President Obama's doing an excellent job of getting himself into heaven, but that won't raise the debt limit.
My new TRB column argues that 2012 is not 1986, and that tax reform is therefore not a good idea. Ezra Klein uses some of the same arguments to suggest that life without tax reform would be intolerable, but he doesn't explain why. TNR's Jon Cohn is a little bit closer to my position on this. Anyway, read my piece and decide for yourself.
House and Senate negotiators have been meeting to work out an agreement on extending the payroll tax cut, which currently is due to expire at the end of February, through 2012. After last month's partisan battle over the issue, which proved costly to Republicans, everyone now is apparently on board with the extension.
On Jan. 4 President Obama made several recess appointments, in effect making an independent judgment that the Senate is in recess. Senate Republicans howled in indignation that the Senate is not in recess; they’d pressured the Democratic majority to keep the Senate technically in session in order to prevent the president from appointing Richard Cordray (or anyone) director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Editor's note: On Friday, Jon Cohn wrote about a new House Republican report about the Affordable Care Act -- and why one of its central claims was wrong. Among the sources he cited was Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who has advised policy-makers, including some of the ACA's architects. But Gruber found several other flaws in the report. What follows is his analysis. A new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is making headlines because of four claims it makes about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But some of these claims are wrong-headed.
-- Jon Cohn on that shaky McKinsey health care report -- Tim Pawlenty's insane tax proposals, now in chart form -- Mitt Romney sets new standards in candidate awkwardness