Its 5 O’Clock Somewhere (time to catch up)
1) Romney has now voiced his support for extending the payroll tax cut. Instead of making this a political point, and focusing on how this is yet another flip-flop by Romney, I would rather voice my praise for the position he now supports. We really cannot allow these tax cuts to expire. Their expiration would cause a massive hit to an economy that can ill afford any negative shock, especially with European crisis looming. Big banks and the CBO are predicting somewhere around a 1.5% hit to GDP growth if the cuts are allowed to expire.
Ezra Klein explains how, despite important disagreements regarding how to pay for the extension of the tax-cuts, a bipartisan consensus is emerging that is a “tip of the hat” to
populism both the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party Movement.
Jamison Foser at Political Correction explains why Republicans are willing to do the right thing, but only for the wrong reason. He quotes Rep. Peter King (R. NY) who admitted “”If we don’t extend the payroll tax (cut), we’re giving the Democrats an issue.”
2) Shit with Iran is starting to hit the fan (sorry). One of our most advanced drones has disappeared, and Iran is claiming that they shot it down. Iran’s nuclear timeline does not put me at ease, either.
3) That nuclear timeline is why some are saying that we are inching closer to war with Iran–mainly “to save Israel.”
4) There appears to be a (rare) consensus in American politics about avoiding discussion of climate change. Funny the one thing Repubs and Dems agree on is such a terrible idea. The silence on this issue is particularly irresponsible, considering the emerging scientific consensus: if catastrophic climate change is to be prevented, the world must act with ”hitler on the march and our survival is at stake” type urgency. Perhaps that is why China is starting to talk to the U.S. about a climate pact.
5) Markets in Europe are suggesting that Europe’s huge week is progressing nicely. But, there are reasons to doubt that Europe has reached an effective solution, one that would make this optimism last. Charles Wyplotz of Vox takes the opposite view, but still argues that, while fiscal discipline is exactly what is needed–as far as this proposed solution goes, the devil is in the details.