Neera Tanden

Think That Think Tanks Can Be Bought? Not So Fast.

The Center for American Progress takes issue with recent TNR piece

The Center for American Progress takes issue with a recent TNR piece.

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How Obama should deal with the fiscal cliff: ask the wealthy to pay a little more taxes.

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Looking back on last week’s convention, Democrats have every right to congratulate themselves on a job well done. The party clearly communicated a consistent set of themes while also showcasing its rich diversity. And chief among the messages was that the Democratic party is better for women, with a cast of women to make the case, including Michelle Obama. Clearly, if the President wins, his support among women will be a decisive factor.

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Fix the Tax Code!

Neera Tanden

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In January 1998, in the run-up to the twenty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton held a meeting in the Map Room of the White House with leaders of women’s groups ranging from Planned Parenthood to the National Women’s Law Center. The meeting took place in the aftermath of the painful and polarizing debate on late-term abortion—a debate in which conservatives capitalized on a seemingly extreme abortion position in order to bludgeon progressive leaders.

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One of the signature policy proposals that Mitt Romney outlined in his economic plan and highlighted in his USA Today op-ed last week is a policy that is as pernicious in practice as it sounds unthreatening. On page 61 of his plan, Romney proposes to cap the rate at which agencies would impose new regulations at zero. This means that if an agency is required by law to issue a new regulation, it must offset the costs, presumably by eliminating some other regulations.

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In the debate over the House Republicans’ budget plan championed by Representative Paul Ryan, it's been remarkable to watch the contortions and contradictions in the GOP on the issue of health care. The cornerstone of the Republican critique of the Affordable Care Act over the past year or so has been that it would lead to rationing. While Republicans initially manufactured lies about this issue—anyone remember death panels?—they eventually focused on one provision in the bill that was focused on cutting costs: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

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Mangled Mandate

As with any election, there are competing narratives about what message the voters were sending last November when Democrats got routed in the mid-terms. Each party has offered a view on the meaning of the election. In the Democrats’ view, an economically anxious electorate was focused on jobs and repudiated Obama’s party for not delivering on job growth. In this telling, voters did not reject a liberal agenda but saw health care and other issues as diversions from their immediate pressing economic concerns.

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Need for Speed

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has used his state’s budget deficit as an excuse to attack collective-bargaining rights. He argues that Wisconsin simply can’t afford collective bargaining. Nevertheless, as has widely been reported, his claimed $137 million deficit could be addressed without touching these rights. Indeed, it’s simply false to argue that eliminating collective bargaining has really anything to do with the budget deficit, especially since unions have already offered pay concessions. But what is most surprising about Walker’s attack on collective bargaining is its speed.

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