Daily Digest - November 21: Dear Congress, Don't Screw Up. Love, Ben

Nov 21, 2012Tim Price

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A Chance to Tackle Inequality (NYT)

Eduardo Porter suggests that before fiscal cliff negotiators begin patting themselves on the back for working out a bipartisan compromise to shrink the safety net, they should consider whether it needs to be made bigger to catch everyone who's falling.

Bernanke to Congress: Don't flub the austerity crisis (WaPo)

Neil Irwin reports that the Fed chairman didn't offer any specific policy recommendations for a fiscal cliff deal in his speech yesterday, but as has now become customary in his messages to Congress, he did ask them to try not to make everything terrible.

The New Republican Tax Policy (NYT)

Bruce Bartlett argues that the GOP must give up on its "starve the beast" strategy and accept that taxes are going to go up one way or another, as its current approach only creates larger deficits while the beast grows to Clifford the Big Red Dog proportions.

Return of the 47 percent: The right's latest tax lie (Salon)

Michael Lind looks at a new report from a conservative think tank that claims an unprecedented number of Americans are paying no federal income taxes, which winds up being an accidental argument that FDR's Republican successors ruined everything.

Wall Street Group Behind Poll Supporting Social Security Cuts (CAF)

Richard Eskow notes that Lloyd Blankfein has called for raising the retirement age for Social Security, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that he's finally told us what to do. And what do you know, Wall Street's own polls show we already agree with him.

Jobless Benefits as an Antipoverty Program (NYT)

Catherine Rampell warns that the expiration of extended unemployment insurance threatens the 2.3 million people, including 620,000 children, who are living just above the poverty line (or as the GOP would have it, taking a paid vacation) thanks to those benefits.

Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday's strike (Guardian)

Sarah Jaffe writes that as Walmart gears up for its annual orgy of consumerism, the workers who have gone on strike are challenging the notion that the way to "live better" is by fighting to the death over the last WiiU instead of fighting for a decent wage.

Worker Group Alleges Walmart 'Told Store-Level Management to Threaten Workers' About Strikes (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson reports that OUR Walmart continues to file charges with the NLRB alleging that the retail giant is cracking down on workers behind the scenes. Walmart denies that any retaliation is taking place while quietly pounding its fist into its palm.

Michigan Republicans Push for Tax Breaks for Fetuses (RH Reality Check)

Robin Marty notes that the Michigan GOP is combining the chocolate and peanut butter of the conservative agenda by delivering tax cuts straight to the womb. But once those kids are born, they're on their own with the whole health care thing.

Rich People Who Don't Understand Taxes Should Be Told So (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson asks that we all take some pity on the poor (but in this case, very rich) souls who understand so little about how marginal tax rates work that the thought of raising taxes leaves them terrified by the prospect of making more money.

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