What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
Best Buy targets are stopping a debt deal (FT)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Tom Ferguson writes that political parties have emulated big-box retailers with their shift to top-down leadership and emphasis on the bottom line. In return, contributors have gotten the worst Congress money can buy.
On All Levels of the Economy, Concern About the Impasse (NYT)
If America’s credit rating is downgraded as a result of the GOP’s tantrum, it could weaken the recovery, destroy jobs, and force the US to pay higher interest on its debt. Aside from that, it’s probably nothing to worry about.
Republican Leaders Voted for Debt Drivers They Blame on Obama (Bloomberg)
From the Bush tax cuts to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Republicans were for exploding debt before they were against it. But why address their own bad decisions when they can just destroy the social safety net?
Obama like FDR? Not at all, it turns out. (WaPo)
Progressives hoped Barack Obama would spearhead a new New Deal and create a permanent realignment, but instead he has treated FDR’s “bold, persistent experimentation” as a model of what not to do.
There’s Still More To Life Than The President (Think Progress)
Matthew Yglesias points out that while Barack Obama is no progressive firebrand, the greater obstacle to good policy is that Congress has been totally useless and dysfunctional. Finally, a message all Americans can unite behind.
Lessons From the Malaise (NYT)
David Leonhardt argues that the reasons the US economy is faltering are perfectly obvious. The problem is that policymakers aren’t interested in finding any solutions, since that might require some actual effort.
The Racial Wealth Gap’s Larger Than Ever. Here’s How It Will Destroy Us (ColorLines)
Kai Wright warns that a new report on the huge losses black and Latino households have suffered since 2005 illustrates the result of allowing predatory lenders to prowl around our most vulnerable communities.
Ads by Christian groups pressure lawmakers to protect the poor in debt talks (WaPo)
A coalition of Christian groups called the Circle of Protection is joining forces to remind Congress and the President that the answer to “What would Jesus do?” has not traditionally been “Defund Medicaid and lower the top marginal tax rate.”
The Help-Wanted Sign Comes With a Frustrating Asterisk (NYT)
Catherine Rampell reports that in order to find a job in this economy, all you need to do is already have one. Sadly, the 14 million unemployed need not apply, since they are hopelessly infected with recession cooties (technical term).
British Economy, After Austerity, at Zero Growth in the Past Nine Months(FDL)
British austerity measures have led to robust 0.2 percent GDP growth, though conservative economists insist that the slowdown is due to the Zodiac being out of alignment with Prince William’s bald spot.
The Markets, the Pols and the Greek Bogeyman (The Nation)
Maria Margaronis writes that greedy, shiftless Greeks, with all their demands for a reasonable standard of living, have become a convenient scapegoat for European leaders who don’t want to admit that the entire system they built is unraveling.
Efforts to Pretend “50 State” Attorney General Deal Moving Forward Looking More Desperate (Naked Capitalism)
The nationwide foreclosure fraud investigation hasn’t officially wrapped up yet, but the AGs of states like New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware are already running away from the settlement agreement like it has a lit fuse.
This Is Considered Punishment? (NYT)
Wells Fargo must pay an $85 million fine for swindling its customers during the subprime bubble, which could have hurt if they hadn’t just raked in $20 billion last quarter. Now how about some jail time?
Sugar in the Tank (TAP)
Ben Adler writes that the only bright spot to the Republican approach to federal transportation spending is that it’s just as messed up as everything else.
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