Links to what I’ve been reading – mostly post-Fox News South Carolina debate analysis edition:
Jonathan Cohn covers the two (relative lazy, in my eyes) lies spoken by Mitt Romney in last night’s debate:
First Romney claimed that President Obama “doesn’t have a jobs plan yet.” He’s made statements like this before. But Obama does have a jobs plan. He unveiled it in early September, in a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress. Obama even called it the “American Jobs Act.”
The proposal called for extensions of unemployment insurance and payroll tax breaks, spending on school renovation and other public works, as well as targeted tax breaks designed to increase employment. It received widespread praise from economists, who predicted that, if enacted, it would boost employment moderately.
Romney may not like the plan and, surely, he is entitled to make his best case against it. But that’s a lot different from suggesting the plan doesn’t exist.
John Dickerson highlights Newt’s impressive showing:
Gingrich’s strongest moment was his nearly five-minute exchange with Fox’s Juan Williams, who asked Gingrich about his comments about African-Americans and food stamps and his suggestion that inner-city kids take on janitorial duties at school to develop good work habits. Didn’t he see how that might be offensive, Williams asked. “No,” Gingrich responded. It was the biggest applause for a one-word answer at a debate since Joe Biden responded to a question asking if he could curb his verbosity by simply answering “Yes.”
Dean Baker disassembles the thinking that income inequality is fine because most people have seen some income gains over the last 40 years:
This is known as “the 12-year-olds are taller than 6-year-olds” argument in reference to the claim that poor nutrition might be stunting growth. The Bill Knapps of the world would get out their yardstick and measure a representative sample of 12-year-olds and do the same for 6-year-olds. After careful analysis of the data they would find that the 12-year-olds are taller. They would then write up their findings and get a column in the Washington Post telling readers that bad nutrition is not affecting growth.
Let’s skip the idiocy. Economies grow, they add jobs, and people get on average richer. This happens everywhere barring war, natural catastrophe, or incredible economic mismanagement. The issue is the rate at which they grow and that people see improvements in their living standards. And for most people in the United States, the improvements in living standards over the last three decades have been very modest. The reason is that most of the gains have gone to the richest one percent.
Reid J. Epstein chronicles the debate whiplash of Ron Paul:
Paul’s own words — and the strong counterpunch from his GOP rivals — had the net effect of isolating him from the rest of the pack on foreign policy. Combined with the fact that Paul has actually spent very little time campaigning in the state, there are questions about whether the dovish lawmaker — who wants all U.S. troops returned from foreign entanglements and won’t confront Iran over nuclear weapons — can actually compete in a serious way in hawkish South Carolina.