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What We’re Reading Today: Tuesday News Roundup

What We’re Reading Today: Tuesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families news we're reading today (after the jump).

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An Economics Lesson on the Deficit and Debt

This week, Republicans in the House caved and allowed a simple vote on raising the debt limit of the United States. Their hand-wringing about the debt is disingenuous, but more importantly, it is part of a campaign to confuse America's workers about the real deficit, which must be addressed urgently—the deficit in jobs, which according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office cost the economy about $730 billion in lost production.

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Fiscal Follies: Watch the Conversation on Budget Surplus

Last week, the White House announced changes in projections for fiscal health. In June, the government will have a surplus and the projected deficit for this year will be $214 billion less than originally projected. That means the deficit will be 4.7% of GDP (the nation’s total income), down from the original forecast of 6%.  Moreover, the deficit will be below 3% of GDP by 2017. Now it is time for the follies to begin.

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Kuttner: Debt Double Standard A Drag on the Economy

Photo courtesy UofSLibrary

Economist Robert Kuttner visited AFL-CIO's book club earlier this week to discuss his forthcoming book, Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. In the book, Kuttner argues that policymakers are focused on the wrong kind of debt in making laws and attempting to fix the economy. Rather than a heavy emphasis on reducing the public debt, which leads to misguided policies of austerity, Kuttner says, reducing personal debt would go much further toward improving the economy and spurring job growth.

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EPI Shatters Myths About Debt Stabilization

EPI Shatters Myths About Debt Stabilization

A new article from the Economic Policy Institute busts several of the myths relating to the deficit and the national debt and shows that the focus of many politicians and policy analysts is misguided and could undercut the fragile economic recovery. 

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Republicans Move in Right Direction on Debt Ceiling but Avoid the Important Issues

Photo courtesy Talk Radio News Service

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seemingly have rallied enough of their House allies to push the battle over causing a U.S. government default down the road, with a temporary three-month extension of the government's borrowing authority (or "debt ceiling"). But House Republicans have not changed their ransom demands. They've simply chosen a different hostage. For now.

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Avoid Post-Holiday Spender's Remorse

Union Plus: Avoid Post-Holiday Spender's Remorse

"Avoid Post-Holiday Spender's Remorse" is a cross-post from Union Plus

Opening gifts each December is a ton of fun. Opening the resulting bills in January is not. Yet every holiday season millions of consumers use their credit cards to finance gifts they don’t have the cash to pay for. Consider the following before you start shopping this holiday season.

There are only two legal ways out of debt – cutting expenses or increasing your income. Decide which works for you and commit to it before you start shopping.

Prioritize.  What’s more important?  Paying your mortgage and buying food or giving gifts you can’t afford?  Consider shortening your gift list or giving smaller gifts to adults.  In times like these, friends and family understand.

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'Fix the Debt' Group Would Receive Huge Tax Windfalls by Cutting Social Security and Medicare

'Fix the Debt' Group Would Receive Huge Tax Windfalls by Cutting Social Security and Medicare

Fix the Debt, the unserious coalition of CEOs and corporations who are lobbying to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while increasing tax breaks for their companies to send jobs overseas, have spent nearly $1 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions during the past four years, according to a new Public Campaign study

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We Have Eight Weeks to Protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Protect Our Future

As working families all over the country celebrated President Obama's re-election last night, we also began mobilizing to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts.

Sign the petition: www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture.

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Something Tells Us Tax Dodgers Are in No Hurry to 'Fix the Debt'

Ladies and gentleman, meet the tax-dodging gazillionaires behind Fix the Debt, a billionaire-funded group of millionaire CEOs trying to take away your retirement security and raise your effective tax rate while lowering their own tax liability.

Fix the Debt bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” However, the group touts a non-specific tax plan that members are calling “Simpson-Bowles Plus,” a plan that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, guts tax credits and benefits that many working families rely on, widens tax incentives for corporations to offshore jobs and lowers tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. Basically, it’s a wish list for millionaire CEOs!

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