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Homeless, Hungry, Hung Out to Dry (Prospect)
With just over a week to go before Sequestration Day (Have you made your party plans yet? Bought the budget piñata for the kids?), NND Editor Bryce Covert looks at the people and programs that will be affected by deep discretionary spending cuts.
Moving the Goal Posts: Simpson and Bowles Renege on Their Own Plan for More Revenue (Think Progress)
Jeff Spross notes that Simpson-Bowles 2: Simpson-Bowles Harder would build on existing deficit reduction measures by adding a lot more spending cuts and just a little more revenue, bringing it more in line with the imaginary version Republicans support.
One on One: Susan P. Crawford, Author of 'Captive Audience' (NYT)
Brian Chen talks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford about how the deregulation and merger of telecom giants is stifling competition and high-speed Internet access, making it that much harder to watch the Gangnam Style parodies your aunt sends you.
The Real Problem With the Big Banks (New Yorker)
James Surowiecki argues that if you strip away all the incomprehensible derivatives schemes and make banks more transparent, they're still going to be banks, which, even in their vanilla form, require much stricter regulation than your corner drug store.
Prosecutors, Shifting Strategy, Build New Wall Street Cases (NYT)
Ben Protess reports that the Justice Department plans to start taking a tougher approach with financial fraud cases, emphasizing guilty pleas over fines and promises of good behavior. In layman's terms, this strategy is known as "trying to win the case."
Ten Things You Should Know About #TheRealTANF (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann clears up common misconceptions about the low-income financial assistance program as it comes up for renewal, highlighting key facts about how it works, who it's reaching, and why it's failing. Spoilers: They're all pretty depressing.
Southern poverty pimps (Salon)
Michael Lind argues that, like so much in American culture, our economic debate is all about the North-South divide -- specifically, between the northern model that invests in people and the southern model that relies on treating them as poorly as possible.
How the ultra-rich are pulling away from the 'merely' rich (WaPo)
Dylan Matthews notes that new data from Piketty and Saez show inequality is increasing even at the very top, where people are getting so rich that they're discovering previously unknown categories of richness, like the Lewises and Clarks of affluence.