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Showing blog posts tagged with grand bargain

A Touch of Irony: Anti-Debt Group Saddled with Red Ink

My Mom always said you shouldn’t take joy in other people’s misfortune. But sorry, Mom, I am getting a little kick out of the reported financial misfortune of a group boasting bloodlines that trace back to the “Grand Bargainers” Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

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6 Ways the Grand 'Bargain' Could Hurt People Through Social Security and Medicare Benefit Cuts

6 Ways the Grand 'Bargain' Could Hurt People Through Social Security and Medicare Benefit Cuts

Since the House Republicans have taken America's families hostage in the government shutdown, it's starting to become clear what the end game is: cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits for everyday people in a "grand bargain" that's not so grand for the 99%. 

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Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House

Photo via Wikimedia

The heads of the country’s largest banks and stock brokers came to Washington, D.C., yesterday to meet with President Barack Obama. Washington is the center of our national hostage drama—to use an old phrase, D.C. is the kidnap house. But we have seen this part of the hostage-taking drama before. First, the extremist House Republicans, who are deeply dependent on Wall Street money, threaten to force the United States into defaulting on its debts to achieve political objectives that Wall Street supports, like cutting Social Security. Then Wall Street pretends to be horrified that the United States might default on its debts, Treasury bonds that underpin much of the world financial system. 

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Selling the Store: Why Democrats Shouldn’t Put Social Security and Medicare on the Table

Prominent Democrats—including the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—are openly suggesting that Medicare be means-tested and Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation. 

This is even before they’ve started budget negotiations with Republicans—who still refuse to raise taxes on the rich, close tax loopholes the rich depend on (such as hedge-fund and private-equity managers’ “carried interest”), increase capital gains taxes on the wealthy, cap their tax deductions or tax financial transactions. 

Read the rest of Selling the Store: Why Democrats Shouldn’t Put Social Security and Medicare on the Table on Robert Reich's blog

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Bernstein: Inequality and Budget Deficits—Why Is Only the Latter an Emergency?

Source: Piketty and Saez, 2012, link in the blog.

"Inequality and Budget Deficits: Why Is Only the Latter an Emergency?" is a cross-post from Jared Bernstein's On the Economy blog. 

I just read two sweeping reports on the state of income inequality in the U.S. (the second link focuses on state-level inequality) and other advanced economies.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so ensconced in fiscal cliff discussions, but I was struck by how much more alarmed policymakers are by the budget deficit than by the inequality situation. There are reasons for that tilt—some good, some bad—but based on magnitudes of the problem, it’s far from clear that our current sole policy focus is warranted.

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Working America’s Second Annual #TurkeyTalk: The Seq-what?-ster Edition

Working America’s Second Annual #TurkeyTalk: The Seq-what?-ster Edition

"Working America’s Second Annual #TurkeyTalk: The Seq-what?-ster Edition" is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

Picture this: You’re home for the holidays, about to dive into that rich, golden-brown pumpkin pie, when suddenly a conversation erupts with your mother-in-law about “deficit reduction” or “debt crisis.” "We spend too much," she says, indignant. "Why can’t the federal government pay its bills—I do." A “harrumph!” is implied by the look she’s giving you. What do you say? 

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Eskow: 'Wall Street Finds a 'Third Way' to Plunder Our Wealth'

Eskow: 'Wall Street Finds a 'Third Way' to Plunder Our Wealth'

This is an excerpt of "Wall Street Finds a 'Third Way' to Plunder Our Wealth," by Richard (RJ) Eskow. 

Gotta hand it to 'em: Those Wall Street guys are smart. They've already found two ways to plunder the nation's wealth for their own enrichment, and now they're working on a third.

The first way? Identify and finance a wave of Democratic politicians who would join with Republicans in deregulating Wall Street. The second? Employ the same so-called 'centrist' Democrats, along with their Republican cohorts, to bail them out after they crashed the economy. That bailout continues, and the assurance of protection from being prosecuted for their criminal misdeeds.

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Trumka: 'Austerity Economics is Bad Policy and Politics'

This is an excerpt of The Hill's, "Austerity Economics is Bad Policy and Politics," by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Not only is austerity bad politics – even Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had to distance themselves from it – but it’s disastrous economic policy. Austerity economics is responsible for the country’s growing inequality, rising deficits and unemployment. Austerity economics means the wealthy remain unscathed while the people who rely on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the young – will get less and pay more. And let’s not forget the impact this will have on future generations.

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