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Paul Ryan vs. the Middle Class (Bloomberg)
Josh Barro writes that no matter how much soul-searching Republicans do, they won't win over the American people if they keep pushing an economic agenda that would ruin their lives -- especially not if the only rationale for doing so is "because Republicans."
The 2 Most Magical Numbers in Paul Ryan's Magical Budget (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson notes that Ryan's the kind of visionary who won't compromise just because his goals seem politically and mathematically impossible, whether it's sequestering discretionary spending twice or achieving a revenue-neutral $6.7 trillion revenue cut.
The Press Has Turned on Paul Ryan (TNR)
Paul Ryan achieved his wonderboy status with the help of a press corps that fawned over his supposed wonkiness, but Noam Scheiber writes that they've fallen out of love now that they see he's just like all the other guys who only want them for their headlines.
After the Flimflam (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that while Ryan is taking his snake oil salesman routine back on the road, the Senate Democrats and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have put forward two new alternative budget plans that are actually serious and not just "Serious."
Liberals to Dem leaders: Don't even think about touching Social Security benefits (WaPo)
Speaking of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Greg Sargent writes that they're not pleased that both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid seem to be open to Chained CPI as part of a Grand Bargain. In exchange for what, exactly? Taxes? A first-round draft pick?
Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building (NYT)
Annie Lowrey writes that retirement insecurity isn't just for retirees anymore. With younger workers earning little now and unable to save, they're worried they may wind up with nothing but burning stacks of student loan bills to keep them warm in their old age.
Senate investigation finds JP Morgan hid mistakes as trade losses grew (Guardian)
Heidi Moore reports that investigators say JP Morgan's attempts to cover up the London Whale fiasco were pretty much that scene in a sitcom where it looks like someone's cleaned up the apartment until a mountain of junk comes spilling out of the closet.
Hidden Numbers Make Big Banks Even Bigger (NYT)
Floyd Norris notes that as the "too big to fail" debate heats up, it's hard to tell how big banks actually are because so many of their assets are kept off the books -- even with the fool-proof requirement that they disclose how much stuff they're not disclosing.