What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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Does the 2012 Presidential Election Matter? (Naked Capitalism)
If you spent last week wondering why our national media had become consumed with the pseudo-importance of what some rando on CNN said, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller is here to set your mind at ease: it's because our political elites aren't interested in debating anything of substance and firmly believe that we're all morons.
Romney's Right on the Recovery's Impact on Women, Wrong on the Causes (Forbes)
NND Editor Bryce Covert argues that aside from the nonsense about whether Barack Obama thinks mothers are the lowest form of humanity, Mitt Romney made a good point last week about how rough the recovery have been for women. Sadly, that's due to mass layoffs of public workers, whom many Republicans actually do talk about like they're the lowest form of humanity.
A Surprisingly Effective New Path to Neutralizing the Political Influence of Big Business (TNR)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt notes that progressives are convincing companies tied to ALEC that maybe having state legislators support their line of carbonated beverages isn't worth being associated with debates about whether people have the right to gun each other down in the street.
Europe’s Economic Suicide (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that the tragedy of Europeans taking their own lives to escape miserable economic conditions is only heightened by the fact that their leaders also seem to believe life isn't worth living if it means giving up on austerity measures or the European Union, which are responsible for that misery.
The bailout could turn a profit, but that's not entirely a good thing (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm notes that the Treasury Department has some good news and some bad news for us. The good news is that the financial bailouts wound up costing less than we expected. The bad news is that they've saved a lot of money that was supposed to help struggling homeowners by just... not doing that.
Will Pennsylvania Rip Another Hole in the Safety Net? (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann notes that the General Assistance programs maintained by some states are the weakest safety nets around, but Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett wants to try out an alternative program called No Assistance and see how far down the pit that safety net has been covering goes.
The dumb tax pledges that dominate Washington (WaPo)
Ezra Klein argues that we can't do things like rebuild and improve our roads as long as our political debate is between the party that thinks all taxes are evil and the party that thinks taxes are a necessary evil as long as paying for the stuff we need doesn't inconvenience anyone making less than $1 million.
Coming Soon: 'Taxmageddon' (NYT)
David Leonhardt notes that the Bush tax cuts and benefits in the Obama stimulus will expire on January 1 unless two parties that agree on nothing when it comes to the budget work out a deal before the end of a pivotal election year. Is that the smell of compromise in the air, or has the garbage truck not come by yet?
The Conventional Wisdom of Tax Reform (Baseline Scenario)
James Kwak argues that two fallacies commonly accepted by Beltway pundits writing about tax policy are that reform would have to involve lowering rates if Republicans weren't single-minded obstructionists and that Paul Ryan has any sort of plan other than his plan to convince pundits how super-duper smart he is.
Fix income inequality with $10 million loans for everyone! (WaPo)
Sheila Bair writes that ending economic inequality is no sweat -- just have the Fed treat everyone like a bank and give them tons of free money to play around with. Plus, it will help us all understand why the carried interest rate is a thing that totally makes sense and not at all a ridiculous loophole.