Updates / Entitlement Reform

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By / 8.16.2012

As the presidential candidates debate the fate of Medicare, it’s worth noting a very simple fact: Mitt Romney paid only 0.07% of his income in Medicare taxes in 2010. By comparison, the typical American worker paid 1.45% of his or her income in Medicare taxes plus an equal amount paid by the employer. In other […]

By / 5.9.2012

Recently, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds issued their annual report on the future of America’s entitlement programs. As usual, the news was bleak: Social Security is now expected to go bust in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year. In their report, the Trustees also issued a sober warning: […]

By / 9.21.2011

In February, the “invisible primary” for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination was kicked off in Washington by the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference. On Friday, a second CPAC event will be held in Orlando in deliberate proximity to tomorrow’s Fox/Google candidates’ debate and Saturday’s Florida GOP presidential straw poll (CPAC will not […]

By / 4.19.2011

As President Obama begins taking the budget deficit battle show on the road, he faces a number of obvious challenges. But perhaps the most pressing one is this: In the hyper-polarized political environment, how does a President whose approval ratings are stuck in the 40s successfully make the public case for a serious deficit reduction […]

By / 4.5.2011

As progressives pounce on Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget proposal, they should also give the man a little credit. The plan he unveiled today is a daring attempt to define an actual conservative governing philosophy. That’s a big improvement on the reactionary and crotchety anti-government platitudes served up by the Tea Party. And while progressives […]

By / 3.15.2011

In 2008, Democrats enjoyed a solid advantage in partisan identification. By 2010, that advantage had largely evaporated. As I detailed in a previous post, in every state, the Democratic partisan ID advantage has declined, and by an average of nine percentage points. But the decline has not been equal across the nation. In fact, there […]

By / 2.14.2011

President Obama’s new budget is a highly tactical exercise in fiscal minimalism. It proposes just enough spending cuts to be plausible, while putting off the critical work of tax and entitlement reform. Its unspoken premise seems to be: Given the ax-wielding frenzy that grips House Republicans, the best the White House can do now is […]

By / 2.11.2011

Well, that was quick. Rather than risk a mutiny, House Republican leaders have agreed to now cut $100 billion from the $1.1 trillion federal budget, rather than their original plan of a mere $40 billion. The question is: Can they pull it off? And if they do, will they come to regret it? Yesterday, I […]

By / 2.11.2011

I don’t do much politics, but I feel like I have to say something about the demise of the Democratic Leadership Council, which helped bring Bill Clinton to the Presidency in the early 1990s. A lot of writers have interpreted the end of the DLC as the end of centrism, and a sign that Washington […]

By / 1.3.2011

Republicans are convinced they have a mandate to cut government down to size. That’s hard to do when you only control one House of Congress, and harder still when your fiscal plans are fraught with internal contradictions. It’s not even clear, for instance, what Republicans really want to accomplish. Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte, delivering the GOP’s […]