Random animal picture. Can you spot the crawdad in the creek?
First up, here's a good analysis from the Economic Policy Institute about the deficit and proposed budget cuts.
The bottom line: reckless spending didn’t get us here. What got us here was reckless gambling on Wall Street and policymakers’ failure to rein in these excesses because it would have required confronting politically favored constituencies in the name of protecting America’s working families. Note that none of this is solved by cutting taxes even more, as many conservatives are proposing.
The issue comes down to a question of priorities. If we can afford tax cuts for the middle class and the wealthy and corporations offshoring jobs, we can afford to keep teachers in the classroom and cops on the street. Budgeting is about tradeoffs. Trading an estate tax cut for the wealthiest one-quarter of one percent of Americans—a costly provision in the tax compromise—for budget cuts in child nutrition, grants for college tuition, and food safety (all in the Republican budget) is a really bad trade for the middle class. It’s bad for jobs, bad for our kids, bad for our health, and bad for competitiveness. It’s good for inherited wealth and big donors—that’s about it.
The prevailing sense of Congress seems to believe that deficits don’t matter when it comes to tax cuts for the already privileged, but do matter when it comes to spending. This is job-killing hypocrisy, and a textbook recipe for “starving the beast” and hurting the middle class, not for creating jobs.
NOT GOOD. Things aren't looking good in Japan's post-tsunami nuclear crisis.
AN END OR A BEGINNING? Did the struggle against union busting in Wisconsin wake a sleeping giant?
CLASS WARFARE? More like a one-sided class beatdown.
SOCIAL SECURITY. Progressives in the US Senate are trying to protect this program from yet another cave-in.
PLAYING CHICKEN. Most Americans oppose a government shutdown. However, a majority of Tea Party supporters are in favor of one.
GOOD ELEPHANTS gone bad.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED