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By Tim Price, originally published on Next New Deal

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New Purpose of Government is Better Government (Bloomberg)

Ezra Klein writes that when Republicans get tired of beating their heads against the walls of the welfare state, the scope of government's responsibilities will finally be settled. But don't worry; there will still be plenty of pointlessly convoluted methodology to argue about.

Here's What Happened the Last Time the U.S. Defaulted on Its Debt (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien notes that the market reacted badly in 1979 when the Treasury temporarily defaulted due to a word processor glitch. So how willing are we to stake the health of the economy on the chance that Microsoft Word won't crash? Clippy can't help us now.

States Gave Gunmakers $49 Million in Tax Breaks Over the Last Five Years (Think Progress)

Pat Garofalo writes that as the president begins his push for tougher federal gun control laws, states are reexamining their own support for the industry given the futility of trading tax cuts for jobs and the dubious honor of being the bullet-making capital of the U.S.

Banker pay is (finally) falling (WaPo)

Neil Irwin examines the trend toward reduced compensation on Wall Street, where banks may be twigging to the fact that recruiting the best and the brightest and handing them the keys to the universe is no guarantee that they won't just run it into a ditch.

The U.S. Gets Left Behind When It Comes to Working Women (Forbes)

NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that women's participation in the workforce has flatlined in the U.S. while other countries have jumped ahead thanks to policies that recognize having kids isn't some annoying employee habit like playing music too loud at your desk.

Are Walmart's Jobs for Vets Any Good? (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson writes that Walmart has gotten a lot of good press for pledging to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years, but given the low wages and poor working conditions such jobs entail, it's not entirely clear whether that's a promise or a threat.

As manufacturing bounces back from recession, unions are left behind (WaPo)

Jim Tankersley notes that while manufacturing jobs have indeed started coming back from the grave since 2009, these zombified positions lack the good pay and benefits that they carried with them in a past life, and that's one reason the recovery's still shambling.

Proposals to drug-test the unemployed gain momentum (Salon)

Natasha Lennard reports that ALEC-backed laws requiring drug testing for the recipients of unemployment benefits and even food stamps are gaining traction in many statehouses. Republicans get what they want, and they really want to get their hands on some urine.

Vacation Homes for the Rich, Courtesy of Uncle Sam (Prospect)

Abby Rapoport looks at a study that shows the U.S. spends $450 billion a year on real estate programs like the Mortgage Interest Deduction, which provides sorely needed relief to those on the market for a second house to visit when they get bored with their first.

Wall Street Journal Deeply Concerned About the Fate of Rich Single Moms (Slate)

Matthew Yglesias highlights an infographic that explains how the Obama tax increases will affect Americans from all walks of life, from a single mom struggling to keep herself in blazers on $260,000 a year to a family of six bringing in only $100,000 per capita.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:14 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, financiers want people to save money, hand it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    over to them so they can lend it at a profit, and feel grateful they had nothing in their pockets to give to the mugger.
    It's not enough that every dollar the federal government issues first passes through the coffers of the banks, so they can take a cut. Having set up the Federal Reserve Bank as a middleman, Congress has arranged it so they dole out our money and then charge us to borrow it back. And that's how a trickle turns into a stream.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:59:05 AM PST

  •  More bad news for Teabaggers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    U.S. stock gains on Thursday positioned the S&P 500 index for its highest close since late 2007 as upbeat jobs and housing reports offered respite from politics and other concerns.
    http://www.marketwatch.com/...

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:43:58 PM PST

  •  I love unions! Today got some good news from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    AFL-CIO Blog

    HR 261 - Public Option Back On The Table !!!!

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:46:33 PM PST

  •  Are Walmart's Jobs for Vets Any Good? Mortages? (0+ / 0-)

    Any job is a good job, so long as it isn't going to get you sick or injured or dead (obvious exceptions/conditionals noted).  Hopefully, it would just be transitional to real full time employment.  The tragedy is, as noted in the article, if this is the best we as a nation can do.

    I was able to afford buying my first home solely because of the mortgage deduction.  Having said that, we need a more progressive tax system if we are ever going to regain a fiscally sound federal budget without destroying the middle class and abandoning the needy.  I think limitations on the top end of the deductions (i.e. the first $12k, i.e. $1k/month, or similar) as well as limiting the deductions to a single home, or a total of $20k for example, is a good start. Overly broad limitations will hurt too many middle class home owners.

    The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking. A. A. Milne

    by Memory Corrupted on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:52:14 PM PST

  •  Presumably a vacation home for the rich (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    is a tangible entity right here in the USA.  Which provides jobs for * somebody * domestically . .. .

    So, even though the mortgage interest tax deduction that primarily benefits these folks is irksome, insofar as it generates real economic activity in the USA, it has to have some value (as compared to a likely alternative - sending the $$s into an offshore tax shelter).

  •  Drug testing as a way to coerce and humiliate (0+ / 0-)

    the recipients of taxpayer largesse must be extended to the managers of all the companies receiving corporate welfare and to all members of congress.  The movement to drug test the poor is just another oligarchal ploy to keep the middle class looking with scorn at the poor and ignoring the sins of the wealthy who have all the same behaviors as the poor but are better dressed and can buy privacy and protection from prosecution.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:50:20 PM PST

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