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By Tim Price, originally posted on Next New Deal

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Retrench Warfare (Prospect)

The deal passed, the fiscal cliff has been averted for now, and Democrats ... won? Kind of? Robert Kuttner explains why it's hard to muster the enthusiasm for a full-on Snoopy Dance over the results of a battle we shouldn't have been fighting in the first place.

The Ongoing War: After the Battle Over the Cliff, the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling (Robert Reich)

Now that the last big manufactured fiscal crisis has been resolved, enjoy this 24-hour respite before the next one begins. Robert Reich warns that the absence of a debt ceiling increase in the deal means the GOP's campaign against government will continue.

Fixing the economy, a new focus for Congress (WaPo)

As lawmakers gird themselves for their next debate about whether they should harm the economy a lot or just a little bit, Katrina vanden Heuvel urges them to instead make 2013 the year they actually focus on making America stronger and more equal.

Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR (Naked Capitalism)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller writes that while fiscal cliff coverage focused on individual tax rates, corporate lobbyists took pains to ensure the deal didn't overlook the stuff that really matters, like tax breaks for building big circles for cars to drive around.

Bigger Tax Bite for Most Under Fiscal Pact (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum and Catherine Rampell note that the deal's income tax increases will only affect top earners, but the expiration of the payroll tax cut means people living paycheck to paycheck will have more to fear than America's embattled half-millionaires.

The Estate Tax is a Huge Giveaway in the Fiscal Cliff Talks (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien writes that holding the estate tax below Clinton levels as part of the deal costs twice as much revenue as chained CPI would save. So we almost cut benefits for average senior citizens, but we're looking out for the ones with $20 million in the bank.

Why Tom Harkin and a Handful of Other Progressives Opposed the Deal (The Nation)

John Nichols notes that most progressives in Congress voted for the deal despite reservations, but a few holdouts argued that since voters have twice embraced a promise to raise taxes on anyone making over $250K, they might reasonably expect for that to happen.

The House Republicans' Primal Scream (Slate)

Dave Weigel writes that the fracturing of the House Republicans, of whom only 85 out of 240 voted for the fiscal cliff deal, highlights the uncomfortable position of the uber-conservatives who can't get everything they want and can't support any compromise.

U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service (Bloomberg)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford argues that access to high-speed Internet is as essential to modern life as clean water and electricity, and it requires the same kind of government regulation that ensures we aren't all drinking mud by candlelight.

Sharers, Takers, Carers, Makers (NYT)

Nancy Folbre writes that the makers vs. takers rhetoric that defined our politics in 2012 represents a flawed view of a healthy economy and, unless those "makers" started early and pulled themselves up by their onesies, a flawed view of the human life cycle.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Meanwhile, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, ceriboo

    Bloomberg News is right on top of the story with this teaser line from its front page:

    Justin Bieber, JPMorgan Chase Fight It Out in Prepaid Debit-Card Market
    That whirring sound you hear is JP spinning in his grave.

    We are often so identified with whatever thoughts we may be having that we don’t realize the thoughts are a commentary on reality, and not reality itself. -- Gangaji

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:43:51 AM PST

  •  this is a consumer tarbaby (0+ / 0-)
    U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service (Bloomberg) Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford argues that access to high-speed Internet is as essential to modern life as clean water and electricity, and it requires the same kind of government regulation that ensures we aren't all drinking mud by candlelight.
    The American copper wire telephone system is, in fact, becoming obsolete. The physical switches used in the network are reaching the end of their useful lives. But now that cable has won the battle for wired Internet service and consumers are moving to mobile phones for voice service, the telephone companies are looking to shed the obligation to maintain their networks at all.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. is rapidly losing the global race for high-speed connectivity, as fewer than 8 percent of households have fiber service. And almost 30 percent of the country still isn’t connected to the Internet at all.
    The Internet has taken the place of the telephone as the world’s basic, general-purpose, two-way communication medium. All Americans need high-speed access, just as they need clean water, clean air and electricity. But they have allowed a naive belief in the power and beneficence of the free market to cloud their vision. As things stand, the U.S. has the worst of both worlds: no competition and no regulation.

    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 Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:46:36 AM PST

  •  This is the official line from Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hedwig, ceriboo, Jack Hare

    Actually I just got this in an email from David Plouffe;

    David Plouffe on 2012 Deal

    IMO we just won just a skirmish with these neo-Repugs bent on destroying the economy.  But at least we won.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:49:31 AM PST

  •  Our Government does not Work! (0+ / 0-)

    Can we just admit that Grover Norquist, the GOP, the Tea Party and the Republican Party have at last succeded in one task:  They have made our Government totally non-functioning!

    Really, the Republican Party has been working to destroy our government for years.  All of their policies have been designed with one objective in mind.  How do we make sure that the government cannot work?  How can we make sure that the Congress cannot work?  How can we make sure that the Senate cannot work?  Ok, the Senate and the House passed a bill that let's the government function for a couple of months, but in the minds of every one of the Republicans in the House and the Senate was the idea that in just a few more months they could play all of their shenanigans again with the "debt ceiling".

    Seriously, do you think that this Congress could pass the United States Constitution?  Don't even go so far as to even consider all of the 27 amendments!  This Congress cannot provide relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy!

    Can this Congress pass legislation that limits the ability of criminals and mentally deranged -certifiably incompetent - individuals to buy assault rifles?  You know that the answer is "NO".  The Right wing has made this government where it cannot work!

    Now, if the question were asked, would Oregon rather have an alliance with Vancouver or Mississippi?  Would Maine rather be allied with Quebec or Arizona?  How many states would choose to remain aligned in the United States of America if this question were put to a vote.  The right wing immediately asked to secede simply because they did not like the results of the election in 2012. Maybe we need to think about this!

    Dick Cheney said, "Pi$$ on 'em!" And, Ronald Reagan replied, "That's a Great Idea. Let's Call it 'Trickle Down Economics!"

    by NM Ray on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:54:06 AM PST

  •  The US economy... (0+ / 0-)

    ...does exactly the opposite of the meaning of the word 'economy'.
    It is the most massive and wasteful Ponzi scheme concocted in world-history.
    Neither democratic or republican solutions result in any meaningful change. It's just like organizing deck-chairs on the Titanic while steaming full-speed towards a number of equally dangerous icebergs.
    I consider myself not eloquent enough to fully and succinctly explain the vast causes, impacts and estimated outcomes.
    For this:
    Watch the movie/documentary 'Zeitgeist Moving Forward' (available for free on www.zeitgeistmovie.com) to see how the currently completely unsustainable US financial system works and how it must change.

    Oh and the earlier 'Zeitgeist' movies are pretty cool and chack-a-block with interesting stuff too.

     

    There were never any good old days, they are today, they are tomorrow! It's just a stupid thing to say, cursing tomorrow with sorrow! (Eugene Hutz)

    by Kalong on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:05:30 PM PST

  •  the 250k marker (0+ / 0-)
    voters have twice embraced a promise to raise taxes on anyone making over $250K, they might reasonably expect for that to happen.
    that's not what I voted for.

    i voted for someone who promised not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250K a year.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:16:36 PM PST

    •  The tax difference is 4.6% X $200,000 (0+ / 0-)

      Or $9,000 for everyone making $450,000 or above.

      It is not a huge amount.

      The dividend cut from the Clinton rates to the Obama rates is 19.6% and most of the very rich can figure out how to pay themselves in dividends.

      The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

      by NCJim on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:21:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And remember the millionaires and billionaires... (0+ / 0-)

        have to pay the full 39.6% rate on everything over the $400,000/$450,000 earned income.

        The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

        by NCJim on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:26:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  At least the estate tax went up from the Bush TC. (0+ / 0-)

    What we need to fix now is the Bush dividend tax cut staying.

    There is no reason why dividends should not be taxed at earned income levels.  No reason at all.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:17:31 PM PST

  •  Oh my. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird

    Naked Capitalism and Matt Stoller?

    Don't you know there's a firm "no conspiracy theory" policy around here?

    You might as well cite the New York Times or Washington Post.

  •  For those who are disappointed that the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    democrattotheend

    top tax bracket was fixed at $400k rather than $200k:  FDR, during peace time, had a 80% marginal rate but the top bracket then began at $5,000,000.  

  •  Not sure I agree about means testing (0+ / 0-)

    I understand the arguments against it, but I still feel that it is a less bad outcome than chained CPI, and I think the arguments against it could just as easily apply to proposals to eliminate the cap.

    If you eliminate the cap, some people will pay in so much more than what they get in benefits that they will resent it just as those who would not get benefits or would get limited benefits under means testing would.

    To be clear, I support raising the cap and indexing it to inflation, but eliminating it entirely would have the same effect as means testing.

    Furthermore, I think there is an important counter argument to the idea that means testing would create resentment, which is that many resent the program now for not means testing. I'm a 20-something and most of my friends are Democrats, but most of us do not expect, or at least are not counting on, being able to receive the SS benefits we are promised when we retire. Most of my friends have no problem paying for seniors in need, but do not understand why money is coming out of their paycheck to support rich seniors while they are struggling.

    I understand the idea of SS being a social insurance program rather than a welfare program, but I don't see any way to sustain that without raising payroll taxes or raising the retirement age, neither of which I think is a good idea. Eliminating the cap would also destroy SS' character as social insurance rather than welfare, because it would create a situation where some people pay in so much more than they get out that you cannot possibly claim they benefit from the program.

    If they were to means test, it should be based only on income, not assets, because you don't want to create a situation where people have to go broke in order to collect SS. But I think a compromise solution that should be explored is a hybrid of means testing and raising the retirement age: not allowing seniors under 75 who make over a certain amount to collect until they actually retire. SS was designed to provide retirement replacement income, and other than those working low wage jobs who really need the supplement, there is no reason people need to collect SS if they are not retired. I think between 65 and 75, higher income seniors should have a choice: they can keep working or they can retire and collect SS, but not both. That way, it gives them an incentive to free up some jobs for younger workers and limits SS to those who are actually retired (or even partially retired earning a little on the side).

  •  this is why the deal though necessary (0+ / 0-)

    is hard to take.

    Why Tom Harkin and a Handful of Other Progressives Opposed the Deal (The Nation)

    John Nichols notes that most progressives in Congress voted for the deal despite reservations, but a few holdouts argued that since voters have twice embraced a promise to raise taxes on anyone making over $250K, they might reasonably expect for that to happen.

    I have to trust that the Dem leadership have planned this thing as a long term goal, a decades long strategy, so to speak.

    The Democrats now own everything from the center right to the far left. the republicans and the filthy robberbarons occupy the extreme right fringe.

    by longtimelurker on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:49:04 PM PST

  •  so i went fishing and got two links ! (0+ / 0-)

    but it's up to you to say whether or not they help untangle your thinking cables as much as they helped untangle mine, regarding the mcconnell-biden plan's details, and its impact: one carnivorous chomp at a time.

    now if only i had a new lamp to trade for that old one...
    and some 'odor-clearing' scented oil...

    * Join: The Action: End the Bush Tax Cuts for Richest Two Percent * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:22:34 PM PST

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