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House GOP’s Balanced Budget Amendment Proposal is a Sham

On Thursday, House Republicans will vote on a constitutional amendment proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) that would require the federal government to balance its budget every year. The vote, which is virtually guaranteed to fall short of the two-thirds super majority necessary for passage, is nothing more than a cynical ploy to give the…

Happy Holidays from PPI

It’s been a surreal political year, but PPI has much to celebrate this holiday season. Throughout 2017, we expanded our productive capacity and the scope of our political and media outreach significantly. For example, PPI organized 150 meetings with prominent elected officials; visited 10 state capitals and 10 foreign capitals, published an influential book and…

Fact Check: Trump Poverty and Welfare Statements in Inaugural Address

In his inaugural address today, President Donald Trump said, “But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities… We will get our people off of welfare and back to work.” President Trump thus implied that most U.S. poverty is in “inner cities” and…

Why the Healthcare Job Boom May Be a Bubble, and Why Progressives Should Care

Our recent report on tech employment, authored by myself and Diana Carew,  calculated that women have been getting three times as many healthcare-related bachelors degrees as men. A NYT article from February 2015 lauded women for taking advantage of the stable, middle class jobs in healthcare, observing that As the job market has shifted, women, in general, have…

“Cut and Invest” vs. Austerity

President Obama’s new budget attempts to define a progressive alternative to conservative demands for a politics of austerity. Having just returned from a gathering of center-left parties in Copenhagen, I can report that European progressives are wrestling with the same challenge, and are reaching similar conclusions. There was wide agreement that the wrong answer is…

Why Romney’s Medicare Taxes Are So Low

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…

Choose-Your-Benefit: Can Citizens Help Save Social Security?

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:…

Wingnut Watch: Texan troubles in the Sunshine State

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…

Obama Needs a Bipartisan Elder Statesman Road Show to Tackle the Deficit

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…

One Cheer For the Ryan Plan

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…