Daily Digest - January 11: Coin-Operated Government

Jan 11, 2013Tim Price

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Coins Against Crazies (NYT)

Paul Krugman makes his case for minting the trillion-dollar platinum coin: it might sound like a big joke, but it's better to find a way to laugh off the debt ceiling threat than to allow Republicans to turn the full faith and credit of the United States into a punch line.

Debt Ceiling and Guns: Using Presidential Authority to the Fullest (Robert Reich)

Reich argues that the debt ceiling and mass gun violence both pose a threat to the U.S., and in times like this the president must use every obscure power at his disposal to protect the country. Even Superman had to pull out the super-ventriloquism on occasion.

The Debt Ceiling's Escape Hatch (NYT)

If coins don't cut it for you, Edward Kleinbard suggests the White House could sidestep the debt ceiling by issuing IOUs to the people and institutions to whom it owes money. Better yet, it could make them green and adorn them with the faces of dead presidents.

The debt reduction that's already happened (MSNBC)

Steve Benen notes that if we're going to treat deficit reduction as a priority, we should acknowledge that Obama has already signed $2.4 trillion worth into law, mostly in the form of spending cuts. Or does that make spending cuts socialist by the transitive property?

On Budget Cuts, the Political Gap is Informational, Not Ideological (Yahoo! Finance)

Dean Baker writes that the budget stalemate isn't caused by entitlements, because the Republican base doesn't want to cut them either. In fact, they don't want to cut most things, but they're convinced the deficit is driven by the U.S. equivalent of the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Is Jack Lew a Friend to Wall Street? (National Journal)

Michael Hirsh argues that sending Jack Lew to Treasury will continue what Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson calls the "Wall Street trading culture" of the Obama administration, which is often too busy watching out for banks to do much watching over them.

The Reason Republicans Don't Like Jack Lew (Slate)

Matthew Yglesias notes that the GOP's formerly cordial relationship with Jack Lew turned sour during the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, when he repeatedly foiled their attempts to cut a deal by being that guy who knows things and understands how numbers add up.

Betrayed by Basel (NYT)

Simon Johnson writes that the Basel Committee's decision this week to water down its liquidity requirements for banks illustrates the danger of leaving international regulation in the hands of eurozone countries who have enough trouble regulating themselves.

The Global Domestic Workforce is Enormous -- and Very Vulnerable (The Nation)

NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that a new report shows that there were at least 52.6 million domestic workers worldwide as of 2010, but given how poor working conditions are and how slow improvement has been, its best news for them is that misery has company.

Hilda Solis steps down as Labor Secretary. So how did she do? (WaPo)

Hilda Solis announced her resignation this week, and while she might not have cut a Frances Perkins-like profile for herself, Brad Plumer writes that she acquitted herself well for someone competing with the Secretary of Commerce for most obscure Cabinet position.

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