Tag Archives: Wonkbook

Pre-Debate Coin-Flipping

Undecided people don’t care about foreign policy! So the Internet told me.

But the political media cares deeply about generating a self-replicating narrative that legitimates their cultural power and economic support.

And whither the bloviators go, go our votes. It’s like Ruth’s song, if Ruth were a nervously middle-class Ohio mom waiting till Thanksgiving’s over so she can wear her spangled red sweaters that she already took out of their plastic storage box and her mother-in-law is Wolf Blitzer.

Or something.

So read this pretty solid rundown from the Wonkblog morning ketchup. They do more reading before dawn than I do, um, before 9:30 am?

And Goldblog has some diamond-sharp questions for Romney. Disappointingly and surprisingly none for the Big O.

Other people have said stuff, too. Here’s what I think I know:


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Look at the Whole Tax Rate

Ezra Klein does things with charts that, were I still into hip hop, I’d call dope.

Total Tax Bill by Income

“That’s really what the American tax system looks like: Not 47 percent paying nothing, but everybody paying something, and most Americans paying between 25 percent and 30 percent of their income — which is, by the way, a lot more the 13.9 percent Mitt Romney paid in 2011.

“When politicians try to convince you that half of Americans aren’t really paying taxes, it’s usually because the real data undermines their preferred policies. For instance, you wouldn’t look at these numbers and think tax cuts for the rich need to be a huge priority. And that’s one reason people who want more tax cuts for the rich don’t like to show you these numbers.”

Click on the link to see break downs by federal and state/local taxes as well, showing that the lowest income brackets pay a great deal more in payroll taxes than in federal. And since payroll taxes have an income cap, higher income earners pay proportionally much less. That’s why we need to look at the whole tax bill to understand what’s really going on.

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The ‘Are You Kidding Me?’ Apple News

Some JP Morgan economists are saying that the iPhone 5 will ensure Obama’s election.

Not really. They are saying that the iPhone 5 will stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.

In fact, they calculated that the iPhone 5 could add a whopping 0.5 percentage points to our 4th quarter GDP.

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The View from the Watch Party

Watch Party!

You know, when like-minded citizens gather at a lovely host’s house and nibble little baked cheesebuttons and trade watches.

So here’s the thing: from the watch party, Obama knocked the moon off its orbit.

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Ryan’s Speech Breaks the Media

I have been trying not to get sucked into the media maelstrom spinning with hurricane force around the convention.

Metaphor purposeful, if perhaps a bit disrespectful.

But then I saw this post on the reliably neutral Wonkblog, about Paul Ryan’s convention speech.

Ezra Klein wanted to stay neutral! He really did! But there were just too many lies!

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Heart Stents for All!

It turns out that 43% (FORTY THREE PERCENT) of cardiac procedures were deemed unnecessary, according to evidence-based guidelines. In Michigan. Where some researchers did a study.

What makes Michigan so special?

I want my heart stent and I want it NOW. Better make it two. I plan to eat a lot of bacon and ice cream next week. Bacon ice cream.

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