January 27: Sums More Equal Than Others

Jan 27, 2012Tim Price

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

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Compiled with the help of Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

Jobs, Jobs and Cars (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that the GOP praises Steve Jobs for the independent vision that put so many to work (in China), but hates the auto bailout for showing that a healthy economy sometimes depends on the government, not Randian supermen.

Is Obama's 'Economic Populism' for Real? (Rolling Stone)
Matt Taibbi writes that President Obama certainly wants to appear like he's started taking corruption seriously, but appointing Eric Schneiderman to his financial fraud task force would inspire more confidence if he wasn't accompanied by chaperones.

Old mortgages rise from the dead, haunt homeowners (Reuters)
Foreclosing on people who fall behind on their mortgages is the banks' old standby, but they've decided to diversify their operations by cracking down on people who have paid off or refinanced their mortgages or, just for fun, never even had one.

The Occupy Effect (The Nation)
Katrina vanden Heuvel points out that if nothing else, the Occupy movement has ended America's 24/7 deficit mania by busting down the doors of the quiet rooms where inequality and greed were being discussed and handing out megaphones.

Greed is good? The GOP seems to be okay with that. (WaPo)
Eugene Robinson argues that while Republicans begrudgingly endorse the idea of fairness in the tax code, they don't think working-class earnings really "count" as much money earned the old-fashioned way, by having lots of it and then waiting.

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Talk of Taxing the Rich More Faces Political Realities (NYT)
Even if the president could get the Buffett Rule through a Congress that can't agree to a vacation without a partisan showdown, experts question the point of adding yet another facet to a tax code that already looks like the world's ugliest mosaic.

Pentagon budget set to shrink next year (WaPo)
Hide your kids, hide your wife, because the Defense Department's budget could face an unthinkable 1 percent decrease next year, leaving it with just $525 billion, the world's premier military force, and a legion of lethal robots to protect us.

The True Cost of High School Dropouts (NYT)
Responding to President Obama's proposal to make students attend high school until they graduate or turn 18, Henry Levin and Cecilia Rouse write that money spent on reducing drop-out rates is worth every penny if it prepares our kids to compete.

The British Economy is Now Doing Worse Than It Did in the Great Depression (Grasping Reality)
Brad DeLong notes that the confidence fairy has forsaken the current British government, as its austerity measures are producing what could be Britain's worst economic slump ever. Keep the bleeding going; the humors are almost balanced!

At Euro Talks, a Calm Arm-Twister From the U.S. (NYT)
Annie Lowrey profiles Lael Brainard, the top American financial diplomat who's been sent to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and assigned to talk the euro zone down off a ledge and convince it that it still has so much to live for.

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