The Great Debate

Shared sacrifice – except for CEOs

By Matt Stoller
January 8, 2013

The hypocrisy over deficits and calls for shared sacrifice can be illustrated with one simple statistic. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, 25 of the most-well-paid chief executives got higher compensation than their companies paid in federal taxes.  There’s a class war on, as Warren Buffett has noted, and his class is winning it.

The real fiscal cliff winner? Bush

By Michael M. Rosen
January 7, 2013

“Tax relief is an achievement for families struggling to enter the middle class,” the president trumpeted, shortly after Congress, by sweeping bipartisan margins and after a bruising battle, had lowered taxes for almost all Americans.  “For hard-working lower income families, we have cut the bottom rate of federal income tax from 15 percent to 10 percent. We doubled the per-child tax credit to $1,000 and made it refundable. Tax relief is compassionate, and it is now on the way.”

from The Great Debate UK:

Fiscal cliff deal is depressingly European

January 4, 2013

--Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.--

Post fiscal cliff: The fix is in

By Bill Schneider
January 2, 2013

We’ve been trying to deal with the national debt in this country for 30 years now.  The fiscal cliff is just the latest failed gimmick.  We’ve had more failed gimmicks than professional wrestling.

Class war in the new Gilded Age

By Robert L. Borosage
December 21, 2012

2012 was the first class-warfare election of our new Gilded Age. The first since the middle class has come to understand, in the words of new Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), that the “rules are rigged against it.” Business-as-usual may no longer be acceptable.

Fiscal cliff: D.C.’s Mayan apocalypse

By Peter Wolson
December 20, 2012

We are careening toward Dec. 21, 2012, the date of the Mayan apocalypse, when the world is supposed to come to an end through a series of cataclysmic upheavals, according to assorted astrologers and mystics ‑ though not the Mayans themselves, who said it was merely the end of their calendar. We are also hurtling toward the Jan. 1 “fiscal cliff,” when the American economy could re-enter a devastating recession ‑ a man-made mini-apocalypse.

Fiscal cliffhanger: Ignore the partisans

By David M. Walker
December 18, 2012

It is never acceptable for elected officials to put partisan politics and special-interest pledges ahead of their country. But when the stakes are great, as they are with the fiscal cliff negotiations, it is reprehensible.

How Obama seized the narrative

By Evangeline Morphos
December 17, 2012

Barack Obama may finally be defining himself as president. The question is: What took him so long to seize the narrative and find his character as “leader.”

Can Congress pull back from the brink?

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
December 13, 2012

Americans want to see Congress and the president make a deal on the “fiscal cliff,” that noxious mix of expiring tax cuts and mandatory spending slashing due at year’s end. They just don’t think it will happen without a lot of pain, according to recent polls.

The perils of cliff-diving

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
December 6, 2012

The fiscal cliff is a danger to the economy.  Some have argued that cliff diving is benign either because the cliff itself is an illusion – it is really a gentle slope – or because policymakers have the cartoon-like power to reverse going over the cliff without hitting the abyss.