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Economist Dean Baker has a fascinating post at the CEPR blog entitled “A Tale of Two Deficit Charts.” In it, he explains how both Repubs and Dems have been guilty of promoting misleading stories on the origins and future of the federal deficit. The real culprit, Baker argues persuasively, was/is the collapse of the economy that was precipitated by the bursting of the housing bubble.

 Here is the excellent conclusion: Read More

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Good ol’ Erskine Bowles does it again. As budget and tax guru Bob Greenstein noted late yesterday in this post entitled: Bowles ‘Compromise’ Proposal to the Right of Boehner Offer to Obama in July.”

This stuff can be impenetrable, but it’s clear that the federal debt negotiations are following a familiar pattern: Republicans make a proposal and then refuse to budge or move even further right. Democrats start slightly right of center and then compete with each other to see how fast they can give in or outdo the GOP in slashing social programs.