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Why is Washington Obsessing About the Deficit and Not Jobs and Wages? (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that Democrats won the election in part by persuading voters that priority number one was job creation, not deficit reduction. And with that settled, policymakers are ready to dive right into the jobs problem just as soon as they're finished reducing the deficit.
The Federal Reserve Gets Down to Business (Prospect)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues that with the adoption of the Evans Rule, the Fed is proving it's in for the long haul and that it's come a long way from when Rick Perry was threatening to pull the waistband of Ben Bernanke's underwear over his head.
The G.O.P.'s Existential Crisis (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that the Republicans' real worry isn't the national debt, which is so catastrophic that investors are begging the U.S. to borrow their money, but that President Obama won't just give them what they want so they don't have to figure out what that is.
The Permanent Budget Crisis (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that Democrats have good reason to want to use any budget deal to permanently defuse the debt ceiling as a political threat, but for Republicans, it's like being asked to give up their new favorite toy just because it's coated in toxic lead paint.
Obama's trump card on the debt limit (WaPo)
Matt Miller suggests that if the GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling enough to enable Obama's anti-colonial socialism, he should just ask for the $6 trillion increase needed to cover the Ryan budget. Holy hypocrites, how will the Boy Wonder get out of this one?
As State Budgets Rebound, Federal Cuts Could Pose Danger (NYT)
State budgets are finally back on solid footing in the wake of the recession, but Michael Cooper reports that state officials worry cuts to the federal aid that makes up a third of their revenue could leave them sinking back into the quicksand and unable to afford a rope.
New language, same findings: Tax hikes on the rich won't cripple the economy (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm notes that the Congressional Research Service report that Republicans censored because it rejected the correlation between top tax rates and economic growth has been revised to reflect that they're still wrong about that, but they think they aren't.
Income Malaise of Middle Class Complicates Democrats' Stance in Talks (NYT)
Annie Lowrey writes that Democrats have a strong hand due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, but it's weakened by the fact that they know it will hurt people who can't afford it. But given the need for revenue, it could be a headache vs. head wound kind of choice.
Today in Poverty: GOP Leadership and Violence Against Native Women (The Nation)
There must be something less depressing than the fiscal cliff negotiations going on in Congress, right? Oh, Republicans are holding up the Violence Against Women Act because it helps Native American women too much. Thanks, Greg Kaufmann. Thanks a lot.
Video: "Big Write-Offs Will Inspire You," Top AIG Exec Raps About Bailout (MoJo)
Rich white conservative guys doing funny raps: Is it ever not a great idea? The Treasury Department is claiming a $22.7 billion profit on the AIG bailout, but hate-watching this could cause you to question why we didn't raze it to the ground and salt the earth.