April 11: Romney, You’re a Rich Man

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

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Why Poorer States Aren’t Buying What Romney’s Selling (AlterNet)
Mitt Romney has all but sealed the nomination, but Dean Burnham and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Tom Ferguson write that he remains weak among both evangelicals and low-income voters who don’t see the appeal of Rich Uncle Pennybags.

Deepening the progressive bench (WaPo)
Given the success of ALEC’s corporate masterminds in promoting right-wing policy through its network of conservative legislators and advocates, Katrina vanden Heuvel looks at progressive groups trying to use the same model for good instead of greed.

Obama Goes on Offensive Over Taxes on Wealthy (NYT)
President Obama is campaigning hard for the Buffett Rule, which would establish a minimum tax threshold that would force the wealthy pay their fair share, but it seems clear his real target isn’t the Oracle of Omaha but the Mitt of Massachusetts.

Washington, We Have a Revenue Problem (TAP)
Kicking off a new series on taxation, David Callahan and Robert Hiltonsmith argue that if we want to fund the investments we need without piling up debt like we’re trying to climb it to reach heaven, returning to historical tax rates won’t be enough.

All the President’s Taxes (MoJo)
Dave Gilson compares presidential tax filings, revealing that FDR paid the lowest effective rate, Reagan paid the highest, and Obama came closest to actually paying the full top rate in 2007 — a sure indication of his insidious socialist tendencies.

Join the conversation about the Roosevelt Institute’s new initiative, Rediscovering Government, led by Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick.

In Search of the Missing Task Force (The Nation)
Ilyse Hogue notes that months after the launch of the mortgage task force headed by Eric Schneiderman, it continues to twiddle its thumbs while awaiting investigators and staffers who seem to have gotten lost in the wilderness en route to work.

New Stance on Forgiving Mortgages (NYT)
Annie Lowrey reports that FHFA director Edward DeMarco suggested he may back off his blanket opposition to principal writedowns while insisting they wouldn’t be a cure-all for the housing market. But then neither is his current approach, nothing.

An economic recovery that leaves workers further behind (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson points out that even though the economy is supposedly picking up, American workers’ wages continue to shrink thanks to the proliferation of McJobs and the death of unions. If this recovery goes on much longer we’ll all be broke.

Why Obama’s JOBS Act Couldn’t Suck Worse (Rolling Stone)
Matt Taibbi writes that the JOBS Act frees companies from the burden of hiring an accountant while giving them free rein to dazzle potential investors with PowerPoint presentations that may or may not have anything to do with what they’re selling.

Lenders Again Dealing Credit to Risky Clients (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Tara Siegel Bernard report that financial institutions are lapsing back into bad habits like a movie star fresh out of rehab, pushing credit cards and auto loans on vulnerable borrowers with questionable credit histories.