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Posted at 6:29 PM ET, 12/14/2010


By Ezra Klein

Recap: How the tax deal could fail; a shot at Senate reform; and the Washington Wizards' theory of inequality and financial crises.


1) Dave Weigel rounds up the statements of all the Republicans who might be presidential candidates and who've commented on the tax deal.

2) "This is increasingly my fear: that there is no principled alternative to muddling through; that every ideologue's op-ed is wrong, except the ones serendipitously right. But muddle we must." Will Wilkinson deserves some sort of blogging award for this post.

3) Larry Summers's farewell address.

4) I'll be talking tax deal on Lawrence O'Donnell's show at about 10 p.m. Eastern.

Recipe of the day: spicy red lentil dal (and three more lentil recipes).

By Ezra Klein  | December 14, 2010; 6:29 PM ET
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Next: Wonkbook: Senate will vote on tax deal today; House looks to change estate provisions; Admin's housing plans criticized


I'll comment on Will Wilkinson's post here because I don't have a login at the Economist.

True to his libertarian roots, he addresses the problem through rhetoric and philosophy rather than data. If his thesis were correct, that government power is inevitably turned in favor of those it is meant to restrain, then countries which implement more of the progressives' dream policies would be more corrupt and shower greater inequality in the distribution of wealth and power. You see the opposite. And if it were correct, the past, when these policies were not implemented, would show greater equality than the present. Well, this is a mixed bag. It depends how far back you go. Finally, the retrenchment of progressive policies that we've been seeing since Reagan should coincide with a lessening of inequality as the instrument of abuse was taken away from the abusers. Again, we see the opposite.

Wilkinson's rhetoric waves in an interesting direction, but to the extent that it provides testable theses it is wrong.

Posted by: dfhoughton | December 15, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

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