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Hating on Ben Bernanke (NYT)
Paul Krugman argues that the QE3 announcement showed Ben Bernanke is willing to change course in response to criticism, while the right’s response showed the crazy train is chugging full steam ahead and Mitt Romney is hitching a ride in the boxcars.
Two Cheers for the Fed, But Thumbs Down for Moody’s and the Deficit Hawks (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that while it’s good that the Fed is keeping interest rates low, it won’t help anyone except the banks unless Congress backs it up with fiscal policy. Sadly, Congress’s idea of fiscal policy is arming a time bomb and then debating how to defuse it.
Do Tax Cuts Lead to Economic Growth? (NYT)
David Leonhardt writes that the Romney-Ryan tax plan is more of a fill-in-the-blank puzzle, and given the failure of the Bush tax cuts, the biggest question mark is how it will boost the economy aside from Paul Ryan clapping his hands and believing really hard.
Romney: My Magic Tax Plan Will Repeal Laws of Arithmetic (NY Mag)
Jonathan Chait notes that Romney managed to make his tax math even more impossible by claiming that he won’t raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000, but what can you do when even the studies meant to defend you accidentally prove you wrong?
Can the Chicago Teachers’ Strike Fix Democratic Education Reform? (TNR)
Richard Kahlenberg writes that the tough spot the strike has put Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel in may convince Democrats that their approach to education reform has to involve more than copying their answers off the Republicans’ test paper.
What happened to Occupy? (Salon)
On the first birthday of Occupy Wall Street, Natasha Lennard talks to participants and commentators about the growing pains of a movement that changed our national political discourse at an earlier age than most people start learning their first words.
A Condo Was Sold, Until It Wasn’t (NYT)
Gretchen Morgenson walks us through the case of the Florida woman whose short sale was approved by Bank of America, then rejected, then approved, then rejected, then finally approved again, with an explanation that resembled a multiple-choice test.
We’re Winning the War on Poverty (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias writes that looking beyond the official poverty rate shows we’re making significant headway in fighting it, thanks largely to policymakers who have devised the cunning strategy of making people less poor by giving them more money.
Is Poverty a Kind of Robbery? (NYT)
Thomas Edsall highlights research that shows cash transfers to the poor don’t help as long as the poor are forced to transfer them right into the pockets of their landlords. If only the Democrats didn’t consider this one of those “speak no evil” problems.
How a fluorescent jellyfish — and federal dollars — helped fight AIDS (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm notes that many of our greatest scientific breakthroughs come from the most ridiculous-sounding federally funded research projects, but sequestration and Republican policy may soon leave little room for studying screwworm sex.