What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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Fiscal Phonies (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that from the House Budget Committee to the New Jersey governorship, "fiscal conservatives" have shown that they're fine with running up huge deficits to give millionaires the tax cuts they so richly (ahem) deserve.
Who Will Save the Middle Class? (TAP)
Jeff Faux argues that there are concrete steps we could take to create shared prosperity, but as long as both parties operate under a Reaganite policy framework, they're debating whether to kill the middle class or let it die quietly in its sleep.
Political Dividends (NYT)
Thomas Edsall notes that four years after the financial crisis, neither party is eager to criticize Wall Street. It's not that they've been paid to look the other way; it's that no matter which way they look, there's a big stack of cash blocking their view.
Investigators Seek More Firepower (WSJ)
Eric Schneiderman and others are concerned that having 100 investigators on the mortgage fraud task force isn't going to cut it. Even if they're doing a whole lot of nothing, more resources could help them get it not done much more efficiently.
U.S. Winds Down Longer Benefits for the Unemployed (NYT)
Shaila Dewan reports that as of next month nearly half a million Americans will have been prematurely cut off from unemployment benefits this year, as lawmakers have decided that while unemployment is still a problem, it's not their problem.
A new New Deal to cut youth unemployment (FT)
John Studzinki proposes a new national service program in which corporations would join with the public sector in offering all young Americans an opportunity to gain work experience and develop skills beyond the memorization of bagel orders.
The Fairness Trap (New Yorker)
James Surowiecki writes that though fairness is important, the Greek crisis and our own foreclosure crisis show that our desire to chew glass rather than give a break to someone we don't think deserves it just leaves everyone's gums bleeding.
Valuing Domestic Product (NYT)
Nancy Folbre argues that we can't accurately track trends in inequality unless we change the way we value domestic work to account for the fact that even if we can't all afford to pay a butler, someone's still going to wind up doing the buttling.
Wage Theft in the City of Millionaires (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann notes that while Houston's adding millionaires like they're on sale two-for-one, local employers are holding low-wage workers down. Plus, he considers Paul Ryan's tuchus and recommends seeking an outside perspective.
Conservatives for Ignorance (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that despite the backlash against the House GOP's attack on the American Community Survey, it's right in line with their general belief that the only thing worse than a useless government program is a useful one.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.