Tim Price

Deputy Editor

Recent Posts by Tim Price

  • Daily Digest - March 19: The Balancing Act

    Mar 19, 2013Tim Price

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    The Missing Right: A Constitutional Right to Vote (Democracy Journal)

    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via e-mail.

    The Missing Right: A Constitutional Right to Vote (Democracy Journal)

    Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellows Jonathan Soros and Mark Schmitt argue that we need a Right to Vote Amendment to focus the activist movement and help ensure that you can participate in our political system even if you don't have an "Inc." after your name.

    Still true after 40 years: Voters prefer cuts in theory, spending in practice (WaPo)

    Ezra Klein highlights a poll that shows Americans would like to balance the budget as long as it doesn't involve increasing taxes or making any specific spending cuts -- especially if those cuts affect critical government personnel like White House tour guides.

    The Ryan Budget's Nearly $6 Trillion Revenue Hole (CBPP)

    An analysis of the latest Ryan budget finds that it would slash taxes by $6 trillion with only a vague promise of "tax reform" to offset the cost, which means either he's lying about balancing the budget or anyone making under $200,000 is about to get mugged.

    The Most Radical Proposals in the House Conservative Budget (Think Progress)

    Aviva Shen notes that the Republican Study Committee has wedged itself into the narrow space to the right of Paul Ryan with a plan to balance the budget in just four years by going after the real drivers of our deficit: poor people, tax increases, and PBS.

    The Worst Victims of the Education Sequester: Special-Needs Students and Poor Kids (The Atlantic)

    Laura McKenna writes that sequestration's 5.1 percent cut to federal education funding means states will lose millions for programs ranging from Head Start and special ed to school lunches. If you're not even going to teach them, feeding them is right out.

    Cyprus Bailout Incites Turmoil as Blame Flies (NYT)

    James Kanter, Nicholas Kulish, and Andrew Higgins report that negotiators who planned to have Cyprus's bank depositors pay for part of its bailout have learned a hard lesson about the quality of ideas that you come up with because you want to go to bed.

    Obama's Nominee for Labor Department Head Has Championed Domestic Workers' Rights (The Nation)

    NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that Thomas Perez's record suggests domestic workers will have an ally at the Labor Department as they face key battles for equality and inclusion. Yet more damning evidence that the would-be Labor Secretary is pro-labor.

    White House Urged to Fire a Housing Regulator (NYT)

    Annie Lowrey writes that a group of state attorneys general led by Eric Schneiderman and Martha Coakley is calling on the president to finally replace acting FHFA director Edward DeMarco with someone who might actually want to improve housing policy.

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  • A New Pope Brings New Hope for Ending Austerity

    Mar 18, 2013Tim Price

    If Pope Francis raises his voice on behalf of the poor, he could deal the final blow to austerity economics.

    If Pope Francis raises his voice on behalf of the poor, he could deal the final blow to austerity economics.

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That’s a quote from the New Testament, but it’s easy to imagine many in Europe expressing the same sentiment today, and I don’t just mean the crowd that gathered outside St. Peter’s Basilica last week to watch the newly elected Pope Francis make his first address. It applies just as much to austerity advocates throughout the European Union who continue to assure themselves that economic growth and recovery will come if they just keep cutting deeper. As Pope Francis leads the Church into a new era, he may also be able to help bring the age of austerity to a close.

    The man formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has a lot of hopes pinned on him, not the least of which is that he’ll serve as an advocate for the poor and an opponent of the economic policies that are afflicting them. The left has been let down on this front before; Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the “scandal of glaring inequalities" and condemned “unregulated financial capitalism,” but most progressives wouldn’t exactly consider him a staunch ally given his rejection of just about everything else they believe in. Already, critics have highlighted Pope Francis’s condemnation of gay rights and rumored collaboration with Argentine’s dictatorship, and as Mother Jones’s Eric Kain writes, “If the cardinals had elected a pro-choice pope, that would have been real news.”

    But there are reasons to believe progressive optimism about Pope Francis isn’t totally misplaced. E.J. Dionne notes that he’s “the first pope to take the name of the saint known for his devotion to humility and to the poor.” He’s also the first pope from Latin America, which brings a new perspective to the Vatican and suggests that he’s “likely to weigh in often on behalf of the world’s poorest regions.” And to top it all off, he’s a Jesuit, which even among Catholics makes him the equivalent of that guy from college who made you feel bad by telling you he spent his summer volunteering with Habitat for Humanity while you were busy doing tequila shots. (There are also anecdotes about the modest life he chose to lead, but that feels uncomfortably close to saying Scott Brown would make a good senator because he drove a truck.)

    Still, even if the new pope does emerge as a progressive voice on these issues, some might be tempted (no pun or theological implications intended) to dismiss his influence on economic policy. Regardless of whether you believe he’s really infallible, he’s still just one man (albeit one with a whole lot of employees), and the architects of austerity won’t be swayed by the power of prayer alone. But even they may be starting to question their beliefs – with their citizens protesting in the streets and voting them out of office, they don’t have much choice. The Associated Press reports that European leaders “aren't backing away aggressively from budget cuts and higher taxes, but they are increasingly trying to temper these policies, which have stifled growth and made it harder for many countries to bring their deficits under control.” A strong and sustained condemnation from the Holy See would make their position even more tenuous, even if the Church’s power in Europe is greatly diminished from what it once was. It might even give pause to austerity sympathizers on this side of the Atlantic, like former altar boy Paul Ryan. Okay, maybe we can’t expect miracles.

    In Europe, the U.S., and throughout the world, people are losing faith in their leaders. Policies that attempt to prop up the status quo of a broken financial system while ignoring and even exacerbating real human suffering have made us feel cynical, isolated, and angry. Pope Francis has been called on to lead the Catholic Church, but he has an opportunity to provide some much needed guidance to people of all faiths or none. The message that will make that possible is not a sectarian one, but a universal one. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and caring for those in need, not supporting the rich and powerful, has to be the top priority of a healthy, sustainable society. In our holy texts and our constitutions, we’ve made that promise. Now it’s time to keep the faith.

    Tim Price is Deputy Editor of Next New Deal. Follow him on Twitter @txprice.

     

    Pope Francis image via Shutterstock.com.

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  • Daily Digest - March 18: Our Fiscal War of Choice

    Mar 18, 2013Tim Price

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    America's Latest Phony Fiscal Crisis (Bloomberg)

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    America's Latest Phony Fiscal Crisis (Bloomberg)

    Simon Johnson writes that America really is exceptional. Unsatisified with run-of-the-mill fiscal crises driven by factors like high interest rates and rampant inflation, we went out and invented our own model based primarily on obstinance and spite.

    Grover Norquist's Last Laugh (Prospect)

    Robert Kuttner argues President Obama shouldn't have settled for a tax increase on the top 1 percent instead of holding out for the repeal of the sequester, especially since anti-tax advocates are so upset by the deal that they can hardly stop smiling.

    Do female bosses lead to better treatment for all women? (WaPo)

    Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal highlights research that shows women executives do help the rank and file, but once they make it, the usual response isn't "How do we get more women at the top?" but "Don't we already have one of those?"

    More Work and No Play Puts Today's Moms in a Tough Bind (Forbes)

    NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that a study finds men have stepped up their presence at home since the '60s (in that they no longer behave like visitors from out of town), but women still shoulder the burden of work whether they're at home or, well, work.

    Marches of Folly (NYT)

    Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, Paul Krugman looks back on how the U.S. was persuaded to act against its best interests by a deceitful and manipulative political elite and a compliant media. Thank goodness we all learned our lesson that time.

    Conservatives' contradictions on American power (WaPo)

    E.J. Dionne argues that while right-wingers like Rand Paul show some consistency in opposing government intervention at home and abroad, others seem to think the government is worthless unless it's all up in some other country's business.

    A Labor Secretary Pick Progressives Will Love -- and Republicans Will Hate (MoJo)

    Adam Serwer writes that Thomas Perez, Obama's choice for the next Secretary of Labor, is a progressive who's fought hard for civil rights and against the exploitation of workers. And if that doesn't disqualify him, then Chuck Grassley is simply at a loss.

    Why Conservatives Want to Break Up the Banks, Too (TNR)

    Timothy Noah notes that ending "too big to fail" is the rare policy that's gaining traction on both sides of the aisle. When you combine economic distortion and inequality with the specter of regulatory capture, there's something for everyone to hate.

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  • Daily Digest - March 15: No One Wants What Ryan's Selling

    Mar 15, 2013Tim Price

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    Paul Ryan vs. the Middle Class (Bloomberg)

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    Paul Ryan vs. the Middle Class (Bloomberg)

    Josh Barro writes that no matter how much soul-searching Republicans do, they won't win over the American people if they keep pushing an economic agenda that would ruin their lives -- especially not if the only rationale for doing so is "because Republicans."

    The 2 Most Magical Numbers in Paul Ryan's Magical Budget (The Atlantic)

    Derek Thompson notes that Ryan's the kind of visionary who won't compromise just because his goals seem politically and mathematically impossible, whether it's sequestering discretionary spending twice or achieving a revenue-neutral $6.7 trillion revenue cut.

    The Press Has Turned on Paul Ryan (TNR)

    Paul Ryan achieved his wonderboy status with the help of a press corps that fawned over his supposed wonkiness, but Noam Scheiber writes that they've fallen out of love now that they see he's just like all the other guys who only want them for their headlines.

    After the Flimflam (NYT)

    Paul Krugman notes that while Ryan is taking his snake oil salesman routine back on the road, the Senate Democrats and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have put forward two new alternative budget plans that are actually serious and not just "Serious."

    Liberals to Dem leaders: Don't even think about touching Social Security benefits (WaPo)

    Speaking of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Greg Sargent writes that they're not pleased that both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid seem to be open to Chained CPI as part of a Grand Bargain. In exchange for what, exactly? Taxes? A first-round draft pick?

    Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building (NYT)

    Annie Lowrey writes that retirement insecurity isn't just for retirees anymore. With younger workers earning little now and unable to save, they're worried they may wind up with nothing but burning stacks of student loan bills to keep them warm in their old age.

    Senate investigation finds JP Morgan hid mistakes as trade losses grew (Guardian)

    Heidi Moore reports that investigators say JP Morgan's attempts to cover up the London Whale fiasco were pretty much that scene in a sitcom where it looks like someone's cleaned up the apartment until a mountain of junk comes spilling out of the closet.

    Hidden Numbers Make Big Banks Even Bigger (NYT)

    Floyd Norris notes that as the "too big to fail" debate heats up, it's hard to tell how big banks actually are because so many of their assets are kept off the books -- even with the fool-proof requirement that they disclose how much stuff they're not disclosing.

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  • Daily Digest - March 14: Papal Economics 101

    Mar 14, 2013Tim Price

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    The World Has Its First Jesuit Pope. Will He Really Help the Poor? (MoJo)

    Click here to receive the Daily Digest via e-mail.

    The World Has Its First Jesuit Pope. Will He Really Help the Poor? (MoJo)

    Erik Kain writes that despite Pope Francis's unsurprising social conservatism, he does come from the wing of the Church that cares for the poor and opposes austerity -- though he has something in common with its proponents, who consider themselves infallible.

    The new pope will be one of America's biggest employers (WaPo)

    Brad Plumer notes that besides serving as a spiritual leader, the new pope is also a kind of CEO for a network of institutions that employ more than 1 million Americans. That puts it behind only Walmart, which offers customers a totally different type of savings.

    Who Is Poor? (NYT)

    Thomas Edsall explains the ongoing debate about how poverty can be measured most accurately, the policy solutions each approach entails, and the somewhat disturbing implications of treating the needs of human beings as an item in a budget spreadsheet.

    We Shouldn't Blame Teen Mothers. We Should Blame Ourselves. (Forbes)

    NND Editor Bryce Covert examines a new ad campaign in New York City that apparently aims to prevent teen pregnancy by being really nasty to potential teen mothers, since shame is so cheap and easily mass-produced compared to a real safety net for them.

    Paul Ryan's cruelly radical vision (WaPo)

    E.J. Dionne argues that while Ryan's budget may not be useful for the purpose of, you know, budgeting our country's finances, it does help to map the boundaries of our political debate so we can see who's wandering out there in "Here there be dragons" territory.

    Republican deficit insincerity will save Social Security (Salon)

    Alex Pareene writes that President Obama seems to be the only person in Washington who genuinely wants a Grand Bargain, while everyone else just wants to be seen as wanting one so they have an excuse to complain about what a big phony that Obama is.

    Big Banks Have a Big Problem (NYT)

    Simon Johnson notes that there's been a recent groundswell of support for breaking up the big banks and putting an end to "too big to fail," finally bringing key policymakers and influencers in line with where everyone else in the world was about five years ago.

    Why Big Banks Are Right to Fear Elizabeth Warren (Businessweek)

    Joshua Green writes that while Elizabeth Warren might just be a junior senator three months into her first term, lacking the power to pass any significant legislation, she's already demonstrating that you don't need a new law when a few humiliating Q&As will do.

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