Daily Digest - November 13: The Debts We Owe

Nov 13, 2012Tim Price

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The President's Opening Bid on a Grand Bargain: Aim High (Robert Reich)

Reich argues that if President Obama wants to capitalize on his newfound leverage in the fiscal negotiations, he needs to make an ambitious push for top earners to pay more, not just a humble request to pretend the Bush administration never happened.

Hawks and Hypocrites (NYT)

Paul Krugman argues that deficit hawks have proven consistently wrong since their rise to power in 2010, and now that their thinly veiled effort to dismantle the safety net has gotten them what they claimed to want, they're even wrong about what's wrong with that.

It's not a fiscal cliff -- it's an austerity crisis. (WaPo)

Suzy Khimm notes that media coverage of the fiscal cliff tends to allude to the threat of an exploding deficit when the real problem is that our deficit is about to get too small too fast. But this suits policymakers whose solution is to jump off a slightly lower cliff instead.

Sweet Forgiveness (Boston Review)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal explains how soaring household debt and increased pressure on borrowers could be causing a prolonged recession and why the key to ending the slump is debt forgiveness, not more debt-shaming. #sorryricksantelli

Occupy Wall Street Activists Buy Up Debt to Abolish It (The Nation)

Allison Kilkenny reports on how the Occupy coalition Strike Debt plans to raise $50,000 to buy up about $1 million in debt and wipe the slates clean. The only obstacle may be the banks, who want to make sure homeowners rue the day they borrowed from them.

Yes We Can, We Did, and Now Obama's Second Term Is Our Responsibility (Truthdig)

Robert Scheer argues that that with the election behind us, it's time for progressives who supported Barack Obama as the lesser of two evils to start pushing for an evil-free second term, which should be easier now that the devil on his shoulder has gone Galt.

Labor Mortgages Future on Obama (Jacobin)

Mike Elk writes that after labor unions flexed some considerable muscle to help President Obama win a second term, they're hoping the debt he owes them is big enough that the strain of lifting a finger on their behalf won't feel so great over the next four years.

In need of help (The Economist)

Poverty in America is at its worst since before LBJ's Great Society, but according to the two presidential campaigns that just concluded, the only economic categories in the U.S. are the rich, the middle class, and those on the waiting list for one of those groups.

Land of the "Free Stuff," Home of the Brave (Prospect)

Paul Waldman notes that after much painful soul-searching, conservatives have finally decided why Republicans lost their bid for the White House last week. It's because the American people are a bunch of spoiled, greedy, lazy jerks who... er... hate America.

The GOP Civil War Is Now a Class War (Atlantic Wire)

Elspeth Reeve writes that as the Republican Party tries to take stock after the wake of its loss, divisions are emerging between the party elites who blame the rubes for getting too caught up in the act and the grassroots who blame the elites for, you know, elitism.

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