Jaime Fuller

Jaime Fuller is a former associate editor at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

The GOP's Payroll Offensive

In a surprising change of heart, House Republicans agreed yesterday to extend the $100 billion payroll tax cuts through the end of 2012 without spending cuts to offset the cost. However, the concession may signal a shift in strategy , rather than a cave, on the issue. A December Gallup poll showed that those surveyed trusted Democrats more than Republicans on the payroll tax issue by 41 percent to 34 percent. Republicans can't afford to lose any more traction on this issue during an election year, and their smartest move was to move on. However, agreeing to pass the payroll tax cut without much fanfare or debate leaves an opportunity to push harder on other benefits expiring at the end of the month—including extended unemployment insurance and Medicare physician reimbursements. Democrats would prefer to push all three programs in one piece of legislation, but if the Senate and House Republicans refuse to cooperate, the Democrats will need to come up with a way to finance the programs...

Greece's Baby Steps to Recovery

Today's Balance Sheet: Will Greece finally get the eurozone bailout it desperately needs?

The Greek Parliament passed austerity measures that were a crucial step to getting a €130 billion eurozone bailout yesterday. However, the country isn't out of the woods yet. Eurozone financial leaders will meet Wednesday to discuss the logistics of the bailout, which won't get approved—if it gets approved—until March. The austerity package, which includes wage and pension cuts and reduces the government payrolls by 150,000, passed by a 199-74 vote, but was accompanied by mass protests leaving forty buildings in Athens aflame. The rest of the eurozone applauded the move, seeing as the fate of the rest of the global economy rests in part on Greece's shoulders. Angela Merkel's spokesperson said the vote "shows the will and the readiness of the Greeks to undertake major efforts of their own, including tough cuts to put their country on a good path." Although the bill is only a first step, Greece “will be saved in one way or another,” said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble...

A Homeowner Bailout

Today's Balance Sheet: Banks are finally being forced to pay for their bad form during the housing bubble.

(Flickr/Galt Museum)
After a year of talks and little action, government officials have worked out a potential $26 billion settlement with the nation's top five banks, the New York Times reported. The agreement could provide relief for up to two million Americans who have had their homes foreclosed on since September 2008; it totals up to $1,500 to $2,000 per borrower. The five banks involved—Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo—collectively handle 27 million mortgages. Although this move is a good way to help hurting homeowners, bigger problems with the process need fixing. “If you don’t do something to help the foreclosure process, it’s not going to help the housing market,” said Christopher J. Mayer, a housing expert at Columbia Business School. The Latest Obama Advisers Revising Economic Outlook for Greater Job Growth Bloomberg Businessweek Greek Finance Minister Heads to Brussels as Loan Talks Stall The Wall Street Journal Tie U.S. Recovery Programs to...

Bernanke Tries to Predict the Future

Today's Balance Sheet: The recovery is still moving at a snail's pace, but campaigns aren't doing too bad at raking in cash.

Ben Bernanke is second only to Barack Obama when it comes to being a Republican punching bag for the economic downturn, but the Federal Reserve chairman spent some time explaining his decisions and expectations for the coming months during a session with the Senate Budget Committee yesterday. Bernanke said that his biggest worry was the federal deficit, which he said is on pace to become unsustainable in the next 15 to 20 years. He refused to say whether higher taxes or reduced spending would reduce the deficit, saying it's " not [his] place " and "that's something Congress is going to have to work out ... That's what people elected you to do." However, Bernanke did say that reducing the deficit cannot come at the price of continued recovery, especially since the recovery is still "frustratingly slow" and "sluggish," and could be torn asunder by the euro crisis. Bernanke's address left out the good January jobs report, giving more credence to the theory that the numbers may be an...

Super PACs Make It Rain

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
It’s no secret that super PACs skew toward the wealthy set. However, a new study from Demos ( editor's note : Demos is The American Prospect 's publishing partner) and U.S. PIRG highlights how few people are running the money game this election cycle and how secret some of their contributions can be. Since the birth of super PACs in 2010 until the end of 2011, 93 percent of the itemized funds raised by super PACs from individuals were more than $10,000. That’s only 726 people. To put that in perspective, more people voted for perennial Democratic candidate Vermin Supreme in the New Hampshire primary this January—831—than contributed more than $10,000 to a super PAC in 2010-2011. Only 35 individuals have donated more than $1 million. Although wealthy individuals accounted for 56 percent—or $100 million worth—of super PAC donations, corporations and nonprofits, which were freed by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision to make unlimited contributions to these organizations,...