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The Great American Tax Debate (NYT)
Eduardo Porter writes that skepticism about taxes is as distinctly American as a NASCAR driver eating a deep-fried Twinkie, but that may be because taxpayers in other countries don’t have to hire a research team to help figure out what they’re paying for.
Who receives government benefits, in six charts (WaPo)
Brad Plumer notes that our safety net is steadily expanding and primarily benefits the elderly, disabled, and middle class, though the rich get a helping hand through tax expenditures. Is there anyone left who Mitt Romney still wants to be president of?
We’ll All Be Moochers Someday. Yay! (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn argues that Romney’s comments may help to shape perceptions of government for the better by reminding voters that they’re paying into the system now because they’d kind of like to be able to buy food or visit a doctor when they retire.
How Do the 47% Vote? (NYT)
Catherine Rampell notes that when Romney called half the country hopeless losers, he may have accidentally been describing his own base, since support for Republicans is high among older voters and states that receive more government benefits.
Mitt breaks out the V-word (Salon)
Irin Carmon writes that saying too many Americans see themselves as “victims” is part of a conservative tradition of blaming women and minority groups for whining about having to work twice as hard for half as much instead of just working four times as hard.
Isn’t Mitt Romney a Member of the 47 Percent? (The Nation)
John Nichols points out that despite Romney’s seeming disdain for Americans who don’t pay income taxes, his dedication to paying as little as possible on his own millions suggests that he’s really just mad that he hasn’t figured out their secret yet.
Some Big Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, Either (NYT)
Corporations are moochers too, my friend. Bruce Bartlett notes that despite the common wisdom that corporate tax rates are too high and hurting productivity, most corporations view their official tax rate as an opening bid rather than a final agreement.
Bernanke makes an historic choice (FT)
Martin Wolf praises the Fed for pursuing another round of quantitative easing, and writes that there’s far more risk of doing too little to address demand than of doing so much that we’re all left learning Chinese and carting cash around in wheelbarrrows.
Fed’s latest stimulus may have little impact on mortgage borrowers (WaPo)
Danielle Douglas and Brady Dennis report that while QE3 is partly intended to boost the economy by lowering the cost of issuing loans, lenders are planning to pocket the extra profits and wait for this whole people-asking-for-money thing to blow over.
Progressives must work to retake the Supreme Court (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that with the fate of most progressive reform since the New Deal balanced on a knife edge in the Supreme Court, there are added risks to electing a Republican whose chief judicial adviser wasn’t a fan of the Civil Rights Act.