April 2: Don't Buy What They're Selling

Apr 2, 2012Tim Price

daily-digest-150 What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.

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Pink Slime Economics (NYT)
Paul Krugman argues that while other GOP budgets have featured plenty of turn-your-brain-off economics, Paul Ryan's secret plan to raise trillions of dollars by closing tax loopholes without actually closing any loopholes is their first stab at straight-up fraud.

Whose Recovery? (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that despite talk of recovery, the bottom 90 percent continue to wonder how they'll make ends meet as their incomes shrink while the top 1 percent ponder whether they should buy just one new car this year or build a bigger garage.

The right's stealthy coup (WaPo)
E.J. Dionne writes that self-professed centrists and moderates have to realize that letting radical conservatives constantly move the goalposts to the right isn't a principled choice; it just allows the Republicans to turn them into Diet Republicans.

Don't Wish For Judicial Overreach (TAP)
Scott Lemieux doubts that the Supreme Court striking down health care reform will lead to a public backlash or single-payer, which would rely on the public suddenly caring a lot more about the Court and on Congress suddenly making good decisions.

As Foreclosure Problems Persist, Fed Seeks More Fines (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that regulators may fine eight firms for foreclosing on homes despite missing or fraudulent documentation. This is in addition to the five major firms that do the same stuff but have already pledged to start hiding it better.

Join the conversation about the Roosevelt Institute’s new initiative, Rediscovering Government, led by Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick.

Fresno to Homeless People -- Get Out (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann writes that Fresno's aggressive new policy of destroying the property of homeless people who don't use the city's overcrowded shelters is sending a clear message: You don't have to go home, for obvious reasons, but you can't stay here.

More states privatizing their infrastructure. Are they making a mistake? (WaPo)
Brad Plumer notes that more and more states are tempted to sell off their transportation infrastructure to cover budget shortfalls, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the legions of the damned are going to keep raising tolls.

How to Prevent a Financial Overdose (NYT)
Gretchen Morgenson highlights a new paper that argues we need an FDA equivalent for complex financial instruments to tell us what kind of depression, anxiety, painful oozing, and Restless Leg-like disorders we can expect if we buy into them.

Obama Plans Overhaul of Student-Loan Debt Collector Practices (Bloomberg)
The Obama administration wants to require debt collectors to allow people to repay their student loans based on the size of their income rather than their debt, or to put it another way, based on what they do have instead of what they don't have.

Why Gas Prices Are Out of Any President’s Control (NYT)
Richard Thaler notes that attempts by candidates like Newt Gingrich to pin the blame for rising gas prices on Barack Obama and guarantee $2.50 a gallon on his watch are as credible as his plan to win the primaries without winning any primaries.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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