April 12: The Buffett Buffet
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Growth of Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama than Bush (Naked Capitalism)
As President Obama tries to paint Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch aristocrat, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller notes that he may have trouble escaping the fact that the 1 percent have gotten even 1 percentier under his watch.
Why Economic Populism Is a Winning Strategy for Obama (The Nation)
Ari Berman argues that Obama should ignore advice that the way to win over independent swing voters is to talk about the economy like a Republican. If voters wanted that, they’d probably go with the name brand version over the knock-off.
The Weakness of the Buffett Rule (TAP)
Paul Waldman writes that restoring fairness to the tax code is the right goal, but adding another layer of complexity instead of taxing all income the same way is the wrong approach. Luckily, the GOP will ensure that none of those things happen.
Everything you know about the Buffett rule is wrong (WaPo)
Ezra Klein points out that while Obama describes the Buffett Rule as a requirement that millionaires pay at least the same tax rate as the middle class, the actual policy gradually phases in to avoid hurting those who are only a little bit of a millionaire.
How Did Mitt Make So Much Money And Pay So Little in Taxes? (Robert Reich)
Robert Reich explains how Mitt Romney and his pals get to treat income from private equity investments as if they were risking their own money, but without the downer part where destroying your pension on a bad bet has real consequences for them.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Mitt Romney’s Charts (MoJo)
Kevin Drum notes that Romney’s desperate attempt to bridge the gender Grand Canyon by claiming that women have suffered 93 percent of all job losses under Obama has him cooking the numbers like he’s the Iron Chef of unemployment data.
Treasury Faulted in Effort to Relieve Homeowners (NYT)
Annie Lowrey highlights a report that finds the Hardest Hit Fund, which was set up in spring 2010 to provide funding to state housing agencies and stave off foreclosures, is only just now getting around to serving any particular purpose.
How the Banks Endangered Medicare (NYT)
Simon Johnson points out that banks have pulled off the magic trick of crashing the economy and driving up the national debt while getting policymakers to ask whether the real problem is that we need to take health care away from old people.
Wells Fargo’s prison cash cow (Salon)
Charles Davis notes that while Wells Fargo may not think any of its own execs should face legal consequences for their role in precipitating the subprime crisis, it would be happy to reserve a cell for you in one of the private prisons it invests in.
Vast Majority Of Americans Wrongly Say Economy In Recession (HuffPo)
What if there was a recovery and no one noticed? A new poll finds that over 75 percent of Americans think we’re still in a recession — though many probably interpreted that question as “Does the economy still suck? Check yes or no.”