Daily Digest - January 2: It's a Deal

Jan 2, 2013Tim Price

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Retrench Warfare (Prospect)

The deal passed, the fiscal cliff has been averted for now, and Democrats... won? Kind of? Robert Kuttner explains why it's hard to muster the enthusiasm for a full-on Snoopy Dance over the results of a battle we shouldn't have been fighting in the first place.

The Ongoing War: After the Battle Over the Cliff, the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling (Robert Reich)

Now that the last big manufactured fiscal crisis has been resolved, enjoy this 24-hour respite before the next one begins. Robert Reich warns that the absence of a debt ceiling increase in the deal means the GOP's campaign against government will continue.

Fixing the economy, a new focus for Congress (WaPo)

As lawmakers gird themselves for their next debate about whether they should harm the economy a lot or just a little bit, Katrina vanden Heuvel urges them to instead make 2013 the year they actually focus on making America stronger and more equal.

Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR (Naked Capitalism)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller writes that while fiscal cliff coverage focused on individual tax rates, corporate lobbyists took pains to ensure the deal didn't overlook the stuff that really matters, like tax breaks for building big circles for cars to drive around.

Bigger Tax Bite for Most Under Fiscal Pact (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum and Catherine Rampell note that the deal's income tax increases will only affect top earners, but the expiration of the payroll tax cut means people living paycheck to paycheck will have more to fear than America's embattled half-millionaires.

The Estate Tax is a Huge Giveaway in the Fiscal Cliff Talks (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien writes that holding the estate tax below Clinton levels as part of the deal costs twice as much revenue as chained CPI would save. So we almost cut benefits for average senior citizens, but we're looking out for the ones with $20 million in the bank.

Why Tom Harkin and a Handful of Other Progressives Opposed the Deal (The Nation)

John Nichols notes that most progressives in Congress voted for the deal despite reservations, but a few holdouts argued that since voters have twice embraced a promise to raise taxes on anyone making over $250K, they might reasonably expect for that to happen.

The House Republicans' Primal Scream (Slate)

Dave Weigel writes that the fracturing of the House Republicans, of whom only 85 out of 240 voted for the fiscal cliff deal, highlights the uncomfortable position of the uber-conservatives who can't get everything they want and can't support any compromise.

U.S. Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service (Bloomberg)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford argues that access to high-speed Internet is as essential to modern life as clean water and electricity, and it requires the same kind of government regulation that ensures we aren't all drinking mud by candlelight.

Sharers, Takers, Carers, Makers (NYT)

Nancy Folbre writes that the makers vs. takers rhetoric that defined our politics in 2012 represents a flawed view of a healthy economy and, unless those "makers" started early and pulled themselves up by their onesies, a flawed view of the human life cycle.

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