Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
OurFuture.org's Bill Scher:  "I wrote the following last month after the Senate voted on competing tax plans, but it also helps to put Mitt Romney's '47%' comments in further context ... it's no longer mere coded rhetoric. Republicans have put it in writing. The House Republican bill. The Senate Republican bill. The Republican presidential nominee's plan. They all 'broaden the base.' They all make the poor and the middle class pay more -- despite having an economy with weak demand. They all take money from the 98% and give it to the 2%. The Democratic vision on taxes is a different one, progressive, fair and sufficient to invest in America's foundation of infrastructure, education, energy and health. We have a choice. Now we know."
Romney stands by contemptuous remarks against the 47% who don't pay net federal income tax. W. Post quotes:  "It’s not elegantly stated…I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question ... At a fundraiser you have people say. ‘Governor how are you going to win this?’ And so I respond, ‘Well, the president has his group I have my group.'"
Krugman explains who exactly Romney thinks have no "personal responsibility":  "...the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job — that is, they’re people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque."
Romney practicing conservative "class warfare" says The Atlantic's Molly Ball:  "'Class warfare' has long been the accusation hurled at populist politicians on the left. In seeking to make the tax code more progressive by repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, this argument goes, they are pitting Americans against one another ... But there's another strain of conservative thought, an outgrowth of the Tea Party's don't-make-me-pay-my-neighbor's-mortgage ethos, that would rather engage the class war from the other side than rise above it."
Republican tax policies created the "47%" notes The Atlantic's Derek Thompson:  "The 47% aren't lucky ducks cheating the system. They're mostly poor working families getting pilloried by the political party that wrote the rules they're following. If the 47% are the monster here, then Republicans helped play the role of Dr. Frankenstein. 'Non-payers' have grown in the last 30 years because of marginal tax rate cuts and credits like the EITC passed under Republican presidents and continued by both parties in Congress. It would be one thing to ask poor working families to pay higher taxes if Republicans were trying to raise money to improve government services. Quite the opposite..."
Is Romney saying he'd raise taxes on the poor? TNR's Timothy Noah:  "[Romney] uses the phrase 'broaden the tax base' to describe how he's going to pay for [tax cuts for the rich.] He says he’ll eliminate tax deductions and exclusions ... But what if Romney has other ideas about 'broadening the base'? The phrase, as I explained in April, is more typically used by Republicans to describe putting Americans who earn too little to pay income tax—'lucky duckies,' in the Dickensian parlance of the Wall Street Journal editorial page—back onto the rolls."
Mark Thoma slams other part of Romney video:  "Does he really think people will believe this? 'I have inherited nothing' ... Here's Ann Romney discussing their student days ... 'Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time. The stock came from Mitt’s father...' That sounds pretty tough, doesn't it? One of them almost had to get a job!"
Meanwhile, Obama in Ohio trumpets WTO complaint against China:  "Speaking to supporters in a state heavily dependent on the auto industry, Mr. Obama drew an explicit link between China’s trade policies and the economic travails of voters in this closely contested region. By giving its exporters $1 billion in illegal subsidies from 2009 to 2011, the administration said, China is hurting American manufacturers and encouraging companies to move their production to China."
Romney accuses Obama of not doing enough on China. TPM:  "'President Obama has spent 43 months failing to confront China’s unfair trade practices,' Romney said in a statement. 'Campaign-season trade cases may sound good on the stump, but it is too little, too late for American businesses and middle-class families.' ... [But] Romney’s own opaque platform on China’s trade policies make it difficult to know what he would do differently as president."
Obama, Senate Dems may not be on same page for tax deal. Politico:  "President Barack Obama has made his tax position abundantly clear: Let the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans expire at year’s end ... [But] Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois is floating a six-month extension of current rates combined with budget cuts so lawmakers have time to reach a grand bargain deal early next year. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and other Democrats are open to a temporary extension of the top individual tax rate if Republicans agree to raise revenue in other parts of the Tax Code. Some liberals, like New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell, aren’t ruling out extending the current rates if the GOP agrees to sweeteners like a patch on the alternative minimum tax or extending dozens of lapsed business tax breaks."
House Way & Means cmte to hold private meeting on tax deal Thursday  reports Politico.
Mayor Emanuel rebuffed by judge. Reuters:  "A Chicago judge said he will not act until at least Wednesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's request to block a teacher's strike and the union accused the mayor of a 'vindictive act' as the walkout moved into a second week ... No injunction request has been filed in an Illinois education labor dispute since 1984, when the state gave Chicago teachers the right to strike."
Union still reviewing offer, may vote today. AP:  "Some union delegates said they planned to take a straw poll of rank-and-file teachers to measure support for a settlement that includes pay raises and concessions from the city on the contentious issues of teacher evaluations and job security. But many warned the outcome was still uncertain two days after delegates refused to call off the walkout, saying they didn't trust city and school officials and wanted more details."
Court move may poison trust. Christian Science Monitor:  "The court strategy could backfire by aggravating the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), whose delegates are currently considering the terms of a tentative contract.
"2011’s Decline in Uninsured is Largest in 13 Years" but "Inequality Widened, and Poverty Stayed Flat" reports CBPP:  "Young adults took advantage of a provision of health reform that allows children up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ private insurance plans, and the number and percentage of Americans on public health insurance programs such as Medicare [and] Medicaid ... also rose ... The poverty rate stayed flat after rising in the previous three years ... [But] many fewer people [9.6 million] would be counted as poor if two benefits that are not counted in the official poverty data — the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) — were counted."
Underwater homeowners slowly getting above water. Jared Bernstein hopeful:  "... I’m only a little excited because there are still 11 million homeowners underwater and millions of foreclosures in the pipeline, but here’s the good news ... 1.3 million [have] broken the surface in the first half of 2012, as home prices have finally begun to rise fairly broadly across the land ... if it keeps up, and a few other things break the right way, a lot of these folks will refi, and that will constitute a substantial stimulus..."
Ryan may also be lying about his body fat. Slate's Bill Gifford investigates:  "[In 2010,] he can’t help but brag: 'I keep my body fat between 6 and 8 percent,' ... If his claim is to be believed—a Ryan spokesman did not respond to questions—he’s more along the lines of Tour de France cyclists who also get down around 8 or 9 percent to prepare for major races. According to Iñigo San Millan, a veteran cycling physiologist who has worked with numerous Tour de France teams, the lowest body fat he’s ever measured on a cyclist was 8.3 percent. That’s at peak fitness, racing shape."