Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Special Correspondent for The Treatment. The New Deal was famously described as an arrangement whereby the South was forced against its will to accept billions of dollars every year. Something similar might be said of the current health reform. Washington is on pins and needles waiting to discern the votes of Blue Dog Representatives whose constituents have the most to gain from health reform. I was reminded of this fact by Michael Tomasky's recent column.
Health Care And The 1994 Precedent
March 15, 2010
There has been a lot of argument over whether passing health care reform or letting it die would offer the most attractive strategy for Democrats.
What Failure Would Cost the Democrats
March 15, 2010
Disgruntled (if not former) Democrats Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen are the latest to join in offering advice to President Obama and Congressional Democrats to abandon their health reform quest before it causes catastrophic damage to the party.
In Red America, The Stimulus Is Permanent
February 26, 2010
The way that Republican governors made a fuss last year about accepting stimulus dollars, and their continued uproar about growing deficits, it's worth another reminder that the most Republican states also get the most money from the federal government over what they put in. Here's a chart put together by a reader showing that, since 1981, some of the most conservative states have been the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending. The 48 blue marks (the chart leaves off Hawaii and Alaska) show how much federal funding each state receives beyond what it pays in federal taxes.
Nice Guys Finish Last
February 11, 2010
Everyone remembers that George W. Bush’s first tax cut was contentious when Congress considered it back in 2001. So contentious, in fact, that the Bushies didn’t even try passing it under normal Senate procedures. The GOP leadership, worried that it couldn’t collect 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster, relied on reconciliation, the Senate rule that allows budget-related measures to pass with a simple majority. What fewer people remember is the margin by which Bush’s tax cut finally passed the Senate. As it happens, the number of yeas was 62—including 12 Democrats.
Changes to EITC in Proposed Budget
February 05, 2010
The president’s proposed budget for FY2011 contains a few key provisions that will mean good news for low-income working families at tax time, even after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA/stimulus bill) runs its course. It also proposes to terminate an ineffective program for these families, but stops short of advancing a much-needed replacement. Top 10 States and Metro Areas for Increases in EITC Dollars due to ARRA Changes in Eligibility First, ARRA temporarily expanded two important tax credits for working families that the Administration now proposes to make permanent.
Failed Reform Would Haunt the Democrats Like the Undead
February 03, 2010
President Obama is going to address another Congressional gathering today. The audience will be more friendly this time: It will be the Senate Democratic caucus. But the stakes will be just as high as they were when Obama spoke to Republican House members last week. Health care is bound to come up at the meeting. I assume Obama will raise it during his prepared remarks; if not, he'll get questions about it. And the big controversy right now is whether the Senate is willing to amend its bill through the budget reconciliation process.
No Organized Political Party
January 20, 2010
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails this: From: Ryan RudominerSent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:17 PMSubject: Winners and Losers from the Mass. Senate special - Washington Post's Chris Cillizza From: Chris Cillizza To: Chris Cillizza Sent: Wed Jan 20 13:08:51 2010 Subject: Winners and Losers from the Mass. Senate special Winner. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: In light of the Massachusetts loss, the DCCC's record of five straight special election wins -- including one last fall in a difficult environment in Upstate New York -- looks a lot more impressive.
January 15, 2010
Last weekend began with Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, clinging to his job primarily via implicit racial blackmail. Steele’s tenure has consisted of a string of gaffes and managerial blunders, but Republicans had concluded that his color made him un-fireable.
Can't We Just Eat All Those Pesky Asian Carp?
January 11, 2010
Last week, The New York Times had a great piece about how Asian carp have been making their way up the Mississippi River and are threatening to invade Lake Michigan. If that happens, the Great Lakes would be screwed—the carp would overrun the ecosystem, eat all the food, and devastate the area's $7 billion fishing industry. So far, the carp haven't made it past electric barriers in Illinois, but they're coming unnervingly close, and states like Michigan and Wisconsin are suing to shut down Chicago waterways until a good solution can be found.