was 6, and someone came to me with obvious bullshit, I had 2 words for them, "prove it". How much longer and how many more times is Obama going to let the Republicans hold our economy hostage over their fantasies on taxes and jobs, and taxes and prosperity? Obama has a pile of evidence, taller than Clint Eastwood's chair, that their beliefs are absolute nonsense. When will he or the Democrats ask them to "prove it"?

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:19:41 PM PST

  •  OMG Goldman Sachs just decided to pay 2012 comp (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in 2012 to avoid its employees having to pay the new tax rates that go into effect this year, and even the folks at CNBC are going after them for being such hypocrites after CEO Lloyd Blankfein called for reductions in entitlement benefits because we all have to share in the sacrifice--except for him and his fellow vultures, apparently. When you lose CNBC, you're in a special category of greedy asshole. What a bunch of self-serving sociopaths.

    For the republic to survive, Goldman Sachs must die. Seriously. I've worked for a financial firm that ended up going under because it got too greedy even by Wall St. standards. This has to happen to Goldman. They're killing  us.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 01:40:20 PM PST

    •  Goldman Sachs, Citibank - all a-holes (0+ / 0-)

      Matt Taibbi rips them all a new one in the latest Rolling Stone....

      It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

      By the time I finished reading it, I could feel my blood pressure sky rocketing...

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:28:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Last Responders"... (0+ / 0-)

    the GOP has a 1-900 number set up for that 3am phone call (long distance charges may apply).

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:08:04 PM PST

  •  Abolish the debt limit, don't just raise it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Democrats shouldn't ask Congress to raise the debt limit.  They should try to abolish the whole silly business of pretending we have one.  They may not manage to pass that, but it's a good, aggressive opening position.

    Years ago my home town's government signed a contract with the policemen that guaranteed them higher pay than the firemen, while the contract with the firemen guaranteed they'd get the same pay as the police.
    Eventually some court voided one or both of the contracts.  You can't have both A>B and B=A.

    Enacting tax laws and appropriations that are sure to create a deficit, and then refusing to raise a debt limit enough to accommodate that deficit, makes no more sense.  Faced with the choice between voiding appropriations or voiding a nonsense debt limit, the Supreme Court should have an easy choice.

    But I wouldn't begrudge John Roberst that stiff drink at the prospect of having this hot potato dropped in his lap.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:24:46 PM PST

  •  Paul Krugman for Teasury Secretary (0+ / 0-)

    I was reading Paul Krugman's op-ed and saw in the comments that there was a petition to have President Obama nominate him for treasury secretary so I started one on the White House site. you can sign it here.

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" Mohandas Gandhi

    by baracon on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:20:46 PM PST

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