Daily digest – Once, twice, three times a shutdown
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
Congress Takes Up a Partisan Battle, Again, Over Spending (NYT)
It’s shutdown o’clock on Capitol Hill again as Congress debates the payroll tax cut extension, since negotiation now only happens once both sides have turned the keys and started entering the launch codes.
Europe’s clueless economic solutions (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson notes that by caving into demands for austerity, eurozone leaders have managed the nifty trick of backing a “solution” that not only doesn’t address their current or future problems, but wouldn’t have changed anything in the past.
The Euro Zone’s German Crisis (WSJ)
Alan Blinder argues that among the many marvels of German engineering is the eurozone, which regardless of sovereign debt ensures that Germany will remain the alpha dog unless it decides to take pity on the others and stop trying so hard.
Too Big to Stop: Why Big Banks Keep Getting Away With Breaking the Law(The Atlantic)
James Kwak writes that Judge Rakoff’s decision to block the SEC’s settlement with Citigroup points to the larger problem that the “go forth and sin no more” approach to regulation just encourages banks to price crime into their business model.
Needed: A Cure for a Severe Case of Trialphobia (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger writes that the SEC could be a lot more intimidating if it proved that it’s willing to take big investment firms to court and lose instead of bragging about what a miracle it is that it gets anything accomplished at all.
Meet the big-bank critic Republicans love (WaPo)
Thomas Hoenig, the outspoken former president of the Kansas City Fed and advocate for Glass-Steagall-like reforms, is on track to be confirmed to the FDIC. But like any right-thinking conservative, he’s still very worried about imaginary inflation.
Rethinking Debt (Democracy Journal)
Jared Bernstein argues that establishing a basic understanding of debt and its purpose would lead to a more rational economic policy than wailing and gnashing our teeth over the horror of borrowing money to invest now and pay back later.
Income Inequality Is a Symptom, Not the Disease (Esquire)
Charlies Pierce explains why no one in the U.S. has ever thought, “I can’t find a job, I’m drowning in debt, and my house is in foreclosure, but average earnings for the top 1% slipped below $1 million in 2009, so I guess fair’s fair.”
For Families On Welfare, Few Protections From Theft And Fraud (HuffPo)
Janell Ross reports on another charming feature of the move toward delivering government benefits on electronic transfer cards: If the recipients get scammed out of their money, no one’s legally obligated to pretend that they care.
More Obamacare News: 2.5M Young Adults Got Insurance (TNR)
A provision of the Affordable Care Act has already allowed millions of young adults to obtain medical coverage through their family plans, keeping them healthy just long enough for the death panels to get up and running.
Short URL: http://aworldofprogress.com/readingroom/?p=1627