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Mitt Romney's Question-Mark Economy (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that the GOP continues to bemoan the "uncertainty" caused by President Obama's economic policies, but when it comes to learning the details of Romney's plans, voters are treated like kids eagerly waiting to unwrap their gifts on Christmas morning.
What Romney's moderation conceals (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson argues that Romney's weak performance in the last debate was part of his overall plan to portray himself as a moderate and inoffensive blank slate, but his party's radicalized base will be more than happy to fill in the blanks come Inauguration Day.
Standard of Living Is in the Shadows as Election Issue (NYT)
David Leonhardt writes that while the candidates debate Bowles-Simpson, Big Bird, and bayonets, no one is offering real solutions to declining wages and mobility, which are making the American Dream work more like the one where you show up naked for a test.
Home Foreclosures Missing From Presidential Debates (The Nation)
Allison Kilkenny notes that based on the debates alone, you'd think America was a country where voters' biggest concerns were Chinese tires and budget deficits, not the fact that their mortgages are underwater and their houses may literally sink below the waves.
From Master Plan to No Plan: The Slow Death of Public Education (Dissent)
Aaron Brady and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal look at how Reagan began transforming California's once exemplary public university system into one where for-profit colleges creep up on students who are distracted by the pepper spray in their eyes.
Trans-Pacific Partnership: The biggest trade deal you've never heard of (Salon)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller explains everything you need to know about the Obama administration's new NAFTA-like free trade agreement but probably never thought to ask, since the parties involved would like you to know as little about it as possible.
The Health Mandate Romney Still Supports (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett writes that Republicans continue to support the federal mandate requiring emergency rooms to treat the uninsured due to the bad optics of stepping over someone bleeding on the sidewalk, but it's no substitute for having real health insurance.
The Myth of the Exploding Safety Net (CBPP)
Richard Kogan sets the story straight on a report that shows spending on low-income programs has sharply increased, noting that the recession and rising health care costs are the root of the problem (if the safety net working counts as an actual problem).
Paul Ryan Budget Would Cut Medicaid Coverage in Half (HuffPo)
Jeffrey Young highlights a new study from the Urban Institute that shows Ryan's plan to cap Medicaid spending and repeal Obamacare would deny benefits to 37.5 million people, who will just need to deal with the fact that getting sick is a rich man's prerogative.
New Federal Rules for Debt Collectors (NYT)
Edward Wyatt reports that the CFPB will begin supervising debt collectors in January, reminding them that, contrary to their recent behavior, they are not Wild West bounty hunters, and the consumers they're hunting didn't rob a train to pay for college.