August 25

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

Democrats move to shore up faltering recovery (WaPo)
As the midterms draw closer, the economy is moving backward and the Obama administration is running out of options.

CBO: Stimulus raised GDP 1.7% to 4.5% in Q2 (Calculated Risk)
The good news is the stimulus helped. The bad news is it’s about to run out.

U.S. Home Sales at Lowest Level in More Than a Decade (NYTimes)
Following the expiration of the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, housing sales took a 27 percent nosedive last month.

With Loss of COBRA Subsidy, Newly Unemployed Face Tripling of Insurance Costs (Washington Independent)
Behold the world’s greatest health care system in action.

Stiglitz Says European Economy at Risk of Double-Dip Recession (Bloomberg)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Joseph Stiglitz took to Dublin’s airwaves to warn against cutting government spending while unemployment is still rising.

U.S.-China Trade: How Long Will the U.S. Be China’s Doormat? (HuffPo)
Leo Hindery Jr. calls on the Obama administration and Congress to take a stand against China’s currency manipulation and our expanding trade deficit.

Dire Predictions for Drilling Ban in Gulf Are Not Yet Seen (NYTimes)
Despite the moratorium on new offshore drilling, the oil industry has yet to implode.

Dodd vs. Warren shows that government is broken (Salon)
If a president who came into office with a sweeping mandate and majorities in both houses of Congress can’t get his ideal nominee for the CFPB confirmed, what’s left?

Woman Wall Street Hates Most is Right for the Job: Tim Duncan (Bloomberg)
Even the financial industry shouldn’t be this shameless and overconfident.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s future (Guardian)
Dean Baker argues that the mortgage system needs to go fully public or fully private, while the Treasury’s hybrid model is a Frankenstein’s Monster of bad ideas.

Alan Simpson: Social Security Is ‘A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits’ (HuffPo)
Just when you think you’ve heard all the arguments for cutting benefits, things take a turn for the weird.

Social Security Cuts? That’s ‘Absolutely Nuts’ (The Atlantic)
The co-director of the Strengthen Social Security coalition explains why the deficit commission’s plans do anything but. Still stuck on the cow metaphor, aren’t you?

Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut” (HuffPo)
Robert Reich believes that Democrats can beat Republicans at their own game by restoring Clinton-era tax rates for top earners while eliminating payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income.

Bush tax cuts for the rich must go (FT)
John Podesta and Robert Greenstein argue that the push to renew the Bush tax cuts is based on misinformation and demonstrates a reluctance to seriously confront America’s long-term budget problems.

Can Rosie Get a Green-Collar Job? (Ms. Magazine)
Many green jobs are predicted to come from male-dominated industries, but women have an opportunity to step up and meet the growing demand for skilled workers.

What Is It About 20-Somethings? In a Word, Debt (Ideas & Action Blog)
Don’t blame young adults for their failure to leave the nest when they’re being weighed down by massive student loans.

Citizens United aftershocks (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel highlights some alarming new trends in corporate fundraising.

Defending ‘The Unnecessary Fall of Barack Obama’ (TNR)
John Judis fleshes out his explanation of why Barack Obama has failed where FDR succeeded, and why it will only get worse if Republicans take control of Congress.