MORNING MESSAGE: Rich White Guys Hold “Fiscal Summit.” Blame You.
OurFuture.org’s Richard Eskow: “Today a bunch of rich white guys held a ‘Fiscal Summit’ and agreed that: 1. Despite the fact that unemployment is causing untold suffering for millions of people, it’s not very important. 2. Despite the fact that wage stagnation is destroying the middle class, that’s not important either. 3. Despite the fact that we need the social safety net more than ever after what they’ve done to the economy, it’s expendable. 4. Despite the fact that our government can borrow money at record low rates and use it to put people to work, thereby ending the recession and jumpstarting the economy, that option’s not even worth discussing. 5. Despite the fact that these men all possess great power, wealth, and/or influence, everything that’s wrong with the economy is your fault. 6. Since it’s all your fault, you better get ready to pay up.”
Boehner Delivers Threat To Fiscal Summit
Romney delivers budget address “completely untethered to any facts” says NY Mag’s Jonathan Chait: “In Romney’s telling, the terms debt and spending are essentially interchangeable. When presented with Obama’s position — that the solution to the debt ought to include both higher taxes and lower spending — he rejects it out of hand. Naturally, Romney has admitted before that his budget plan ‘can’t be scored.’ It’s an expression of conservative moral beliefs about the role of government. While loosely couched in budgetary terms, Romney is expressing an analysis that resides outside of, and completely at odds with, mainstream macroeconomic forecasting and scoring assumptions.”
Speaker Boehner brings back threat to default on debt without massive spending cuts, while pledging more tax cuts, at “Fiscal Summit.” NYT: “Mr. Boehner’s stance threatened to throw Congress back into the debt-limit stalemate that consumed Washington in 2011, but this time at the height of a campaign that Republicans are trying to make a referendum on Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy … the Treasury [Secretary said he] has enough ‘tools’ to keep the government afloat into early next year. That should push a debt-ceiling showdown well past the November election.”
Senate Dems don’t flinch. Politico: “‘If [Boehner] continues this, it’s going to be a Republican party that the Republicans won’t like,’ Reid continued. ‘They don’t even like it very much now. The only people who like the Republican folks in Congress today are the Republicans in Congress. No one else likes them, including all the Republicans around the country.’ … ‘It is pretty galling for Speaker Boehner to be laying down demands for another debt ceiling agreement when he won’t even abide by the last one,’ Schumer said.”
Alan Simpson slams Paul Krugman as someone who “borders on hysteria” in Bloomberg interview.
Europe must do more than reject austerity, says American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner: “First, we need public investment to make up for depressed private purchasing power … The second need is debt relief—for small countries and for households with underwater mortgages … Last, the banking system should be reined in…”
Too-Big-To Fail Gets Bigger
JPMorgan scandal reminds: too-big-to-fail banks are now even bigger. Politico: “Efforts to manage the size of such institutions were at the heart of the Dodd-Frank financial law passed in July 2010. But nearly two years later, many of the law’s regulations remain in limbo, as federal agencies muddle through long rule-making processes against stiff industry opposition … All the while, the country’s biggest financial institutions continue to grow. The five largest, which controlled $6.1 trillion in assets before the collapse, by the end of 2011 had assets worth $8.5 trillion…”
AIG back in the subprime market. Bloomberg: “AIG, which is also bolstering its unit that insures home loans with low down payments, is wagering that a more than 35 percent plunge in property values, cheaper prices for the securities and fewer competitors justify returning to investments that four years ago required the government to step in when it was unable to meet margin calls to banks.”
Older unemployed workers having harder time finding work. NYT: “A new Government Accountability Office report on unemployed older workers looks at the difficulties they face … In 2011, 55 percent of workers older than 55 had been out of work for 27 weeks or more, compared to 47 percent of those 25 to 55 … those who are laid off and never find another job can see their retirement savings shrivel as they spend fewer years paying into employer-based plans and Social Security …”
Tea Party loses fight to kill Export-Import Bank. NYT: “The final vote belied the fight between new Tea Party-aligned organizations like the Club for Growth and old-line business groups like the United States Chamber of Commerce, which pressed hard to save the bank. In the end, it was no contest. Senators crushed a series of conservative amendments intended to shrivel or kill off the bank, then passed the measure 78 to 20.”
Judicial ruling could force Super PACs to disclose all donors. HuffPost: “In April, a district court judge struck down a Federal Election Commission regulation that allowed donors to certain nonprofit groups — including those created by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers — to evade normal disclosure requirements. And on Monday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit turned down a request to stay that ruling on a 2 to 1 vote … Campaign law expert Rick Hasen blogged that he expects the ‘stay request to now end up before the Supreme Court, where the outcome may be different.’”