Ronald Reagan

Between the Lines
July 13, 2012

SOME VICTORIES prepare the ground for more victories; others lay the basis for future defeats. The great question for liberals about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is which kind of victory it is. John Roberts’s decision to spare the ACA at least allows the president this fall to claim health reform as a major achievement. But the chief justice’s new limits on the scope of the Commerce clause and federal spending powers may put future reforms at risk of being struck down and require liberals to rethink their approach to national policy.

Raise Taxes On The Middle Class!
July 12, 2012

President Obama wants to extend the Bush income-tax cuts, but only on family income up to $250,000 per year. Mitt Romney wants to keep the Bush tax cuts for everybody and to further lower all existing income-tax rates by 20 percent. They're both wrong. Romney is a lot more wrong than Obama, because his plan is very regressive. Romney would drop an already too-low top marginal rate of 35 percent down to 28 percent.

Raise Taxes On The Middle Class!
July 12, 2012

President Obama wants to extend the Bush income-tax cuts, but only on family income up to $250,000 per year. Mitt Romney wants to keep the Bush tax cuts for everybody and to further lower all existing income-tax rates by 20 percent. They're both wrong. Romney is a lot more wrong than Obama, because his plan is very regressive. Romney would drop an already too-low top marginal rate of 35 percent down to 28 percent.

Efficacy and Democracy
June 21, 2012

Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of PowerBy Robert A. Caro (Knopf, 712 pp., $35) I. MANY LIBERAL Democrats have yet to come to terms with Lyndon Johnson.

Obama’s ‘Morning in America’ Gambit
June 14, 2012

Today in Cleveland, President Obama jettisoned the theme of economic inequality that had suffused his economic speeches for more than six months, focusing instead on “how we grow faster, how we create more jobs, and how we pay down our debt.” The real issue, he said, is how we reverse the “erosion of middle-class jobs and middle-class incomes.” In making that claim, Obama doubled down on the guiding assumption of his campaign—that he can turn the 2012 election into a choice between two models for the future, rather than a referendum on his first term.

Why Romney Praising Clinton Makes Sense
May 08, 2012

My colleague Jonathan Cohn has the goods in explaining why Mitt Romney’s new attempt to drive a wedge between Barack Obama and the more centrist Democrats nostalgic for Bill Clinton fails as a matter of policy reality. But it’s also worth noting, with only a smidgen of facetiousness, why it actually makes some sense for Romney to praise Bill Clinton, apart from the blatant political gamesmanship at work. First, consider that when Bill Clinton was president, Mitt Romney was...kinda liberal! Heck, he even voted for Clinton’s rival Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Massachusetts Democratic primary!

Public Job Losses And GOP Chutzpah
May 04, 2012

Tucked inside this morning’s lackluster monthly jobs report is a remarkable figure: the economy is back to a net positive for the number of private sector jobs created since the start of 2009. That is, even with the ginormous job losses that we saw in the first few months of 2009, we’re now back in the black from that standpoint. But that’s private sector jobs.

Eric Cantor: Tax The Poor!
April 25, 2012

Prominent Republican officeholders are getting bolder about saying they want to raise taxes on poor people. I have written before about the bizarre conservative meme that we need to "broaden the tax base" by raising taxes on low-income people whom the Wall Street Journal editorial page has labelled, grotesquely, "lucky duckies." This is a complete reversal from the previous conservative position that the working poor, far from paying federal income tax, should receive government payments through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

No Deal
April 19, 2012

Democrats and Republicans agree that the federal income tax must be reformed. They even agree on some common goals.

Stop Blaming the Tax Code For America’s Inequality Problem
April 19, 2012

Two topics have dominated economic discussion in recent months—income inequality and tax fairness. The Piketty-Saez chart demonstrating the dramatic rise in the income share of top earners since 1980 is this decade’s Laffer Curve, and the super-rich who pay taxes at lower rates than their secretaries are liberals’ riposte to the Reagan-era welfare queens. It’s natural to assume that these two tropes are connected: Surely changes in the tax code since Ronald Reagan took office have contributed substantially to post-tax income gaps between the top and the rest of us.

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