Must-Read Op-Eds for Dec. 12, 2012

Updated
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n_mj_toptalk_121212

NO FAIR WAGE FOR YOU

HAROLD MEYERSON

WASHINGTON POST

What conservatives haven’t acknowledged, and what even most liberal commentators fail to appreciate, is how central the collapse of collective bargaining is to American workers’ inability to win themselves a raise. Yes, globalizing and mechanizing jobs has cut into the livelihoods of millions of U.S. workers, but that is far from the whole story. … An exhaustive study by economist Lonnie K. Stevans of Hofstra University found that states that have enacted such laws reported no increase in business start-ups or rates of employment. Wages and personal income are lower in those states than in those without such laws, Stevans concluded, though proprietors’ incomes are higher. In short, right-to-work laws simply redistribute income from workers to owners.

WHEN REPUBLICANS SHOULD WALK AWAY FROM A DEAL

JOE SCARBOROUGH

POLITICO

Anyone who has spent more than five minutes looking at the numbers knows that what the President is demanding Republicans do - raise the marginal tax rates on the top two brackets - will bring in a total of about $80 billion a year in additional revenue.  As Governor Barbour said, that $80 billion of new taxes sent to Washington will fund the federal government for about eight days. …I believe conservatives should not vote to raise more taxes for Washington if that vote is not tied to reforming the tax code, saving Medicare and cutting into Washington’s bloated bureaucracy. Congressional Republicans should not allow Democrats to lead from behind on entitlement cuts or tax reform. If they do, then House conservatives have every right, and I believe a real responsibility, to walk away from any deal that raises taxes without reforming the way Washington spends money.

CAN GOD SAVE EGYPT?

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

NEW YORK TIMES

The wild street demonstrations here — for and against the constitution — tell me one thing: If it is just jammed through by Morsi, Egypt will be building its new democracy on a deep fault line. It will never be stable. Egypt is thousands of years old. It can take six more months to get its new constitution right. God is not going to save Egypt. It will be saved only if the opposition here respects that the Muslim Brotherhood won the election fairly — and resists its excesses not with boycotts (or dreams of a coup) but with better ideas that win the public to the opposition’s side. And it will be saved only if Morsi respects that elections are not winner-take-all, especially in a society that is still defining its new identity, and stops grabbing authority and starts earning it. Otherwise, it will be all fall down.

DEATH AND TAXES

EDITORIAL

WASHINGTON POST

What critics of the estate tax overlook is that it helps the government recoup much revenue it loses to a loophole-riddled tax code and that the estate tax is a progressive method of revenue collection. … Mr. Obama’s plan, to which the Senate Democrats are objecting, would indeed increase estate taxes but not nearly as much as they would rise without congressional action. The president proposes a 45 percent rate applied to estates above $3.5 million. This would raise a projected $276 billion over 10 years. Yet only 700 farms or small businesses would pay, according to Joint Committee on Taxation projections. Given the massive federal debt, it certainly makes no sense to be more generous to wealthy heirs than Mr. Obama’s compromise proposal would be.

COUNTING THE CASUALTIES OF BARACK OBAMA’S DRONE WARS

JOE SCARBOROUGH

POLITICO

The release of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” will surely lay waste to at least one of the left wing’s lies: that the CIA’s enhanced interrogation did nothing to gain actionable intelligence. … For those moral poseurs still putting themselves to sleep by repeating inane lullabies learned while Dick Cheney lived in the Naval Observatory, know this: The treatment of enemy combatants is far more brutal today than it was under George W. Bush. Under Barack Obama, most suspects are killed instead of captured. And they are taken out in a way that risks the lives of children, mothers and grandparents who are unfortunate enough to live in close quarters with them. When the movie is made of America’s drone wars a decade from now, it will make the anti-terror tactics used by characters in “Zero Dark Thirty” seem quaint by comparison.

Must-Read Op-Eds for Dec. 12, 2012

Updated