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Why Dems Are Doing Worse in Some States than Others: It’s Race, Not the Economy

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…

Obama’s Minimalist Budget

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…

Can the Republicans Really Pull Off $100 Billion in Cuts?

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…

The New Centrism

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…

Framing the Fiscal Battle

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…

The Remarkable Inability of Americans to Support Their Deficit-Cutting Aspirations

In the latest Washington Post-ABC poll, released today, contains a remarkable though not surprising finding. Americans may profess to be deeply concerned about the budget deficit. But when it comes to solutions, not a single one of the nine major proposals to cut the federal budget receives majority support. The same disconnect jumps out from…

Debt Commission Rises to the Occasion

President Obama’s deficit commission fell short today of the 14 votes necessary to submit its debt reduction plan to Congress for a vote. Don’t believe for a moment, however, that the commission has failed. On the contrary, co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have forged a bipartisan majority for a plan that creates the basic…

A Deficit of Common Sense

‘Tis the season for deficit commissions. The past week has brought not one, not two, but three stabs at solving America’s looming fiscal crisis. And just yesterday, the Brookings Institution hosted a panel discussion on “The Politics of Entitlement Reform and the Budget Deficit,” featuring a murderers’ row of budget experts across the ideological spectrum.…

To Oppose or to Propose?

France, 15 of September, 2010. The Pension Reform passes in the National Assembly after months of struggle. The obstruction instigated by the left parties leads to one of these cinema-like scenes when the right-oriented President of the Lower House (Bernard Accoyer) decides to suspend the debates, prompting call for his resignation by the Socialists –…

The Conservative Politics of Common Purpose

The primary defeat of incumbent Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (confirmed by her concession yesterday) by former judge Joe Miller is generally being interpreted as another scalp for the Tea Party Movement in its assault on Republicans deemed too moderate on this or that key issue. But there's something going on a bit deeper, if you…