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When talk was of investing in public good (Reuters)
Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Elizabeth Pearson warns that Grover Norquist should think twice about pointing to the states as a policy model, since the mad scientists in the laboratories of democracy have a history of supporting higher taxes for a good cause.
Did Social Security and Medicare Crash the Economy? (Yahoo! Finance)
Dean Baker notes that the current debate would suggest that the safety net is the source of all our woes, but if we gaze back through the mists of time to 2008, when the stars were young and dragons roamed the earth, we may recall that Wall Street was at fault.
Patience: Just What the Doctor Ordered (For Deficit Reduction) (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn writes that ruling out Medicare and Medicaid cuts will give us time to see if the Affordable Care Act is able to reduce costs, whereas the current approach is like prescribing aspirin for a headache and then immediately recommending a lobotomy.
Media elites: Cut Medicare! (Salon)
Alex Pareene argues that Democrats could turn the deficit into a surplus and transmute lead into gold and the "moderate" media still wouldn't be satisfied until they got entitlement cuts, which they root for the way some people back their favorite football teams.
Defense Spending Cuts Are More Popular Than "Entitlement" Cuts (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias notes that elected officials are in the awkward position of pushing cuts to the safety net that voters can't stand while opposing defense cuts that voters are all for, though even the GOP views the latter as the next best option to flawless victory.
The dangerous fiscal deadline isn't Dec. 31 – it's February 2013 (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm points out that another debt ceiling showdown looms on the horizon even if the fiscal cliff negotiations go smoothly, which is why Democrats are demanding that Republicans preemptively release the hostages as part of any grand compromise.
Inequality is not just about taxes and education (EPI)
Josh Bivens argues that while people like President Obama have their hearts in the right place when they talk about fighting inequality and investing in education, the real cause of growing inequality is not that our kids are so dumb but that our rich are so rich.
How Sandy Saved Occupy (Prospect)
Sharon Lerner writes that Occupy volunteers' efforts to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy have illustrated what the movement is all about and connected it with the struggling working class far more than any witty placards or bongo performances.
How do you spell relief on Wall Street? SEC gridlock (Fortune)
Cyrus Sanati notes that the elevation of Elisse Walter to head the SEC leaves it deadlocked between left(ish) and right, and until Obama gets new appointments through, anyone hoping to see Dodd-Frank implemented should settle in for a long winter's nap.
Walmart's Strategy of Deniability for Workers' Safety (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson argues that the tragic deaths in a Bangladesh clothing factory are like a modern-day Triangle Shirtwaist fire, but Walmart's delivering its standard response: "They didn't really work us, and by the way, check out our prices on Blu-ray players!"