"Left and Right Align in Fighting Obama's Trade Agenda," announces the New York Times, and we can only hope! Seriously, though, I doubt very many teabagger Congressfolk will be with us in the end. I'm not even sure rank-and-file Tea Party members are with us on this, because they are, to put it gently, a profoundly confused lot. The Times doesn't help with its reporting, which gives plenty of air to charges that President Obama's exceeded his authority (from people who must have been asleep during Tha Bush Mobb years!) and no air to, for example, "free" trade agreements' ability to nullify American laws.
David Cay Johnston at al Jazeera discusses the "faux tax reform" being offered by both President Obama and Congressional Republicans. Mr. Johnston largely concentrates on the now-abandoned Obama proposal to start taxing 529 college-savings plans, which mostly quite well-off folks use, and the Obama proposal to assess a tax amnesty rate of 19% on offshore corporate profits. Still, we could use some more aggressive reformers in Congress who would tax corporate profits and millionaire income hard -- and not just get rid of all the handouts for rich folks.
Michael Paarlberg at the Guardian writes a pretty thorough takedown of "right-to-work" laws in America, demonstrating that such laws don't create jobs or increase individual freedom, since all they do is deprive unions of union dues. Best passage: "Right-to-work laws illustrate the fundamental inconsistency at the heart of anti-union libertarianism. The outrage that small-government types voice in response to any infringement on individual liberties suddenly vanishes when those infringements happen in a workplace. And, as the saying goes, you get more orders from your boss in a day than you get from the government in a year."
Speaking of the ongoing war on unions, three Republican Senators introduce a "resolution of disapproval" which seeks to overturn a recent NLRB rule mandating speedier union elections. The notion that workers will resent their dues going to political campaigning is rubbish, since forcing members to contribute to such campaigns is against the law in the first place, but the notion that corporations just won't have time to prepare for union elections, when so many of them pay folks whose only job is fighting unionization, is almost as absurd.
Finally, Jim Hightower describes how one CEO -- Mark Bertolini of Aetna -- has rejected the it's-all-about-me behavior of contemporary corporate CEOs, by paying his workers no less than $16/hour and lowering health insurance costs for his lowest-paid workers. And he tells his executives to read Thomas Piketty's book! Aetna rakes in $62 billion annually, and expects Mr. Bertolini's reforms to cost some $26 million annually; you and I might note that $26 million is less than one-twentieth of one percent of $62 billion, but most other CEOs will look at that $26 million and say, that $26 million should be mine!