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Time for 'Banksters' to be prosecuted (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that it's good that bankers are sick of justifying their actions, because we're all sick of hearing it. The problem is that our leaders continue to let them get away with murder (figuratively, if only for lack of a good test case).
The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption (NYT)
Eduardo Porter notes how disturbing it is that massive fraud and corruption in the financial sector and throughout corporate America has become less of a shock and more of an expectation, like an aging rock star playing his biggest hit in concert.
The Truth About Obama's Tax Proposal (Robert Reich)
Reich explains why letting tax cuts on income over $250,000 expire doesn't punish the rich but denies them special bonus prizes, why businesses will be just fine, and why returning to the Clintonian tyranny of the booming '90s might not be so bad.
In Lost Opportunity of 1932, Are There Lessons for Today? (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett points out that Herbert Hoover had plenty of smart people (plus the House) telling him that deflation was a bigger problem than deficits, but he ignored them, figuring "Hey, if I'm wrong, at least no one will make this mistake again."
Fed Harms Itself by Missing Goals (Bloomberg)
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers argue the Fed's transparency kick has had the unintended consequence of making it crystal clear that what it knows it should do, what it says it's doing, and what it's really doing are three different things.
Richer Rich, and Poorer Poor (NYT)
Catherine Rampell highlights a new study that shows today's workers are earning more than their parents across the income spectrum, but the poorest are worth less than ever while the richest keep filling their swimming pool of money with fresh bills.
States Face Tough Choices Even as Downturn Ends (NYT)
Michael Cooper writes that as states debate whether to cut taxes or restore spending, Kansas and Maryland offer good test cases. One is confronting hard questions about the long-term consequences of spending, and the other is Kansas.
Medicaid's Stimulative Effect (WaPo)
Sarah Kliff notes that Republicans who plan to reject the Medicaid expansion should consider that studies show Medicaid spending is an excellent form of economic stimulus, a fair trade-off for the painful sacrifice of letting poor people see a doctor.
Republican Negative Ad Spending Explodes (The Nation)
Ben Adler writes that Karl Rove's new $25 million campaign is the latest in an avalanche of conservative attack ads -- an acknowledgment that a well-informed electorate is essential to democracy and the last thing they want showing up at the polls.
The Machine and the Garden (NYT)
Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that changing the metaphors we use to describe our economy will help us recognize that government intervention isn't throwing a wrench in the works of a well-oiled machine but ensuring our garden doesn't go to seed.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.