Daily digest – The deep cuts
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
For Deficit Panel, Failure Cuts Two Ways (NYT)
Since the Super Committee dropped its scalpel, it’s time for the rusty chainsaw approach to deficit reduction. It might be a good idea to look away; this is going to get pretty messy.
The defense cuts aren’t the biggest problem with the trigger (WaPo)
While the GOP has been warning that Pentagon budget caps will leave us vulnerable to everything from Iranian nukes to paper airplanes, no one seems all that concerned about letting bridges crumble or having the air fill up with toxic soot.
Super Committee’s Failure Leaves Orphaned Programs Behind (HuffPo)
While some lawmakers hoped that proposals like an extension of unemployment benefits could be rolled into a larger deficit reduction plan, they’re now trying to figure out what to do next. You can never go wrong betting on nothing.
The Supercommittee Should Go Really Big and Turn Against the 1 Percent(Truthout)
Dean Baker imagines a crazy world where a panel tasked with reducing the country’s deficit tries to get the economy back on track and ask more of those who have the most to give instead of trying to cheat retirees out of their meager benefits.
Inside the Corporate Plan to Occupy the Pentagon (MoJo)
Financial elites have decided that, much like teachers, cops, and firefighters, the members of the military are receiving pensions that are far too generous considering how little they contribute to society compared to, say, hedge fund managers.
How the 99% Won in the Fight for Worker Rights (TomDispatch)
While they haven’t received the kind of media hype lavished on the Tea Party for getting witches nominated to the Senate, Andy Kroll notes that Occupy protesters played a crucial role in rolling back the effort to destroy Ohio’s public unions.
Occupy Student Debt Campaign Announces Nationwide Loan Refusal Pledge (HuffPo)
A new initiative is encouraging debtors to default on their student loans and demand reform to the system, rejecting the great American tradition of grinding yourself down to financial ruin to pay off your loans and then being forced to default anyway.
The Left-Behinds (National Journal)
Michael Hirsh writes that the U.S. policy of embracing free trade and globalization and letting workers sink or swim has left the American middle class deep underwater.
Buffett-Ducking Billionaires Avoid Reporting Cash Gains to IRS (Bloomberg)
When the super-rich decide they really, really don’t want to pay their taxes, they have the option of hiding their income in financial transactions that the IRS doesn’t touch. After all, special people deserve special money.
Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren (NYT)
Rebecca Traister writes that Warren doesn’t have the typical qualities of a political superstar, but given her blank-slate appeal and battle-tested backbone, it’s not hard to understand why she rolls with a pretty big posse.
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