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.
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.
No, the Election Isn't Just a Referendum on Obama
April 15, 2012
In his TNR column last week, my esteemed colleague and mentor William Galston expressed one of the more regularly repeated convictions about presidential politics: Reelection campaigns are a referendum on the incumbent. As he wrote: One of the best established findings of contemporary political science is that in presidential contests involving an incumbent, the incumbent’s record is central to the public’s judgment.
April 11, 2012
Sen. Barry Goldwater used to claim that whenever Ronald Reagan's CIA director, Bill Casey, lied while testifying before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, his deputy, Bobby Inman, would lean forward and pull up his socks to signal to the interrogators that Casey was not telling the truth. Apparently Robert McNamara, defense secretary under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, used the same method on himself.
The Republican Party’s alleged “war” against women is fast emerging as a major trope of the 2012 elections. And the charge is largely true: As the GOP has become increasingly conservative, so too has it become increasingly hostile to feminism and insensitive to women’s issues. But Democrats have not merely been horrified bystanders wringing their hands as this “war” has unfolded. The Democratic Party has actively encouraged the GOP’s descent into antifeminism.
Back To 1956
April 06, 2012
Please take a look at the following two charts, from an April 2 report by the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, because I want you to note an alarming trend. The average federal income tax rate for a median-income family of four—a reasonable indicator of how heavily America taxes its citizens—has been rising since President Obama took office. This year the average family of four at the median income can expect to pay 5.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes.