Links to what I’ve been reading.
Mike Konczal is my hero. Seriously. Go read this post about Mitt Romney’s statement and ask yourself if you could have come up with a better question:
Since Romney’s defending it and probably believes it, let’s dissect this argument. A quick glance would show that things like unemployment are worse in places that are poorer. Yet Romney’s comments are predicated on there being a set of problems – problems that have policy solutions – that impact middle-class people but do not impact the poor. Let’s try to make a list of these problems, stipulating in advance we might not find them convincing.
Jeffery Goldberg makes waves listing all the ways in which this GOP primary has featured racially coded language:
Here are some things you could learn about black Americans from the recent statements and insinuations of Republican presidential candidates, Republican congressmen and Republican-friendly radio personalities:
Black people have lost the desire to perform a day’s work. Black people rely on food stamps provided to them by white taxpayers. Black people, including Barack and Michelle Obama, believe that the U.S. owes them something because they are black. Black children should work as janitors in their high schools as a way to keep them from becoming pimps. And the pathologies afflicting black Americans are caused partly by the Democratic Party, which has created in them a dependency on government not dissimilar to the forced dependency of slaves on their owners.
Don Taylor starts talking taxes:
There are three key frames that are needed to best think about tax reform: math, fairness and economic growth.
First math. Tax receipts must go up if we are ever going to have another balanced budget. There is some consensus that a tax reform that “broadens the base and lowers the rate” is the way to achieve this, and I agree. However, it is important to understand that we must have a net tax increase across all federal tax sources, or we won’t have a balanced budget ever again given any plausible spending scenario. The first frame for tax reform is math.
Tim Noah talked about the divergence of reality when it comes to economist and everyone else:
Take a look at the following statement:
“Permanently raising the federal tax rate by one percentage point for those in the top income tax bracket would increase federal tax revenue over the next 10 years.”
This is a bit like saying if you jump into a swimming pool you’ll get wet. […]