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Call That a Budget? (New Yorker)
James Surowiecki points out that when given the chance to craft his ideal budget, Paul Ryan followed a simple mantra: less welfare, more warfare. In fact, only warfare, since the rest of the government has to share 0.75 percent of GDP.
Why People Hate the Banks (NYT)
Joe Nocera notes the mounting evidence that the big banks' credit card debt collection is about as above-board as their loan servicing, which is to say it's a mess of people who may or may not owe anything being harassed over forged paperwork.
Where Housing Once Boomed, Recovery Lags (NYT)
Binyamin Appelbaum writes that there are still few signs of economic life in the areas that were hit the hardest when the housing bubble burst, as residents continue to struggle with a serious debt hangover with no hair of the dog to ease the pain.
Nannies Making Six-figures? What Childcare Workers Really Take Home (Forbes)
ND2.0 Editor Bryce Covert notes that although some high-end nannies earn lavish salaries, it's not all caviar and French lessons for the 99 percent of childcare workers who are lucky if they can even afford to live in the same city as their employers.
The Employer Strikes Back (TAP)
Josh Eidelson observes that lockouts are becoming increasingly popular as employers pressure unionized workers to give in to their demands before they bring in temp workers who won't be so mouthy about wanting fair pay and decent benefits.
The Politics of Going to College (NYT)
Thomas Edsall notes that it's easy to see why Republicans don't want more Americans going to college -- it creates more Democrats. But it also creates tensions within the Democratic Party between the genuinely poor and the liberally guilty.
Senior citizens continue to bear burden of student loans (WaPo)
Research shows Americans age 60 and over still owe $36 billion in student loans, including their own debt and loans they've co-signed with younger family members. Looks like they're going to have to pawn their golden years to make the payments.
Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest (NYT)
In a 5-4 split, the Court ruled authorities have the right to strip-search anyone they arrest, no matter how minor the offense. To recap, having to buy insurance: Not-liberty. Having your rectal cavity searched because you didn't signal a turn: Liberty.
Crankocracy In America (TNR)
Timothy Noah argues the real winners of Citizens United weren't corporations, whose politics are always tempered by shareholders and PR concerns, but the loopy right-wing billionaires who are using Super PACs to let their freak flags fly.
The Most (And Least) Valuable Committees In Congress, In 1 Graph (NPR)
A Sunlight Foundation analysis finds that fundraising is a cinch for members of the Ways and Means Committee, which drafts tax legislation, but it's harder for the Judiciary Committee, which only gets attention when it tries to impeach someone.
With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.