Seyward Darby wrote a great article a few months ago arguing that, despite Obama's embrace of a historically Republican-friendly approach to education reform, Republicans were bound to oppose his reform agenda. I concurred, "Obama's willingness to take on the teachers unions takes all the fun out of being in favor of education reform for conservatives." And, sure enough, here is Republican economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin urging his Congressional party not to quickly cooperate with Obama on education reform. Holtz-Eakin offers four reasons to withhold cooperation.
Can Obama Cut A Deficit Deal?
December 21, 2010
It's starting to look more plausible that President Obama will try to cut a budget deal with Republicans. Bob Kuttner thinks Obama plans to spring a proposal in the State of the Union address: The tax deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is just the first part of a multistage drama that is likely to further divide and weaken Democrats. The second part, now being teed up by the White House and key Senate Democrats, is a scheme for the president to embrace much of the Bowles-Simpson plan — including cuts in Social Security.
Democrats Deserve the 'L' Word: 'Lame'
November 12, 2010
If you’ve been following the debate about the future of the Bush tax cuts, Thursday was a busy day. It was also a depressing day. The activity started early, when the Huffington Post reported that the White House was ready to cut a deal with Republicans—and temporarily extend all of the Bush tax cuts, including those that affect higher incomes exclusively. Why was this newsworthy?
Change in the Senate?
November 10, 2010
This is part 2 in a three-part series on the prospects for government reform in the coming year. Part 1 ran yesterday. Ah, here we go. This is what everyone wants to hear about, especially liberals. Are we in for a reformed Senate in 2011-2012? Quick answer? Maybe, on nominations. Not likely, on bills. I'll go through an argument for that position, and then suggest why a January vote on reform might be a mistake, and what Harry Reid should do, starting in the lame duck session, to move reform forward.
How the Republican Congress Will Vote
November 05, 2010
To get ready for the coming Republican Congress, we asked six of The New Republic's most knowledgeable experts to outline how the change will affect politics, regulation, the environment, education, health care, and the economy. Here's how they responded. Jonathan Cohn on politics: The pre-election polls seem to trending, ever so slightly, back towards the Democrats. But it still seems likely that the Republicans will control one, and maybe two, houses of Congress come January. That's obviously not good news for liberals or for liberalism.
This is the sixth and final installment in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) Many political scientists believe the economy is the single biggest factor in determining election outcomes. It will likely cause Democrats to lose big on Tuesday. And, if conditions don’t improve, it could cause Democrats to lose big again in two years.
Is The Environment Doomed Once Republicans Take Congress?
October 25, 2010
This is the third in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2) First, a question: Have the last two years, with Obama in the White House and Democrats running Congress, really been that great for environmental policy? It depends how you look at it. There was that debacle in the Gulf, which obviously wasn't handled well. Then the Senate failed to pass a climate bill, and the Copenhagen talks dragged along without much resolution.
Mike Castle Versus the Tea Party
September 15, 2010
WILMINGTON, Del.--On the eve of the primary that would end his electoral career, Rep. Mike Castle was in a reflective mood.
Other Than That, Mr. Gregg, How Did You Enjoy The Play?
September 14, 2010
The right-wing freak-out over the Obama administration's "socialist" economic proposals necessitates, among other things, total amnesia about the right-wing freak-out over the Clinton administration's "socialist" economic proposals.
Peter Orszag's Misguided Tax Trade
September 07, 2010
Recently departed budget director Peter Orszag says that Democrats should make a deal with Republicans to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two years in return for canceling them all out after two years: Ideally only the middle-class tax cuts would be continued for now. Getting a deal in Congress, though, may require keeping the high-income tax cuts, too. And that would still be worth it. I don't understand the logic of this argument.