What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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Whale of a Problem: Regulators Subvert Will of Congress (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger notes that while the Volcker Rule hasn't been finalized, it's already putting a stop to proprietary trading. Banks just refer to all of it as "hedging" now, so we have successfully regulated their word choice.
Barney Frank, Brad Miller Launch Sneak Attack on OCC, Federal Reserve (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller notes that Reps. Frank and Miller have a modest proposal: If the GOP wants the CFPB to depend on congressional funding, shouldn't that also apply to the regulators they don't suspect of being ninja communists?
Economy killers: Inequality and GOP ignorance (Salon)
In an essay from The Occupy Handbook, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells argue that our economic pain is the result of the super-rich and their pet policymakers and economists treating the 1% as gods and the 99% as something scraped off the bottom of their shoes.
How to grow the middle class (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson writes that two key steps toward restoring the middle class would be raising the minimum wage and making labor organizing a civil right. Republican counter-proposal: Let's do the opposite of those things.
Workers' Pay Divide Persists (WSJ)
Neil Shah reports that the gap between the highest and lowest earners continues to widen, though that shouldn't be a problem as long as they don't interact at all. And a college degree is still the golden ticket -- or perhaps more aptly, the magic elevator.
Income of Rulers vs. the Ruled (NYT)
Catherine Rampell looks at income disparity between leaders and average citizens dating back to the Roman Empire, where even Mitt Romney would have felt a little twinge of jealousy at the size of the triumvir Crassus's coffers.
Two-paycheck couples, working because they must (WaPo)
While Ann Romney's choice to be a stay-at-home mom was as valid as anyone else's, E.J. Dionne notes that not everyone has the luxury of making that choice, just like not everyone can afford a home Cadillac and a vacation Cadillac.
Women's Work (NYT)
Linda Greenhouse writes that in the first sex discrimination case to hit a Supreme Court with three female justices, the women came down against the discrimination while most of the men failed to notice that it was happening, as is their wont.
No Deal (TNR)
Timothy Noah argues that with tax rates already too low, brackets already too few, and a deficit already too big, it would be better to do nothing than pursue counterproductive reform. Luckily, nothing is something of a specialty for this Congress.
Mad Money (TAP)
Abby Rapoport writes that goldbugs are pushing to have states accept gold coins as legal tender, but experts agree this is a harmless enough solution to a dumb enough problem that they can safely be left alone to play with their shinies.
With additional research by Elena Callahan.