One Reason We Don’t Hear about Income Inequality: Media Execs Among the Richest
David Cay Johnston has a must-read piece on what the most recent payroll tax data shows about growing income inequality. He shows that total wages have fallen 5% since 2007, largely because so many fewer people are making any income.
Democrats and Allies Continue to Make Social Security a Campaign Issue
The Alliance for Retired Americans have placed ads in six key districts across the country, attacking what they describe as Republican plans to raise the retirement age for Social Security benefits. There’s a residual benefit to this as well – it’s a warning shot against Democrats who would like to do the same.
Warren Staffs Up, Stands Up Consumer Agency
Elizabeth Warren isn’t sure of the security of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, given the expected assaults on regulation of any kind with an emboldened Republican caucus after the elections. Nevertheless, she has begun to ramp up the agency, with the expectation of having it ready for action in less than a year’s time.
Marc Thiessen Rewrites History as GOP Plans Tanking the Economy Again
Republican propagandists recognize there is a danger in being blamed for obstruction and resulting damage to the economy and recession victims. It thus falls on folks like Marc Thiessen to invent a version of history deflects blame for the Republican’s role in crippling the federal government and tanking the economy again.
Everything You Know About the French Retirement Controversy Is Wrong – If You Read the Papers
Steven Hill is reporting from France for the Washington Monthly, and he relays a simple fact that almost all other reporting on the proposed increase in the retirement age has missed: the French legislature changed the retirement age for FULL benefits to 67 from 65. Yet a pliant U.S. media only reports the increase in the earliest age of retirement with partial benefits.
Eric Holder’s Defense of Ashcroft to Defend the Material Witness Statute
The NYT has a worthwhile editorial lambasting the Obama DOJ’s pursuit of SCOTUS review in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, which will probably result in expanded immunity for government officials that abuse the law so as to abuse the rights of Americans. The editorial focuses closely on the way in which DOJ’s defense of absolute immunity amounts to a defense of using the material witness law as an improper basis for detention.
Does the Administration See Tax Cuts as the Only Stimulus Left?
Christina Romer is out of the White House, but I gather her op-ed in the New York Times doesn’t differ from what they believe there. But if the tax cuts are seen as the only viable fiscal stimulus left, we’re not headed down a good path in terms of jobs for the next several years.
Wellstone Accused of Voter Fraud, Threatened with Death, Day Before Plane Crash
The GOP’s sustained effort to accuse those who mobilize Democratic constituencies — as Wellstone did better than anyone — of vote fraud is designed not just to delegitimize both big-D and small-D democracy, but also to elicit this kind of tribalistic hatred.
New Emphasis for Catfood Commission Shifts Away from Entitlements? Toward Dual Reports?
The Deficit Comission is not expected to mention the biggest driver of the deficit in recent years and (along with Medicare and Medicaid) in the future, the Bush tax cuts. That shows how unserious a deficit commission it really is. But apparently, the efforts in progressive circles have at least temporarily beaten back the drive to cut retirement benefits.
Wikileaks Documents Complicate Selection of Iraqi Prime Minister
The US may not be so upset that Wikileaks released its Iraq war logs late last week. For one, the logs mainly implicate the previous Administration in various crimes and atrocities. More important to this White House, the revelations contained in the documents may make it impossible for Nouri al-Maliki to run the government.