February 22: How Obama Missed the Memo

Feb 22, 2012Tim Price

daily-digest-150 What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.

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The Memo that Larry Summers Didn’t Want Obama to See (TNR)
Noam Scheiber reveals evidence that Christina Romer initially wanted to push for a $1.8 trillion stimulus package, but Larry Summers decided early on that he'd rather have their bad advice taken seriously than have their good advice ignored.

Obama Offers to Cut Corporate Tax Rate to 28% (NYT)
The president is proposing to lower the corporate tax rate and close existing loopholes, but critics say it's no fun without the loopholes, which allow Fortune 500 companies to pay negative rates as if they were taxing us.

The failure of austerity politics (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel notes that GOP warnings that America could head down the same road as Greece have some merit, but they're probably not referring to how their attempts to impose painful, unnecessary cuts could spark riots in the streets.

Tax-Cut Bill Includes Updates to Jobless Benefits System (NYT)
Annie Lowrey reports that the recent tax compromise supports programs like work-sharing and Georgia Works-style job training, as policymakers finally start to stretch out and explore the possibilities only four years into a major jobs crisis.

Consumer Inquiry Focuses on Bank Overdraft Fees (NYT)
The CFPB is launching an investigation into how banks impose overdraft fees on customers, questioning whether the best way to deal with people who don't have enough money in their accounts is to shout "surprise!" and charge them even more.

Check out “The 99 Percent Plan,” a new Roosevelt Institute/Salon essay series on the progressive vision for the economy.

How Obama’s financial watchdog can prove himself (Salon)
Gary Weiss writes that while the CFPB has been slow to get up and running, Richard Cordray has a choice between coming out swinging against abusive debt collectors or accepting his agency's GOP-imposed status as the ugly stepchild of regulators.

Legal Fees Mount at Fannie and Freddie (NYT)
Several former Fannie and Freddie executives have been accused of securities fraud since the government was forced to take them over three years ago, but not to worry; they're getting $50 million worth of the best defense our money can buy.

In Republican Race, a New Breed of Superdonor (NYT)
About two dozen individuals and corporations have contributed at least $1 million each to Republican super PACs this year, which gets them the premium membership that comes with a t-shirt, a decoder ring, and the ability to write your own laws.

Not in Montana (TAP)
Garrett Epps writes that if the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case in which the Montana Supreme Court defied Citizens United, it's unlikely they'll reverse their previous ruling, but they might try to go for a subtler "What we really meant is..."

The Crazy Cost of Becoming President, From Lincoln to Obama (MoJo)
This chart illustrates that while the 2008 election broke the billion-dollar mark on campaign spending, things have come a long way from the $2.8 million dropped in 1860, most of which went toward Abe Lincoln's stovepipe hat budget.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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