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What Will Obama Do About Income Inequality? Not Much. (Prospect)
Jamelle Bouie writes that while President Obama has positioned himself as the candidate of the 99 percent, he hasn’t really offered a plan for reducing inequality. But he has a plan to keep it from getting worse by virtue of not being his opponents.
Romney and the Forbes 400 (NYT)
Joe Nocera notes that the level of wealth required to make the Forbes 400 list has soared over the last 30 years thanks to factors like the capital gains tax break, and the rest of us eating cold baked beans by candlelight are all very excited for them.
We Are the 96 Percent (NYT)
Suzanne Mettler and John Sides point out that wherever we fall on the political spectrum or the income scale, nearly all of us will both pay into and benefit from government programs at some point. Republicans are just less likely to say “thank you.”
Romney’s Misleading Attack on Social Insurance (Fiscal Times)
Mark Thoma argues that by framing the issue as “makers vs. takers,” conservatives are arguing against their own cuts to the safety net. After all, if they’re responsible for creating everything, shouldn’t all the huge messes also be theirs to clean up?
The emergency department is not health insurance (WaPo)
Sarah Kliff writes that despite Mitt Romney’s suggestion that the ER is a free hospital for poor people, evidence shows that uninsured patients receive inferior care and treatment and may be hounded by debt collectors with a regrettable bedside manner.
Obama May Do Social Security Reform During Lame Duck Session (HuffPo)
Sam Stein reports that senators like Bernie Sanders are worried that President Obama’s promise to oppose “slashing” Social Security benefits may not keep him from delicately carving them off in order to reach a grand bargain on the fiscal cliff.
‘We Built It’? Republican’s invocation of entrepreneurism has a hollow ring (Guardian)
Dean Baker argues that while Republicans worship entreprenuers, the failure rate of most new business ventures means they’re likely to result in more bankrupty and wasted capital. On second thought, maybe they really are the heart of our economy.
I.M.F. Praises Central Banks, but Sees Slowing Ahead (NYT)
Annie Lowrey notes that IMF director Christine Lagarde supports recent central bank actions that could provide significant aid to the global economy, but she doesn’t want anyone jumping the gun and assuming they should actually be optimistic.
Is QE3 working? What the markets are telling us about the Fed’s move. (WaPo)
Neil Irwin writes that the QE3 program is doing well in some areas, like inflation expectations, but receives middling grades in others, like mortgage rates. Overall, Bernanke’s probably looking at one of those “B-, shows improvement” report cards.
Ex-Regulator Has Harsh Words for Bankers and Geithner (NYT)
Ben Protess and Peter Eavis note that former FDIC chair Sheila Bair has a new book coming out this week, and suffice to say the subtitle is not How Tim Geithner Wasn’t Entirely Awful at Handling the Financial Crisis and Reforming Wall Street.