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Resistance (on Tax Rates) Is Futile (Prospect)
Jamelle Bouie writes that Republicans have begun to realize that holding out to the bitter end on tax cuts for the rich will get them nothing but bad P.R., but even a grand bargain on President Obama's terms wouldn't be as grand as focusing on a real problem.
The Rich Have Plenty to Give, but Forget Deficits (NYT)
James K. Galbraith argues that big deficits are no big deal, especially compared to mass unemployment, but neither is raising taxes on the rich if it lowers the hawks' blood pressure. Just don't ask for shared sacrifice from people who actually need all their money.
GOP needs to choose between business community and Tea Party (WaPo)
Jonathan Bernstein notes that Republicans' hard-line stance on taxes may help in their next primary, but if they threaten to push the country into recession over it, the business leaders who have come to the party will start making their excuses and collecting their coats.
Conservative Birthrate Panic: Our Hope for Better Work/Family Policies? (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that if conservatives believe the U.S. needs to pump out more babies to win the global fertility war, they can support pro-family policies like cheap daycare and universal pre-K. But they can't have their cake and force women to bake it, too.
The Recession's Toll: How Middle Class Wealth Collapsed to a 40-Year Low (The Atlantic)
Jordan Weissmann highlights a study that shows half the net worth of the median U.S. household was washed away like a sand castle when the housing bubble burst, plunging many Americans back into the 1960s but without all the good music and day-drinking.
Unionizing the Bottom of the Pay Scale (NYT)
Eduardo Porter writes that unorthodox efforts like the Walmart protests and New York's fast food strikes point toward a new message from labor unions: You've tried keeping your head down and working hard; now how about doing that and living above the poverty line?
Report: Elizabeth Warren Gets a Banking Committee Seat (MoJo)
According to sources on Capitol Hill, Democrats have decided to give Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren a seat on the Banking Committee, where she will be lulled to sleep each night by the mournful wailing of bankers and slake her thirst with their tears upon waking.
Makers beat takers (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson notes that while Wall Street placed its bets on Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, Barack Obama claimed support from the techies of Silicon Valley, which suggests there's a political divide between the creative class and the creative accounting class.
The Hidden Cost of Boring Banking (NY Mag)
Kevin Roose writes that Dodd-Frank is forcing Wall Street banks to back off of trading activities that generated insane profits at the risk of blowing up the economy and get back to good old-fashioned money managing. The only problem is they're kind of terrible at it.
One in four Americans has an opinion about an imaginary debt plan (WaPo)
Sarah Kliff flags a new poll that shows an impressive 25 percent of Americans have taken a position on the Panetta-Burns deficit reduction plan. Now they just need to get Panetta and Burns to draft a plan so they can find out what it is that they support or oppose.