February 24: The Accidental Keynesian

Feb 24, 2012Tim Price

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

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Romney's Economic Closet (NYT)
Any politician can get caught in a lie, but Paul Krugman notes that Mitt Romney managed to get caught in a truth when he casually admitted that austerity would hurt the economy. Someone should let him know his Keynes is showing.

D’oh! Debt Hawks Fear Most GOP Tax Plans Will Increase Deficit (TPM)
Even though the deficit is the Republicans' biggest worry aside from women's reproductive organs, none of their presidential candidates can figure out how to do anything but make it worse. So it's pretty much like any other policy area.

The enduring fallacy of the CEO president (Politico)
John Paul Rollert writes that while Mitt Romney has made his managerial experience the foundation of his campaign, voters tend to prefer someone with an inspiring vision over someone who will make sure they get their quarterly reports in on time.

Threats to the Current Recovery (On the Economy)
In case you were starting to feel a little too confident about the economy, Jared Bernstein has a list of risk factors from Europe to the housing market that could still send things to hell in a handbasket (if Congress will even spring for the basket).

Opening Up the Fed (NYT)
Simon Johnson notes that as the Federal Reserve's regulatory role grows, the number of public meetings it holds has sharply decreased. But it's more than willing to meet with the people it really answers to, like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Check out “The 99 Percent Plan,” a new Roosevelt Institute/Salon essay series on the progressive vision for the economy.

Bankers escape big penalties in FDIC failed bank cases (Reuters)
The FDIC is trying to prosecute bank execs who pushed subprime loans, but it winds up settling for chump change because it would rather take what it can get than risk losing in court -- a strategy that's even less effective once you say it out loud.

Homeowners Who Negotiate Debt Relief Could Soon Face Massive Tax Bill (ProPublica)
A tax break on debt relieved when homeowners short-sell or restructure their mortgages is set to expire at the end of 2012, but it's one of those tax cuts that the Norquist Crew doesn't like because it's not aimed specifically at millionaires.

Will the Roberts Court Kill Affirmative Action Once and for All? (MoJo)
Adam Serwer examines the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case brought by a college student who believes the University of Texas discriminated against her because she's white, which suggests they had solid academic grounds for rejection.

Birth control: The right’s still winning (Salon)
Sarah Posner argues that while the pro-choice movement has won some battles, conservatives have a long-term strategy to mold public opinion until they can get the courts to establish their right to personally inspect every uterus for signs of foul play.

Pawnshops Accepting Wine As Collateral (Reuters)
Some rich people who are (relatively) down on their luck have started pawning off their collections of fine wines and other spirits. If the term "first world problems" didn't already exist, we would need to invent it just for these purposes.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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