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October 03, 2012 1:52 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

Just did BBC Radio 4, providing my brief thoughts on the debates. The Republican participant (didn’t catch her last name very clearly, but her first name was “Jennifer,” which created the brief fear that I was on with Ms. Rubin!) claimed that Mitt’s making gains with the Latino vote, which was news to me.

In any event, as I indicated yesterday, I’ll be live-blogging the debate tonight (will probably resume the keyboard at about 8:30 PM EDT), and thus will follow the schedule we used during the conventions: an early suspension of blogging, followed by a hiatus, and then resumption of blogging until everything’s said about the debate that needs to be said.

In the mean-time, here are some mid-day nuggets:

* Monthly alum James Fallows offers the best pre-debate analysis of the two candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

* Romney “deduction cap” suggestion helps his case a lot, but leaves a lot of politically sensitive questions unanswered. Also doesn’t deal with unpopularity of high-end tax cuts to begin with.

* In case you missed it, new NBC/WSJ polls of likely voters showed Obama up by 8 in Ohio, 2 in Virginia, and 1 in Florida. And yes, First Read uses “statistical tie” to describe VA and FL.

* New PPP poll shows both Romney and Claire McCaskill up by 6 in MO.

* Depressing Martin Wolf column at FT on theory that economic growth and productivity gains a thing of the past.

And in non-political news:

* Oregon brewery offers beer made with yeast from brewmaster’s beard. No thanks.

Back after a brief break.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Wapiti on October 03, 2012 2:22 PM:

    re: Fallows piece, I think Obama needs to be ready to hit two points tonight. First, he needs people to ask "Do you really think you'll be better off 4 years from now with Romney in charge?" and "Can you really trust Mitt Romney? Really?".

  • Diane Rodriguez on October 03, 2012 2:26 PM:

    Lets slow down on the deduction cap. That 17K cap is a Hail Mary designed to seem reasonable. From where I sit, in the "middle class", it's significant. There are already restrictions on itemized deductions based on income.

    Besides - there is no intention on the part of the self professed "makers" to allow the mortgage deduction to continue for the "takers". Not sure how others feel, but at our income level, if the mortgage deduction was eliminated or reduced, we would have to cut down drastically on charity donations. Oh..maybe that's the point huh? After all 47% of Americans do feel entitled to food....

  • Old Uncle Dave on October 03, 2012 2:38 PM:

    How about allowing a mortgage deduction only for one home, the one you live in? If someone borrows money to invest in stocks and bonds they can not write off the interest. Why should interest on a loan to invest in a building be deductable?

    p.s. Debate drinking game. Down a shot every time someone says "middle class."

  • Peter C on October 03, 2012 2:44 PM:

    How about we institute the deduction cap FIRST, and then when the national debt is GONE, we reduce tax rates? How's that for a grand bargain? Perhaps the Republicans won't see the national debt as such a monstrous 'root of all evil' kind of thing afterall, eh?

  • Gandalf on October 03, 2012 3:24 PM:

    Old Uncle Dave-if we play that debate drinking game I don't think anyone will finish watching the debate or wake up befor noon tomorrow.

  • Just Dropping By on October 03, 2012 3:25 PM:

    If someone borrows money to invest in stocks and bonds they can not write off the interest. Why should interest on a loan to invest in a building be deductable?

    Newsflash: If you buy a building and then rent it to someone else, the entire mortgage payment, including interest, is tax deductible because it's a business expense. Likewise, taxpayers can deduct the interest (plus the principal payments, for that matter) for borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds, at least so long as the taxpayer purchased those assets for a business use -- the interest is a business expense.

  • tcinaz on October 03, 2012 3:30 PM:

    Romney's deduction cap is another GOP example of voodoo economics that end up targeting everybody except Mitt and his friends. A $17,000 cap hits right at the heart of the middle and upper-middle class, of course. They lose deductions, while Mitt and his ilk just hide more income off-shore, and find ways to help extend those benefits downward to mere millionaires. And what will it really do regarding his hated 47%? Looks like just a diversionary tactic his campaign knows is going nowhere, but stops accusations about not being specific and distracts from Cayman account talk.

  • WillnPL on October 03, 2012 3:41 PM:

    Rogue Brewery has a really good track record with its beers and ales. Beard beer might not be my first choice, but I'd be willing to give it a try.

  • Anonymous on October 03, 2012 4:19 PM:

    "Romney “deduction cap” suggestion helps his case a lot, but leaves a lot of politically sensitive questions unanswered. Also doesn’t deal with unpopularity of high-end tax cuts to begin with."

    Actually this is a pure red state/blue state thing. I live in a very blue state and pay quite a bit in property taxes as well as state income tax, which along with my mortgage interest deduction, easily puts me beyond the proposed cap. So my choices are to move to a red state where there is little or no state income tax, and property taxes, as well as property values, are well below the national average, or I will have to tighten my belt to pay the extra taxes, or, even better yet, with SS under attack, start putting less of my current income into deferred tax retirement savings. Of course if I move to a red state my kids get crappy schools and municipal services will be largely non-existent, but hey - that's life, right?

  • 4jkb4ia on October 03, 2012 10:51 PM:

    The Red Sox season is mercifully over. That had to be memorialized someplace.