Daily Digest - March 5: Giving the Budget 40 Whacks

Mar 5, 2013Tim Price

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The Sequester's Hidden Danger (NYRB)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick argues the real danger of the sequester isn't the cuts themselves but the dangerous mindset of austerity advocates who see the lemmings rushing off the cliff in Europe and think, "Oooh, I wonder what's down there."

Charity Case (Washington Monthly)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane looks at how donors and taxpayers get fleeced for $40 billion a year to prop up failing nonprofits that can only charitably be referred to as charities, no matter how much their directors enjoy the resulting trip to Vegas.

Controversial activist takes on the telecom industry (WaPo)

Cecilia Kang talks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford about her new book, Captive Audience, and why our cable and cell phone bills are too damn high. (Hint: If telecom giants like Comcast don't face any competition, who's going to lower them?)

As Automatic Budget Cuts Go Into Effect, Poor May Be Hit Particularly Hard (NYT)

Annie Lowrey notes that even with programs like CHIP and TANF protected from sequestration, there are still billions of dollars of cuts slated for programs that help needy families. On the plus side, once their aid is cut off, Republicans might finally admit they're poor.

Regulators and Prosecutors Gird for Sequester Cuts (Compliance Week)

Joe Mont warns that while the Fed, FDIC, and OCC have been spared, regulators like the SEC, CFPB, and CFTC aren't so lucky, meaning the full implementation of financial reform rules will be delayed. No hurry; the global economy will just be over there waiting.

Republican goal to balance budget could mean deep cuts to health programs (WaPo)

Lori Montgomery reports that with budgetary blood already in the water, the House GOP may soon go into a full-on feeding frenzy: Paul Ryan is drafting a plan to balance the budget within 10 years by cutting into Medicare benefits -- even for the over-55 untouchables.

Nothing New Under the Wingnut Sun: Reckless Spending Cuts (The Nation)

Rick Perlstein writes that while President Obama may have thought the sequester beyond the pale even for the GOP, conservative icons like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan have shown that when handed an axe, they will go full Lizzie Borden on the budget.

The Maximum Impact of the Minimum Wage (Prospect)

Harold Meyerson takes on Christina Romer's claim that raising the minimum wage is a half-measure compared to raising the EITC and instituting universal pre-K, because as we know, most major vendors accept cash, credit, or your kids' education as payment.

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