Daily Digest - April 17: File Away

Apr 17, 2012Tim Price

What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.

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A consensus we can't afford (WaPo)

Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that what used to make bipartisanship possible was an economy that worked for everyone. Now the only economic consensus among our political elites seems to be that people aren't suffering quite enough yet -- but they have plans to fix that.

For Two Economists, the Buffett Rule is Just a Start (NYT)

The Buffett Rule is dead thanks to a GOP filibuster, but Annie Lowrey reports that economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty think that with inequality higher than it was in the 1930s, setting top tax rates at a third of what they were under FDR is the next best thing to saying "Yeah, I've got nothing."

Top Ten Tax Facts (TAP)

Happy Tax Day! Waiting two extra days was hard even for those who file at the last minute to really savor the experience, but Ben Pack has some tidbits even hardcore tax fans might not have known. For instance: Republican tax policy is based on faleshoods and actively makes the deficit worse. Tell a friend!

Corruption is Why You Can't Do Your Taxes in Five Minutes (Republic Report)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller explains that there's a good reason filling out your taxes is as simple and straightforward as trying to translate ancient texts excavated from the ruins of an alien civilization. If it wasn't, how would software companies sell you their secret decoder rings?

Taxed by the boss (Reuters)

David Cay Johnston highlights a report from Good Jobs First that finds 16 states have worked out deals with many companies like GE and Goldman Sachs to let them keep state income taxes collected from their employees' paychecks. Don't think of it as stealing from workers; let's just call it "privatized taxes."

The Top 10 Facts About the Wage Gap (CAP)

Tax Day gets all the press, but as Sarah Jane Glynn and Audrey Powers note, today is also Equal Pay Day, which lucky ladies around the country get to celebrate by calculating what they owe on the 77 percent of men's wages they've earned. And if that's not galling enough, here's an infographic to rub it in.

The War on Public-Sector Workers (Truthout)

Dean Baker argues that policymakers aren't being totally honest when they claim public workers are being too richly rewarded for performing tasks like teaching children or rescuing people from burning buildings when compared to the heroic efforts of the financial elites keeping the world safe for private equity.

U.S. Nominee is Elected to Lead World Bank (WSJ)

The World Bank announced yesterday that Obama nominee Jim Yong Kim, global health expert and Dartmouth president, will take over as head of the organization effective July 1. Does it still count as an election if only one person's vote ever mattered at all? That's usually just referred to as a choice.

Romney's Definition of Freedom (Slate)

Eliot Spitzer writes that after listening to Mitt Romney's speech to the NRA last week, it sounds like he's tossed aside FDR's conception of the Four Freedoms and whittled it down to just one that should be much easier for the rich and powerful to remember: Freedom from Responsibility.

The Fight for American Liberalism (The Nation)

Eric Alterman argues that when progressives get it wrong, we cause Americans to lose faith in government and come off as bloodless technocrats with no purpose and no pulse. But when we get it right, as FDR did with his mix of optimism and "militant liberalism," we have the ability to transform society.

With additional research by Elena Callahan.

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