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The Ryan Choice (Robert Reich)
Reich argues that as a running mate, Paul Ryan is the opposite of Sarah Palin: smooth shell, nutty right-wing filling. And while that might be a treat for the Republican base, Romney and Ryan might as well be running on the Social Darwinist ticket.
Dispelling the Mystery of Ryan’s Republican Budget Cuts (SSN)
Like Romney’s tax plan, the Ryan budget blueprint relies on leaving a lot of blank space to give the impression of a reasonable and fiscally responsible foundation. But when experts connect the remaining dots, we’re left with a pretty scary picture.
Why Ryan Makes Romney’s Tax Problem Even Worse (TNR)
Alec MacGillis notes that Romney has found a novel way to prevent any irritating questions about his tax returns in the future: he’s picked a running mate whose budget plan would ensure that he’d never again be required to pay any income taxes.
The One Housing Solution Left: Mass Mortgage Refinancing (NYT)
Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Zandi argue that housing is what ails the recovery and Senator Jeff Merkley’s mass refinancing plan is the best medicine available. It works just like a giant tax cut, except actually useful.
Is This Really the Worst Economic Recovery Since the Great Depression? (NYT)
Catherine Rampell writes that the current recovery beats out earlier economic rebounds by at least one measure, but the sharpness of the downturn combined with the slow pace of the recovery means that it still puts in a strong bid for worst in show.
Five myths about Obama’s stimulus (WaPo)
Michael Grunwald makes the case that much of what we think we know about how the stimulus was ineffective at best and a disaster at worst is a meme concocted by critics after their sophisticated attempts to nickname it Porkulus failed to catch on.
Goldman’s Victory: Don’t Blame Prosecutors (HuffPo)
Peter S. Goodman writes that the Justice Department’s decision to drop its investigation of Goldman Sachs’s role in the financial crisis reflects the fact that in our current system, banks can twist the law like a pretzel without actually breaking it.
Problems Riddle Moves to Collect Credit Card Debt (NYT)
Thought robo-signing was only a problem with mortgages? Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that similar problems are cropping up with credit cards as issuers prove unable to document much except that credit cards are a thing that exists.
The Truth About Welfare (TAP)
Paul Waldman writes that TANF should be up for debate if the GOP has legitimate critiques of how the Obama administration is administering it, but the Romney campaign’s ads have instead opted to make up some things to complain about.
Talk About Poverty: Peter Edelman’s Questions for Obama and Romney (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann introduces a new series in which experts in antipoverty policy present questions for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that push them to take a position on poverty beyond their standard responses of “it’s bad”/”don’t really care.”