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Why the Republicans make the poor pay: Ezra Klein's WonkBooK | The Washington Post

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I don't think Paul Ryan intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. Similarly, I don't think Mitt Romney intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. But there's a reason their budgets turned out so similar: The Republican Party has settled on four overlapping fiscal commitments that leave them with few other choices. The Republican plans we've seen share a few basic premises. First, taxes are too high, and must be cut. Second, defense spending is too low, and should be raised. Third, major changes to entitlement programs should be passed now, but they shouldn't affect the current generation of retirees. That would all be fine, except for the fourth premise, which is that short-term deficits are a serious threat to the country and they need to be swiftly cut. The first three budget premises means that taxes and defense will contribute more to the deficit, and Medicare and So

Another Victory for Romney: Ezra Klein's Wonkbook | The Washington Post

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Karl Singer is writing Wonkbook while Ezra is off. Top stories 1) Mitt Romney won the Puerto Rico primary. "Mitt Romney hailed his victory on Sunday in the Puerto Rico primary as another step in a slow march to the Republican presidential nomination, a winning streak he is aggressively working to repeat here in the Illinois primary on Tuesday. As the Republican race deepens into a fight for every delegate, the Romney campaign pointed to Puerto Rico as the latest sign of strength over Rick Santorum. Mr. Romney soundly defeated Mr. Santorum in the United States territory, which has 20 delegates, and all are likely to go to Mr. Romney...But the Republican rivals had their sights squarely set on Illinois, where 69 delegates are at stake on Tuesday. The race is far tighter here, party strategists said, and Mr. Romney scrapped a brief island respite to return to campaign across the state on Sunday...The outcome of Illinois will figure heavily in the next chapter of

What does 'Occupy Wall Street' want?: Ezra Klein 's Wonkbook: The Washington Post

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Two weeks ago, I was walking through New York when I stumbled on a crowd chanting angrily at a mass of police. "They're arresting them," someone said to me. "Who?" I asked. "The Occupy Wall Streeters," he said. Someone else held up a cell phone camera. "The whole world is watching," he shouted. It didn't seem that the whole world was watching, at least not then. The next day, I tried to contact the protest's organizers for an interview, but it didn't come together. An effort to look up their demands online didn't yield much. I figured the protests would fizzle. Instead, they're gaining strength. Almost 1,000 protesters were arrested this weekend on the Brooklyn Bridge, and sympathy protests are spreading to cities all across the country. Occupy Wall Street is leading papers and news shows. The whole world, or at least the whole country, actually is watching. The protesters are also gaining institutio