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Poverty’s Up, Yet Still on the Back Burner (Policy Shop)
Bob Herbert writes that policymakers from both parties seem to have surrendered in the war on poverty, but the 100 million Americans who have become the forgotten POWs of that conflict still have the power to join forces and stage their own rescue.
Who Counts as Middle Class? (NYT)
Catherine Rampell notes that the Pew study of the middle class shows many Americans consider the definition of middle class to be something close to whatever it is they make. It’s the economic equivalent of describing yourself as “fun-loving.”
Romney Economic Plan Hurts Red States, Helps Wealthy Urbanites, While Obama Boosts Rural Areas (The Nation)
Ari Melber highlights a new map of tax and census data that suggests Obama and Romney would each like to transfer money to the other’s supporters. The big hitch for Romney is that the people he wants to give money already have all of it.
Five myths about Paul Ryan’s budget (WaPo)
Peter Orszag explains a few things about Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” that the pundits won’t tell you, like the fact that it won’t reduce the deficit, lower health care costs, or create certainty. Is his name even Paul Ryan? Where’s the birth certificate?
Galt, Gold and God (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that despite Paul Ryan’s reputation as an ideas guy, most of those ideas are cribbed from his dog-eared copy of Atlas Shrugged. If he were a devoted Harry Potter fan, he’d be complaining about muggles instead of moochers.
Republicans eye return to gold standard (FT)
Robin Harding and Anna Fifield note that the platform that will be adopted at the GOP convention includes a commission to look into the restoration of the gold standard. Also up for consideration: hearts, stars, horse shoes, clovers, and blue moons.
Where is today’s Teddy Roosevelt? (WaPo)
A modern-day FDR might be a pipe dream for now, but Harold Meyerson wonders why we can’t at least get a Republican like TR, whose platform from 100 years ago was so radically progressive that the socialist candidate considered him a copycat.
The Racial Optimism Gap (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias notes that while they’re faring much worse in the current economy, African Americans are way more hopeful than their more affluent white peers. If white Americans hate Obama’s dog, they’re not going to be won over by his economy.
Getting Rid of the College Loan Repo Men (Washington Monthly)
Stephen Burd proposes that the federal govermnet adopt a simple, income-based student loan repayment plan instead of hiring predatory debt collectors who act like they’re bounty hunters tracking down hardened killers with English degrees.
Secret Bain documents reveal that Mitt Romney is rich (Salon)
Alex Pareene argues that there isn’t much in the Bain document dump that we didn’t already know about Mitt Romney, but the sheer complexity of his Cayman accounts should boggle the minds of those who can’t even afford to vacation there.