Blog

Blog

Wingnut Watch: End-of-the-Year Standoff

The end of the calendar year always means an assortment of “temporary” policies are approaching expiration, including some (e.g., upward revision of reimbursement rates for Medicare providers, and a “patch” to avoid imposition of the Alternative Minimum Tax on new classes of taxpayers) that happen every year. And then there are other expiring provisions central…

Wingnut Watch: The Power of Wingnut World

If you really want to understand the psychology and the power of Wingnut World, the Palmetto Freedom Forum event in South Carolina on Labor Day was a real eye-opener. Set up by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Iowa Rep. Steve King, and social ultraconservative Robert George of Princeton University, the event was designed to remove…

Stimulus for Entrepreneurs

The debt-ceiling stalemate is distracting policymakers’ attention from what should be their number one economic priority: putting Americans back to work. Big jolts of conventional stimulus, through public spending or tax cuts, are off the table for now, but Washington could try a different tack -- stimulating entrepreneurship. So says economist Robert Litan of the…

Can Immigration Benefit Dems?

Immigration isn’t a winning issue for either party. Republicans, under the tea party’s spell, are gravitating toward a purely restrictionist stance, which will complicate their party’s efforts to make inroads among Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. electorate. President Obama and the Democrats favor “comprehensive reform,” which includes legalizing millions of workers. With joblessness…

Grading the State of The Union: A Solid B+

Last week, the Progressive Policy Institute released a Memo to President Obama, which contained 10 Big Ideas for Getting America Moving Again. How did the President’s speech match up to our recommendations? Overall, he did quite well. Eight of our ten ideas were largely consonant with proposals included in the address, and the future-oriented rhetoric…

Impossible DREAM

One of Barack Obama’s finest moments as President came this past September, when he gave a speech to Congress urging passage of the health-care reform bill. In his closing remarks, he invoked the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and what Kennedy had written him in his final days: “What we face is above all a moral…

On Immigration, Obama Ready to Lead — But Will the Public Follow?

It’s puzzling that President Obama keeps returning to the combustible subject of immigration. You’d think that, with big financial reform and energy/climate bills hanging fire, he’d have his hands full. And with unemployment stuck at nearly 10 percent, it’s not exactly a propitious time for a national debate over legalizing millions of immigrants who are…

Southern Republican Focus on Immigration Intensifies

As regular readers might recall, back in May I did an analysis which predicted that the furor over immigration policy touched off in Arizona would have its greatest political impact not in the southwest or west coast, but in the Deep South, where a combination of new and highly visible Hispanic populations, low Hispanic voting…

The Government Takes on Arizona

On Tuesday, the federal government fired its first legal shot at Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The law as it stands now is slightly less stringent than it was in its original form.  The original law allowed law enforcement officers to inquire into the immigration of anyone that they contacted. The amended law does not allow…

Just Cops or Teachers, Too?

A debate among Republican gubernatorial candidates in Georgia this week illustrated just how far the GOP (particularly in the South) has drifted from the impulse that led George W. Bush and John McCain to support comprehensive immigration reform back in the day. Now it's all about deporting the undocumented pronto, and the only difference of…