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Boehner tries to call a mulligan (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that John Boehner's fiscal cliff proposal is essentially what he offered in 2011 before Republicans bet they could do better and scrapped the deal. But they didn't like what was behind door number two, so they'd rather pretend they never opened it.
The Fiscal Cliff Is Better Than Boehner's Lousy Offer (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn argues that Boehner's letter at least puts House Republicans on the record with an offer, but since it's still worse than what Obama could get by doing nothing, they're not really meeting him halfway so much as waving to him from across the field.
Washington's Serious People Are on the War Path (Truthout)
Dean Baker writes that groups like Fix the Debt don't have time for liberal nonsense about the recession; they know our real economic problem is the social safety net because the market told them so, possibly after appearing to them in the form of a burning bush.
Greedy Geezers, Reconsidered (Prospect)
Robert Kuttner argues that Petersonian rhetoric about the old robbing the young to pay for their lifestyle obscures the fact that the economy and austerity have been bad for the poor regardless of age, and that your grandma's plastic-covered sofa isn't the lap of luxury.
Citizens Protest Looming 'Fiscal Cliff' Buget Cuts (The Nation)
Allison Kilkenny highlights demonstrations that have taken place across the country to remind lawmakers that there are real people on the other end of those budget numbers, and they're not all wearing three-piece suits. In fact, some are wearing a lot less than that.
The Debt Limit Is the Real Fiscal Cliff (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett argues that the sky won't fall because of the fiscal cliff, but we should still be worried about banging our heads against the debt ceiling if Republicans take hostages and force Obama to choose between breaking his constitutional oath a little bit or a lot.
Forget the Cliff, Fix the U.S. Tax System (Bloomberg)
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers predict someone will blink just in time to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff, but the question is whether they'll take the opportunity to streamline the tax code into something that looks like it was designed by a rational human mind.
Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low (Think Progress)
Pat Garofalo notes that corporate earnings grew to $1.75 trillion last quarter, but workers' wages now account for just 43 percent of GDP when they used to be at least half. Either execs are pocketing the rest or someone's ordering way too many office supplies.
The Ambition Myth: Debunking a Common Excuse for the Gender Wage Gap (The Atlantic)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that one theory about what's holding women back is women themselves, who'd rather play with Barbies or braid hair than pursue career goals, but research shows that women do ask for more. The answer just tends to be "no."
Ladies, Uncle Sam needs your uterus! (Salon)
Irin Carmon examines the claim that what's really responsible for America's falling birth rate is the loose European morals of its women rather than, say, their increased ability to control their own lives or the total lack of basic support for parents in this country.