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Fiscal Cliff: The End Game (Prospect)
Robert Kuttner notes that President Obama is holding firm on taxes and edging away from Social Security cuts, but he argues that fixing the economy is the key to fixing the deficit, while the GOP's approach would have the horse galloping head-first into the cart.
Life, Death and Deficits (NYT)
Paul Krugman explains why raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare is one of those "solutions" that doesn't really fix anything, and debunks the deficit quacks who seem to believe that people used to burn out like a light bulb when they hit 65.
The Growing Global Movement Against Austerity (Truthdig)
Amy Goodman writes that between tragic suicides in Spain, general strikes across Europe, and the "Rolling Jubilee" in the U.S., the public is sending a clear message about austerity. But can that signal penetrate the white noise generated by politicians?
School Districts Brace for Cuts as Fiscal Crisis Looms (NYT)
Motoko Rich notes that sequestration would cut over $2 billion from education, placing the greatest strain on the threadbare budgets of schools that serve the neediest students. Can't they teach themselves? They've never heard of public libraries? Oh, wait.
Obama must kill the debt limit (WaPo)
Matt Miller argues that while Obama ruled out using the 14th Amendment to bypass the debt ceiling last time, he should now recognize that doing so to prevent future blackmail attempts by Republicans is not just the "constitutional option" but the sane one.
Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy (Bloomberg)
For those frustrated that the storm that physically cut them off from the world also knocked out their ability to communicate, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford questions cell phone companies' claim that they have a constitutional right to incompetence.
America's Mid-20th Century Infrastructure (NYT)
Uwe Reinhardt offers his euro-socialist perspective on America's widespread infrastructure problems: instead of investing in peanut butter and candles to get us through blackouts, what if we just spent the money to make sure everything works properly?
Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that voters' decision to raise the minimum wage in three cities was not only a crucial response to rising inequality but an acknowledgment that a wage isn't "minimum" if it isn't enough to do things like, say, find a place to live.
Mitt Romney's America: Why Makers, 'Gifts,' and Takers Is a Losing Vision (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson argues that if Republicans learn anything from Romney's failure to charm voters by labeling half of them as greedy losers, it should be that they need to help people up the economic ladder instead of throwing rocks at those at the bottom.
Why Republicans Lack a Compelling Economic Agenda (Bloomberg)
Josh Barro writes that the GOP's failure to convince voters that implementing conservative policies would improve their personal economic situation might have something to do with the fact that conservatives don't approve of any policies that would actually do that.