March 21: Survival of the Richest
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The Republican’s Social-Darwinist Budget Plan (Robert Reich)
Reich writes that Paul Ryan’s new deficit reduction plan doesn’t actually bring down the deficit, but it does reward the rich and send a clear message to the poor: Let them eat cake. Actually, they could stand to lose a few pounds. Skip the cake.
Inequality Undermines Democracy (NYT)
Eduardo Porter notes that support for government intervention to close the income gap is rising as more realize the American dream of equal opportunity is now as real as the one where they show up naked for a math test and all their teeth fall out.
The man blocking America’s recovery (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that Edward DeMarco has long overstayed his welcome as Acting Director of the FHFA, as the world’s worst temp meets every every effort to refinance underwater loans with a Bartleby-like “I’d prefer not to.”
A Colossal Mistake of Historic Proportions: The “JOBS” bill (Baseline Scenario)
Simon Johnson writes that while proponents of the JOBS Act claim it will stimulate the economy by rolling back securities regulations from the 1930s, it would only be a boon to investors who love surprises (as in “Surprise, we just robbed you blind!”).
Europeans choose sides over financial crisis (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson notes that the austerity compact Merkel and Sarkozy pushed the EU to adopt has united people across national boundaries. Unfortunately for them, the organizing question is whether the austerians should be tossed out of their jobs.
Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story (Bloomberg)
While other countries have left their citizens on the hook for the financial crisis, the people of Iceland thew rocks at their parliament until they secured real, widespread debt relief. The obvious question for U.S. reformers: Underhand or overhand?
Trayvon Martin’s Killing and Our Deep Distrust of Government (The Nation)
ND2.0 Editor Bryce Covert writes that as a result of the growing anti-government belief that policing is best left up to lone vigilantes rather than trained professionals, we’re likely to see more people punished for crimes like existing while black.
Republicans Are Blocking the Violence Against Women Act (MoJo)
Some Republicans oppose a once-bipartisan law designed to prevent domestic violence, but not because they have a problem with women. As Adam Serwer explains, they just have a problem with gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.
Throwing Money at the Pentagon (TomDispatch)
William Hartung notes that while Barack Obama hasn’t made much effort to cut defense spending, his GOP opponents view bloated Pentagon budgets as part of the American way of life. If it’s really expensive and not very useful, they’re for it.
‘Super PACs’ Supply Millions as G.O.P. Race Drains Field (NYT)
As the GOP’s primaries drag on and decisive victory remains just out of reach for Mitt Romney, the candidates are being kept in the race through the generosity of Super PAC donors with deep pockets and a complete inability to count delegates.