William Galston

We begin to understand people when we know their heroes. Jean Bethke Elshtain’s intellectual hero was St. Augustine; her political hero was Vaclav Havel. From Augustine she learned that evil is a real and active force in human affairs and that it is our duty to oppose it as best we can. From Havel she learned the power of bearing intransigent witness to truth and the importance of treating one’s adversaries with restraint and magnanimity.

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Political Paralysis Makes Us Poorer

Calculating the dollars-and-cents costs of policy uncertainty

Calculating the dollars-and-cents costs of policy uncertainty

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A Budget to Shortchange Our Future

Obama's plan doesn't do enough to shrink entitlement growth

Obama's plan doesn't do enough to shrink entitlement growth.

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Say Yes to the Pipeline—and New Green Regulations

Why triangulation is the answer on Keystone

How to fix the messy politics of the embattled pipeline project.

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The Ongoing and Hugely Risky Bailout of the Housing Market

Why the next housing crisis could be worse than the last one

Unless the White House changes course, the next housing crisis will be worse than the last one

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Obama's Pivot to Europe

Forget China. An EU trade deal would be the real game-changer.

Forget China: A trade deal with Europe would be the real game-changer.

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Two Roads Diverge

The budget fight will determine the fate of the Republican makeover

The Republican Party's reset could fizzle before it even really starts.

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Retrenchment Games

Forget Iran—Chuck Hagel's toughest fight will be the Pentagon's budget

Forget Iran. Chuck Hagel's toughest fight will be the Pentagon's budget.

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“The chief business of the American people is business,” Calvin Coolidge famously said. But not all business is the same: The policies that assist some may injure others, and the organizations that represent different kinds of business often work at cross-purposes. This reality, which the Republican mantra of “job creators” obscures, could be the key to determining the success of President Obama's second term.

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At the heart of our fiscal challenge is a clash between the present and the future, and the future is losing. Intended or not, the top priorities for Republicans and Democrats add up to a relentless squeeze on discretionary spending. That means less for education, less for research, less for infrastructure—the vital public investments that have nourished innovation and growth throughout our history.

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