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CBO: If nothing changes, we're in for another recession (WaPo)
Dylan Matthews flags new CBO projections that show plunging over the fiscal cliff would have mixed results. On the one hand, the deficit hawks could stop circling over our heads. On the other, we're headed for a painful landing on the rocks below.
Many at Fed Ready to Act if Necessary (NYT)
Annie Lowrey reports that minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting suggest that central bank officials could be gearing up for decisive action rather than another vaguely worded statement promising to maybe eventually do some stuff.
Study: Middle class poorer, earned less in 2000s (USA Today)
The middle class is held up as the core of American society, but according to a new study from the Pew Research Center, it's becoming a more and more exclusive club, and its increasingly miserable members are struggling to keep up with their dues.
Paul Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' Is Really a Bad Trip on the Road to Economic Ruin (AlterNet)
Paul Davidson argues that Paul Ryan's greatest weakness as an economic policy wonk is that he seems to know nothing about the history of the economy, or at least doesn't sweat the small stuff like the Great Depression or the Reagan administration.
The Definitive Guide to the Medicare Debate (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn pits Obama's Medicare reforms against the Romney-Ryan plan in an attempt to cut through the spin and concludes that turning Medicare into a voucher plan wouldn't be the worst idea if the GOP ticket wasn't trying to do it in the worst way.
Paul Ryan and the Promise of I've-Got-Mine-ism (Slate)
Dave Weigel notes that Paul Ryan's repeated promise that his Medicare plan won't affect anyone currently over 55 has the virtue of reassuring older voters and the vice of not really making sense if you stop and think for a minute about how it would work.
Europe's Highway to Hell (The Nation)
Dimitri Papadimitriou writes that Europeans had better enjoy their extended summer vacations, since without intervention from a strong European federal treasury, they'll soon be back to the grind of their entire financial system collapsing in on itself.
Final Volcker Rule expected by year-end (Reuters)
Treasury officials report that the long-delayed Volcker Rule, which was supposed to be due in July, will finally be rolled out by the end of the year. In related news, Wall Street bankers have suddenly bought into Mayan predictions of the 2012 apocalypse.
More Stay-at-Home Dads Are Only Half a Victory (Forbes)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that a less-than-impressive 0.8 percent of families have stay-at-home dads, and even that's because new parents are shoved out of the workforce like child-bearing is some bizarre new hobby that's interfering with their jobs.
More Evidence Wall Street Is Overpaid (Rolling Stone)
Matt Taibbi notes that as most hedge funds struggle to catch up with the basic S&P index this year, their Wile E. Coyote-esque investment schemes have proved inferior to their emergency fall-back plan: "Hey, maybe we should just buy some Apple stock."