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Let’s Have No More of These

Donald Trump is a serial vandalizer of America’s democratic ideals and institutions. Last night, his victim was the presidential debate. Down in the polls and obviously frustrated by events he cannot control – especially the Covid-19 pandemic – Trump was like a disturbed child acting out in school to get attention. He simply could not…

The Trump Party’s Festival of Fear

The 2020 Republican National Convention ostensibly opened last night, but few Republican leaders or ideas traditionally associated with the party were on display. Instead, viewers entered into the fevered world of the GOP’s replacement: the Trump Party. Much of the show, naturally, featured Trump himself. Often his disembodied voice bellowed familiar slogans and boasts against…

Americans are Worried about Health Care Prices — What Can Congress Do?

The Trump administration’s hospital price transparency rule, upheld by a district court judge this week, will require hospitals to post publicly the rates they negotiate with insurers beginning in January. President Trump called it a “BIG VICTORY for patients — Federal court UPHOLDS hospital price transparency. Patients deserve to know the price of care BEFORE they enter the…

COVID-19 is unraveling the issue of surprise billing in America

Back in December, Congress failed to reach an agreement on “surprise billing” legislation. A surprise bill is when patients get an out-of-network bill from a provider at an in-network facility. Lawmakers couldn’t decide if an arbitration model — where billing disagreements would be sent to a third-party review board — or if a benchmark model — where…

Forget the ‘veepstakes’ — Biden should make history with finance picks

As COVID-19 takes its toll across a divided nation, bad economic news is pouring in from every corner of the country. Vice President Biden has been here before. He campaigned with President Obama in 2008 as the U.S. economy and Wall Street collapsed. This time, however, it’s Biden’s turn to pick a running mate. Should he claim…

Gary Pearce: Protests and Politics Echo 1968

Gary Pearce on Politics and Public Policy in North Carolina 2020 feels like 1968. Peaceful protests erupt into looting and burning. Police battle demonstrators in the streets. Black Americans vent their rage and frustration. In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in Memphis lit the fires. This year, it was the death of George Floyd…

Blog: Finally, It’s the Right Time for Infrastructure Week

As Congress passes its historic multi-trillion spending package, people across the country, as well as investors in our beleaguered financial markets, will breathe a sigh of relief. But the truth is, this “Phase 3” response to the pandemic-induced economic shutdown may just be the beginning of what we need to avert a savage recession or…

Stangler for Medium: “The first Democratic debate of 2020 is next week: Guess what won’t be talked about?”

The Democratic presidential field continues to be in flux, with Julian Castro dropping out and Michael Bloomberg ramping up his campaign. Participation in the January 14th debate is, as of yesterday, limited to just five candidates. Those five — Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders — have hit the polling and…

Stangler for Medium: “Announcing the New Urban Progress Initiative to Foster Metro Problem-Solving”

In its recently published The World in 2020, the editors of The Economist observe that the U.S. presidential race will “hog headlines” globally for the next year. One of the implications of this is that citizens everywhere — not just in America — will be inundated with debate and disagreement over large-scale national issues and policies. Immigration, Medicare-for-all, trade,…

On the Blog: Good News for Low Income Taxpayers

IRS Free File and VITA programs should be improved not discarded. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 90 percent of taxpayers hire paid tax preparers or utilize tax preparation software to file their taxes. For low-income families the cost of tax preparation can significantly reduce the value of their refunds. A 2016 study by…