Tag: legislative politics

  • “Remedy and Reaction”: Reactions

    Generals are always fighting the last war is a standard political cliché, meaning that politicians have a tendency to overgeneralize from previous experience. Democrats who lost the 1993 health care reform fight vowed not to repeat the same apparent mistakes again when the window for reform opened again in 2008. For example, conventional wisdom argued […]

  • Rolling Back the Submerged State

    If you listened carefully to President Obama’s big policy speech on the national debt yesterday you may have heard this: “The tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, from homeownership to charitable giving, we can’t ignore the […]

  • Budgeting in Bad Faith

    There’s an honest debate that needs to happen in the United States about reducing a large and growing national debt. Instead, we have major confusion at the moment, and most of the seeds have been sown by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan’s plan to cut the deficit by (what he claims to be) $5.8 […]

  • No Deal: How the Tea Party Has Helped to Stall Obama’s New Deal

    Charlotte Cavaille reports on a recent Harvard panel about the politics of the Tea Party and the Obama social agenda Commentators and political scientists trying to document the Obama presidency face the following puzzle: why, despite an impressive list of achievements, is Obama facing so much disillusion among voters who voted for him in 2008 […]

  • Four Tidbits About the U.S. Economic Recovery

    The Great Recession that began in late 2007 in the United States officially ended in June 2009, but anybody can plainly see that we are still miles from a full recovery. The February unemployment rate of 8.9 percent is considered a major improvement from this point last year, and other indicators suggest that a slow […]

  • What Does the Public Think Unions Stand For? The Battle for Hearts and Minds in Wisconsin

    Are public sector labor unions greedy leeches on the side of government, or are they the last bulwark of a national movement for working people? The battle to define American public sector labor unions, and the labor movement in general, reached a new urgency this week in Wisconsin (our embedded correspondent Paul sends this dispatch […]

  • The Tax Deal with Republicans — Cui Bono?

    There’s been a lot of hemming and hawing on the American left about President Obama’s deal to extend tax cuts for the rich (the Bush tax cuts) and the estate tax in exchange for tax credits for working families and 13 more months of unemployment insurance. One nice thing about it is that it has […]

  • Change the Discourse, Don’t Change the Bill

    “Repeal and replace Obamacare” was a rallying cry for Republican challengers on the campaign trail this fall. Now that Republicans have regained Governorships and Congressional districts across the country, the battle to save the health care law swings into full force. At least in rhetoric, Republicans want to raze the health care law and start […]

  • Doobieous Politics: Will Legal Marijuana Help Minority Communities?

    Proposition 19, the California ballot initiative that would decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, has largely been an amusing sideshow in an otherwise nasty election season. Polls show that Californians are fairly split on the initiative, but much will depend on who turns out to the polls on Tuesday morning. One group […]

  • When There’s No More Fat to Trim: State Budgets and Public Opinion

    When voters go to the polls on November 2nd, they won’t just be voting for national offices. Across the country there are many tightly contested state elections. While these races do not garner as much attention, they are arguably more important for inequality. This is because education, and most of the means-tested programs that serve […]