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By Tim Price, originally posted on Next New Deal

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A Fiscal Deal Is Emerging—But Is It Any Good? (TNR)

Jonathan Cohn reviews the plan chefs Obama and Boehner are cooking up behind closed doors, which includes ingredients that may leave a sour taste in both sides' mouths, like higher taxes on those making over $400K and a COLA adjustment for Social Security.

The Social Security Benefit Cut Obama May Agree To (TPM)

Brian Beutler notes that "chained CPI" would ultimately reduce Social Security benefits, though some progressives think it's better than raising the Medicare age or getting no deal at all. At least there's plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons and carefully oh wait.

Remember the Children (Robert Reich)

Reich argues that the failure to protect America's children extends beyond gun violence to soaring child poverty rates and neglect for children's health, all because they don't have any powerful interests to speak up for them. Sounds like a job for... everyone, actually.

How Gun-Related Crimes Cost Each Taxpayer Hundreds of Dollars a Year (Think Progress)

Tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting have an unbearably high human cost, but Travis Waldron writes that violent crimes also cost taxpayers $3.7 billion a year in medical, legal, and other expenses. Shouldn't their right to self-defense include their local economy?

All We Want for Chrismas Is... Guns (MoJo)

Maddie Oatman and Ian Gordon note that firearms went flying off the shelves on Black Friday, continuing a sales spike that occurred both times Obama was elected and a trend of current gun owners stockpiling more weapons. Maybe skip those houses, Santa.

A Real Right to Work (NYT)

"Right to work" is one of the right's 1984isms, but Nancy Folbre argues we should make sure everyone who wants a job has one by expanding the public sector to pick up the private sector's slack. The GOP thinks they're fake jobs, but they're realer than nonexistent ones.

Walmart VP: When Workers Ask About Unions, Management Tells Them Benefits 'Might Go Away' (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson notes that Walmart is trying to discourage its workers from talking about unionizing not by directly threatening them but by hinting that the entrails spell misfortune for them. "Awful job you have here. Shame if something even worse were to happen to it."

Why the unemployment rate might soon stop dropping (WaPo)

Good news: the job market is improving. Bad news: It probably won't look that way. Brad Plumer highlights a paper from the San Francisco Fed that predicts the unemployment rate will stall as those who have dropped out of the labor force begin to come off the bench.

The 'Mommy Penalty,' Around the World (NYT)

Catherine Rampell flags new research from the OECD that shows full-time working mothers in the developed world earn about 16 percent less than their male colleagues, in part because caregiving responsibiltiies come as a package deal with their bundles of joy.

More seniors trapped in children's student debt (Columbus Dispatch)

Education begins at home, and apparently it lingers there long after it should have left the nest. Mike Wagner and Jill Riepenhoff report that the trend of parents and grandparents helping out with college loans is turning the nightmare of repayment into a family affair.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:04 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Walmart corruption..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weinerschnauzer, glitterscale
    Dec. 17, 2012....SAN JUAN TEOTIHUACÁN, Mexico — Wal-Mart longed to build in Elda Pineda’s alfalfa field. It was an ideal location, just off this town’s bustling main entrance and barely a mile from its ancient pyramids, which draw tourists from around the world. With its usual precision, Wal-Mart calculated it would attract 250 customers an hour if only it could put a store in Mrs. Pineda’s field.

    One major obstacle stood in Wal-Mart’s way.

    After years of study, the town’s elected leaders had just approved a new zoning map. The leaders wanted to limit growth near the pyramids, and they considered the town’s main entrance too congested already. As a result, the 2003 zoning map prohibited commercial development on Mrs. Pineda’s field, seemingly dooming Wal-Mart’s hopes.

    But 30 miles away in Mexico City, at the headquarters of Wal-Mart de Mexico, executives were not about to be thwarted by an unfavorable zoning decision. Instead, records and interviews show, they decided to undo the damage with one well-placed $52,000 bribe.

    The plan was simple. The zoning map would not become law until it was published in a government newspaper. So Wal-Mart de Mexico arranged to bribe an official to change the map before it was sent to the newspaper, records and interviews show. Sure enough, when the map was published, the zoning for Mrs. Pineda’s field was redrawn to allow Wal-Mart’s store.

    Problem solved.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:34:35 AM PST

  •  My mom just got her 2013 SS increase letter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicki37, glitterscale

    Basically, her gross SS benefit goes up $10 but because her Medicare premium goes up $10, her net SS benefit only goes up $5. So a 1.67% gross increase is really only a 1% net increase. What was inflation this past year? I just checked and it appears to have been around 2%, unadjusted for the sorts of things that factor into most retired peoples' budgets who don't have a large income.

    Now scuze me while my mom treats us to a couple of coffees at Starbucks with her "increase". Oh, wait, she can't do that till next month!

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:02:05 PM PST

    •  What is especially foul about this chained CPI is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale

      that it is coming out of SS, the one entitlement that has not contributed to the current mess, and is now a precedent for raiding SS again and again, whenever the Rs have spent to much and get guilty about it anywhere in the budget.

      I am irate that there are Progressives who are supporting this because it is less awful to them than raising the Medicare age or some other choices. It reminds me much to much, on the date Rick Perry is debating the criminal penalty for women getting abortions in Texas after 20 weeks, of the debate we had on ACA when othewise supposed progressives told women to suck it up and take one for the team on abortion rights. Now its the time of seniors to slowly starve to death silently, for the progressive team. Yeech!

      •  I am pissed that anyone supports this... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, glitterscale, 1BQ

        Once you understand that

        public(surplus/deficit) + private(surplus/deficit) + foreignprivate(surplus/deficit) = 0

        You realize that the only ways to reduce the public deficit involve incredible amounts of pain to people, and I morally cannot accept that.  ie reduction in the private (you and me) surplus or import reduction which can only happen by contracting the economy (more pain for you and me)

        When you then realize what money actually is and that deficit hysteria is a farce used to get the 99% to accept pain that is completely unnecessary, then the only conclusion is that anyone who advocates for deficit cutting is either purposefully cruel or an idiot.

        •  Or both (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glitterscale, 1BQ

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:54:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Talking abstract macro theory allows you to miss (0+ / 0-)

          essential facts. One of those facts was that on SS and Medicare, the promise was that they would not be cut, and the conversation pointed out just how much it was so that SS was self funding and didn't contribute to the deficit at all, unlike Medicare. So what do we have here but a systemic cut in benefits for seniors from the program that did not and does not contribute to the deficit, and in fact has its trust fund regularly cleaned out by pols who want to spend it elsewhere, in order to rectify deficit problems also found elsewhere.

          And, of course, it only comes out later that this chained CPI which does not match the one prepared for elderly anyway,and there is one, is also cutting pensions and benefits for veterans, another group systemically in need of genuine protection.  It's not as if either group can go back to work and earn more money to make up the amount stripped out in their later years by this chained CPI.

  •  I forgot to add (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicki37, 1BQ

    Thanks Obama & Dems, from my mom!

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:02:35 PM PST

  •  Too much of our government functions are being (0+ / 0-)

    "negotiated" behind closed doors. What do they have to hide? Secret holds, fake filibusters, (not so) super committees, the President and the Speaker meeting in private to do the work of Congress. This is not how it's supposed to work.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:29:34 PM PST

    •  That reminds me. Another point of this supposed (0+ / 0-)

      stinking deal is a permanent fix to the Doc fix, the means by which Medicare costs were supposed to be controlled from the supplier side, which will now permanently stay unfixed and make fools like Obama hunt for other victims so his numbers will come out right.

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