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The massive policy gap between Obama and Romney (WaPo)
Ezra Klein writes that it’s tough to compare the candidates’ plans when Obama has detailed proposals about all sorts of things while Romney insists that he’ll fix everything, but like a birthday wish, he has to keep his policies secret for them to come true.
Cutbacks to Unemployment Insurance Came Long Before the Great Recession (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert argues that states claiming they’ve been forced to cut the safety net due to the hard choices imposed by the economic downturn could have avoided the problem by making some easy choices, like keeping it well-funded with taxes.
Measuring Mooching (NYT)
Nancy Folbre notes that the conservative definition of “moochers” has expanded to include even middle-class Americans who receive government benefits, but still conveniently leaves out freeloaders who make their fortune in the U.S. and shelter it overseas.
Beating Back the CEO Attack on Social Security and Medicare (HuffPo)
Dean Baker suggests that the best way to foil the plan to undermine America’s most vital programs is to throw open the door to the smoke-filled back room where it’s being crafted and let the people who are actually going to be affected by it have their say.
We Now Have Our Smallest Government in 45 Years (The Atlantic)
Jordan Weissman notes that when compared to our population size, the American public sector has now shrunk to its smallest size since the waning days of LBJ’s presidency. Start filling up that bathtub, boys, and don’t worry about adding in the bubbles.
A Slowdown in Growth, an Increase in Income Inequality (NYT)
David Leonhardt looks at two reasons income has stagnated: a weak post-2001 recovery and the Great Recession beginning in 2007 have shrunk the size of the pie, and the richest households are devouring all but the crumbs at the bottom of the tin.
The Romney Tax Hike (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that Romney has backed himself into a corner with a tax plan that would raise rates for the middle class, but in order to escape, he’d have to admit the GOP only cares about deficits when they can blame them on someone else.
In Weak Economy, an Opening to Court Votes of Single Women (NYT)
Shaila Dewan writes that traditionally Democratic single women are one of the most prized groups of potential swing voters this year, though the GOP is torn between appealing to their financial concerns and a burning desire to confiscate their birth control.
Emails Give Glimpse Into Deals That Fueled Financial Meltdown (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein look at e-mails that show how the banks and hedge fund Magnetar made $40 billion in deals that helped crash the economy. But what about context, like all the funny chain letters they were forwarding one another?
Downsizing Supersize (New Yorker)
James Surowiecki argues that while New Yorkers may not like being part of a social experiment with the large soda ban, we’re already being tested by companies that expect us to buy a soda big enough to soak a baby in just because they’re selling it.