The Tax Return Cometh

Although Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, and he is the runaway favorite in the polls, his image has taken a severe beating lately. His economic credentials are the foundation of his campaign, but it has become embarrassingly easy to portray the front-runner as someone who doesn't understand the economic pain many Americans are suffering right now. Yesterday, the Obama campaign's dirt pile on its likely general-election opponent grew substantially when Romney revealed his tax rate and made another unfortunately worded statement on his wealth. Since Romney's income is mostly from post-retirement investments, his tax rate is near 15 percent—similar to the rate for Americans who make less than $50,000 annually. Romney also said yesterday that "not very much" of his income comes from the over $360,000—7.2 times the median household income in the U.S.— in speaking fees he collects annually. This off-the-cuff remark doesn't look good, especially when coupled with his $10,000 bet with Rick Perry and his "corporations are people, my friend" and "I'm also unemployed" remarks. Romney has agreed to release his tax returns in April—well after the end of the GOP primary contest.


The Latest

Chart of the Day formation has dropped below historical trends, but non-family household formation (college students, Craigslist roomies, singles) has bumped back to its pre-recession trend. Whether this drop is caused by the economic downturn or merely correlated is unclear. Young people moving back home and the uptick of people delaying or forgoing marriage most likely plays a large role in the glacial household formation rates—whether the rate bounces back in the next few years will determine if the change was mostly cultural or economic.


Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Feeling lost and alone now that Wikipedia is down and Jimmy Wales' pleading face is nowhere to be found? Good thing The Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR, and a few other media outlets are subbing in! These organizations are experimenting with a one-day crowdsourcing Band-Aid for the SOPA protest blackout by answering your questions on Twitter. Try it out—just tag your tweet with #altwiki.