September 27

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

Structure of Excuses (NYTimes)
Citing research from the Roosevelt Institute’s Arjun Jayadev and Mike Konczal, Paul Krugman debunks the claim that workers with mismatched skills are driving the unemployment crisis.

Republican Economics as Social Darwinism (HuffPo)
Robert Reich notes the resemblance between today’s Republican platform and the one that helped kick off the Great Depression.

Where is Huey Long When You Need Him? (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Marshall Auerback wonders if progressives who believed Barack Obama’s promise of change have elected a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Wall Street’s attacks could turn President Obama into a true populist (WaPo)
Will President Obama keep trying to appease the corporate world’s irrational rage, or will midterm losses serve as an eye-opener?

New Proof Wall Street Knew Its Mortgage Securities Were Subpar (HuffPo)
Executives from Clayton Holdings testified last week that Wall Street firms ignored warnings that over a quarter of the loans they were selling were problematic.

Bank execs on reform: What, me worry? (WaPo)
A new study by IBM finds that top finance execs think Dodd-Frank and Basel III will have little effect on the way they do business or on their bottom line.

Job Loss Looms as Part of Stimulus Act Expires (NYTimes)
A stimulus program that has subsidized more than 200,000 jobs across the country is set to expire on Thursday thanks to Republican opposition.

Walking away with less (WaPo)
A rising number of underwater homeowners are opting to sell their homes for less than they owe on their mortgages in order to avoid foreclosure.

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Bank Losses Lead to Drop in Credit Card Debt (NYTimes)
While consumer debt continues to fall, most of that decrease appears to be coming from bank write-offs rather than individual deleveraging.

So How Did the Bush Tax Cuts Work Out for the Economy? (
David Cay Johnston’s analysis of the last decade of taxpayer income and government revenue suggests that the answer is, “Pretty terribly.”

What the Rich Don’t Need (NYTimes)
Richard Thaler argues that with the rich already making out like bandits, there’s no good reason to gift them an extra $700 billion over the next ten years.

The mega payoff of increased immigration is lost on the pols (WaPo)
Ezra Klein writes that comprehensive immigration reform could generate an economic windfall and higher living standards across the board. So what’s taking so long?

Poll: U.S. Wants More Health Reform, Not Less (CBS News)
The AP is still having trouble locating that silent majority that supposedly believes the government should stay out of health care.

Get Off Your Butts, Dems (Daily Beast)
Matthew Yglesias makes the case that despite liberal disappointment with the Affordable Care Act, there are still plenty of provisions worth fighting for.

Obama argues his assassination program is a “state secret” (Salon)
Can a former constitutional law professor claim with a straight face that he has complete discretion to order the killing of American citizens?

Behind GOP surge: male voters (Politico)
Republican men are fired up for the midterms. Democratic women, not so much.

Politicians’ money woes strike a chord with voters (LA Times)
Candidates who have gotten themselves into financial hot water are spinning it as proof that they understand the hardships of the economic crisis.