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Romney’s Public Disservice (The Nation)
Katrina vanden Heuvel notes that while public workers have been saving lives in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney claims we’d be better off if we privatized FEMA. But what if the 1% wind up like movie stars arguing over who has the nicest trailer?
Did recession-era austerity make Frankenstorm worse? (MSNBC)
Ned Resnikoff writes that years of budget cuts and financial mismanagement at the MTA and New York City hospitals left them ill-prepared to cope with the storm of the century. Knowing it’s going to rain doesn’t help much when you can’t afford an umbrella.
For Builders, the Storm Is Good for Business (NYT)
Catherine Rampell and Shaila Dewan report that there’s a silver lining to Sandy’s devastation: the construction industry will have to start hiring more workers to rebuild everything. See also the upcoming Romney policy paper, “On the Benefits of Dynamite.”
Obama vs. Hoover (NYT)
Robert S. McElvaine writes that Herbert Hoover is Barack Obama’s closest presidential counterpart in terms of the economic crises they faced, but while Obama’s policy response has left many wondering if he did too little, Hoover’s removed any doubt.
Romney would be a backward step (FT)
Martin Wolf argues that this election comes down to a choice between an incumbent who lacks the bold vision needed to surmount our economic challenges and an opponent who has borrowed George W. Bush’s eyes like that scene in Minority Report.
Money Talks in Many Ways: Election-Season Reflections on How the Ruling Class Rules (Truthout)
Paul Street notes that the influence of the rich goes beyond buying politicians through campaign donations. Everything from corporate lobbying to mass media control allows them to set the boundaries of debate like parents child-proofing their homes.
Mortgage Price-Gouging Courtesy of the Bailout (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger points out that it’s a great time to be JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, since regulators have let them buy out smaller mortgage lenders, allowing them to charge whatever they want. There’s more genuine competition in a Coke/Pepsi taste test.
How Elizabeth Warren saved taxpayers $1 billion (Salon)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller explains how Elizabeth Warren’s work on the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel forced the Treasury Department to shape up, demonstrating that public servants can save taxpayers money by being good at their jobs.
A Tax Refund That Could Help Congress Over Cliff (Bloomberg)
Peter Orszag, erstwhile speaker at the Hamptons Institute and the Next American Economy breakfast series, argues that a universal tax refund would give policymakers more rope to rappel down the fiscal cliff if they can’t strike a deal on the Bush tax cuts.
‘Tax Reform’ Is Republicanese for ‘Massive Tax Cuts for the Rich’ (The Atlantic)
Matthew O’Brien writes that, like the old urban legend about Inuit tribes having hundreds of words for snow, “broadening the base and lowering the rates” is shaping up to be another of the GOP’s vast lexicon of coded terms for cutting taxes for the rich.