Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
OurFuture.org's Bill Scher:  "Mitt Romney made the bold prediction that in four years, his policies would reduce the unemployment rate … to the level economists project it will be if we don’t do anything: 6% ... what’s sad about Romney’s pledge is that even when he is promising to run in place,he is exaggerating. As Romney is a supporter of the House Republican budget, he has embraced policies that are sure to increase unemployment above the baseline projection. According to Ethan Pollack of the Economic Policy Institute, '... the shock to aggregate demand from near-term spending cuts would result in roughly 1.3 million jobs lost in 2013 and 2.8 million jobs lost in 2014, or 4.1 million jobs through 2014.'"
Facebook, JP Morgan and Bain evidence of the "dysfunction of American capitalism," argues W. Post's Harold Meyerson:  "The Facebook affair provides one more bit of confirmation — not that any should be needed — that our economic system, when left to its own devices and when regulated by rules that powerful interests have shaped, tilts grotesquely toward the rich and their institutions. The JPMorgan Chase debacle has highlighted the fact that chief executive Jamie Dimon sits on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, his company’s primary regulator."
JPMorgan Chase risk oversight board lacks risk experts. Bloomberg:  "The three directors who oversee risk at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) include a museum head who sat on American International Group Inc.’s governance committee in 2008, the grandson of a billionaire and the chief executive officer of a company that makes flight controls and work boots. What the risk committee of the biggest U.S. lender lacks, and what the five next largest competitors have, are directors who worked at a bank or as financial risk managers."
NY AG Schneiderman calls for more investigators in his federal mortgage task force. WSJ:  "More than 100 people now work for the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group ... New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the five officials in charge of the group, said it is making impressive progress but could accelerate those efforts with more investigators. 'Do I want more resources, want things to go faster? Yes,' he said in an interview. 'Am I asking for more? Yes. Do I believe we'll get that? Yes.'"
Wells Fargo agrees to hand over mortgage docs to SEC. WSJ:  "Wells Fargo & Co. has handed over hundreds of emails and other documents related to its mortgage-backed securities business to the Securities and Exchange Commission after being taken to court ... the legal action gave a rare peek into the mountains of information being amassed by the SEC as it probes Wall Street's packaging and selling of these securities ... The SEC said that for 'most' of the securities offerings, the checks on samples of the pools found certain loans failed to meet the quality guidelines and were removed. But the agency added it did 'not appear that Wells Fargo took any steps to address similar deficiencies' in the rest of the loans in the pool, before selling them to investors."
SEC finds no fraud at Lehman. Bloomberg:  "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators have concluded their probe of possible financial fraud at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. without recommending enforcement action against the firm or its former executives, according to an excerpt of an internal agency memo. Lawmakers and investors have pressed the agency for more than three years to determine whether Lehman misrepresented its financial health before filing the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history in September 2008 ... officials have weighed issuing a public report on their findings that would stop short of an enforcement action while highlighting the firm’s questionable conduct."
Wall Street's fragile egos stifling discussion on regulation, says NYT's Paul Krugman:  "The bankers themselves have been bailed out, but the rest of the nation continues to suffer terribly, with long-term unemployment still at levels not seen since the Great Depression, with a whole cohort of young Americans graduating into an abysmal job market. And in the midst of this national nightmare, all too many members of the economic elite seem mainly concerned with the way the president apparently hurt their feelings."
Senate Republicans filibuster student loan bill again. W. Post:  "Democrats have proposed paying for the additional year of loan subsidies by ending a tax provision that allows executives of some small businesses to collect some of their income as business profits instead of wages, allowing them to avoid paying payroll taxes ... Republicans said the Democrats’ proposal amounted to a tax increase on those best positioned create jobs in the sluggish economy ... On a 51 to 43 vote, the measure failed to advance."
Time running out before rates will double. Politico:  "'With only 37 days left to stop student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1, Senate Republicans still have not proven that they’re serious about resolving this problem,' [WH Press Sec Jay Carney] said. Ten Republicans voted against their party’s bill, while one Democrat — Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia — rejected the Democratic version."
Obama tells Iowa wind power factory workers Congress must pass tax credit. W. Post:  "Obama told a crowd of supporters on the factory floor that the tax credits first enacted in 2009 as part of his economic stimulus are set to expire if Congress does not pass an extension by year’s end. Without the tax break, as many as 37,000 jobs could be lost, according to administration officials and industry experts. 'If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit,' Obama said. 'Jobs will be lost. That’s not a guess. That’s a fact. We can’t let that happen.'"
House GOP preps dirty energy bills:  "Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is promising more action on the House floor as Republicans fan out to oil rigs, fracking sites, a pipeline factory and other energy venues in several states Thursday and Friday to push for domestic production..."
New coalition presses Dems to stick with $250,000 threshold for ending Bush tax cuts. WSJ:  "Organizers of the new coalition, called Americans for Tax Fairness, worry that Democratic lawmakers are quietly pushing the threshold for tax increases to $1 million, in an effort to hit fewer households and make the plan more politically appealing. That would generate far less federal revenue, limiting what the government will have to spend, and increasing pressure to cut entitlement programs such as Medicare, coalition members fear."
GOP Sen. Tom Coburn criticizes Romney's military spending plans as adding to debt. US News:  "Romney [is] promoting a plan to increase American troop rolls by 100,000, increase Navy shipbuilding and modernize Air Force crafts. His plan for overall deficit reduction calls for cutting other parts of the budget, not defense. But Sen. Tom Coburn, author of The Debt Bomb, and one Congress' most fiscally conservative members, is calling for the opposite of increased defense spending ... 'If you had to tomorrow, without affecting our readiness or in strength, could you cut 10 to 15 percent out of your budget? Nobody's ever told me "No."'"
President tells AARP Magazine, "Social Security is not in an immediate crisis.":  " Social Security is not in an immediate crisis. It's not the driver of our deficits, the way Medicare and our health care programs are. We can easily tweak the Social Security program while protecting current beneficiaries, ensuring that it's there for future generations. There are ways that involve, for example, slightly raising the [payroll] cap. I think it's a pretty sensible thing to do. What I've said to [Republicans] is, 'I am prepared to sit down with you, the way Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill sat down together. And make very modest adjustments that extend the life of Social Security for 75 years."'"