Five Best Tuesday Columns

David Brooks on Romney's ignorance, Ramesh Ponnuru on GOP's misguided welfare worries, Shikha Dalmia on immigrants and the economy, Lawrence Summers on Britain's economy, and Thomas Sowell on the divisive tax rate.

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David Brooks in The New York Times on Romney's ignorance Labeling the Republican presidential candidate "Thurston Howell Romney," Brooks writes that the argument that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government shows he doesn't understand much about America. Entitlement may have expanded, but Americans still work longer hours than most. And middle-class ambition comes from possibility, not deprivation. "[As] a description of America today, Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other."

Ramesh Ponnuru in Bloomberg View on the GOP's misguided welfare state worries Conservatives are worried that the more people rely on the government, the more people will support the government and the government-supporting Democratic party. That idea is wrong, Ponnuru writes. For example, senior citizens benefit from federal programs more than young people, but they vote Republican. The truth is most people "don’t see Americans as divided between makers and takers."

Shikha Dalmia in Bloomberg View on the way immigrants affect economy Some mayors in struggling cities like Detroit and Baltimore are set on attracting immigrants to boost the economy. But immigrants are the fuel for growth, not the engine. "The newcomers are very good at finding and seizing openings in an economy that the native-born residents don’t see or don’t want," Dalmia writes. "But first these opportunities have to exist."

Lawrence Summers in The Washington Post on learning from Britain's economy "An effective policy approach to Britain’s economic problems must start by recognizing that lack of demand is the principle factor holding back the economy in the short and medium terms," writes the former Obama economic adviser. To get that demand, Britain needs to invest in itself. "The first priority must be for the public sector to stop exacerbating the contraction."

Thomas Sowell in Investor's Business Daily on the truth of the divisive tax rate In the past, Democrats and Republicans talked about tax rates the same way. Woodrow Wilson, JFK, Coolidge, and Reagan all said higher taxes did not automatically mean government revenue. "Everything depends on how high the tax rate is initially and how other things are going in the economy," Sowell writes. "We need more tax revenue, not higher tax rates that can backfire."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.