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David Dayen

 
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Boehner Bails on Plan B

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 5:46 pm

I just finished laughing from this spectacle on the House floor today. The House leadership tried desperately to pass “Plan B,” the main part of which was an extension of the Bush tax cuts on the first $1 million of income. In truth, all of the other giveaways in it would actually result in lower [...]

The Plan B Follies: Freedomworks Jumps Off the Ship

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 11:40 am

This clown show on the House floor just got more hilarious. At some point in the last four hours or so, Freedomworks, a key tea party group, abandoned their support of Plan B, this Boehner proposal to create what looks like a conservative wish list. They wrote a long encomium to Plan B at 9am [...]

Plan B Morphs Into a Conservative Wish List

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 10:45 am

House Republicans will wait until tonight to pass “Plan B,” and while I think ultimately it will pass, the reason they’re waiting so long is that they have to figure out what to put into it to get conservative votes. Erick Son of Erick has a whip list of 34 no votes and 12 leaners, [...]

GDP Rises to 3.1% in Final Q3 Estimate, But the Main Drivers Won’t Last

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 10:00 am

The economy grew at a faster rate than expected in the third quarter, according to the final revision on GDP released today. GDP increased at a relatively healthy 3.1% clip in Q3, a step up from the 1.3% increase in the final revision in Q2. Both figures are annualized. The Bureau of Economic Analysis explains [...]

Testimony Today in Congress About Benghazi Incident

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 9:15 am

Hearings in Congress today pile on the political debate over the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. The hearings come on the heels of the Pickering-Mullen report, which looked at the actions of the State Department and foreign service leading up to the attack, finding serious deficiencies in management and “grossly inadequate” security at [...]

What the Housing Market Actually Looks Like

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 8:30 am

This week brought more good statistical news for the housing market. Existing home sales rose at a decent clip in November, nearing post-bubble highs not seen since the artificial spike from the homebuyer’s tax credit (I’ve noted that the end of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act could be giving the same spike). Inventory fell [...]

Pelosi Says Chained CPI Would Strengthen Social Security

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 7:45 am

Republican craziness has stopped a deal from happening on the fiscal slope, and really nothing else. Because here’s Nancy Pelosi yesterday on chained CPI, a benefit cut to Social Security recipients that happens to be regressive and more painful as people age: Q: Members of your Caucus are organizing against the chained CPI that the [...]

Senate Republicans Nickel and Diming Sandy Relief

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 7:01 am

While the nonsense continues on the fiscal slope, which increasingly looks like something the nation will have to weather, the Senate has been working on an appropriation for states suffering from the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy. The parallel has to be understood: in one part of Washington, they’re trying to put in a deficit [...]

Boehner’s Plan B Also Cuts Taxes on Rich, Raises Them on Poor

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 6:25 am

John Boehner may not even have the votes for today’s “Plan B,” a bill that effectively raises taxes on people making over $1 million a year. He was seen gladhanding on the House floor last night, whipping votes for his side. He can only lose 24 votes to reach 217 (there are a couple vacancies [...]

Boehner Delivers Plan B Ultimatum

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:33 pm

John Boehner just gave a “press conference” that clocked in at under a minute, where he took no questions and basically said that Democrats could either pass his “Plan B” proposal, which extends Bush-era tax rates on the first $1 million of income and does basically nothing else, or “be responsible for the largest tax [...]

SEC Report on Credit Ratings Highlights Conflict of Interest Inherent in Issuer-Pays Model

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 11:39 am

The Securities and Exchange Commission released a report on the method for how credit rating agencies get their business, something mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. And just as expected, it showed a serious conflict of interest in the current business model, where rating agencies are paid by the issuer of securities, and have to compete for their business, adding all sorts of distortions into the kinds of ratings they give. A better model, envisioned by Dodd-Frank at first but then put into this study, would allow an oversight board to dole out to qualified ratings agencies the securities that would get rated, removing the conflict of interest entirely.

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