Wall Street Journal

Robert Caro And Our “Great Man” Fetish
May 07, 2012

Put me squarely in the camp of Robert Caro admirers, even if I’m woefully behind in making my way through the biographer’s LBJ canon. But it’s also been clear to me for some time now that Caro’s exhaustive, colorful depiction of Johnson’s rise to power in Washington has not exactly been helpful when it comes to our country’s weakness for the Great Man Theory of politics and history.

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.

Stop Thinking About Inequality!
April 18, 2012

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins deems income inequality "a strange obsession, at least to the extent the obsessives focus their policy responses on trying to adjust the condition of the top one percent rather than improving the opportunities of everyone else." Academics who study it are "seemingly incapable of freeing [themselves] from tendentiousness." The "claimed shift toward inequality can be made to disappear" when you take household size and differing definitions of income into account.

Has The Tide Turned On Taxes?
April 17, 2012

Tax Day 2009 was a very steamy affair. As you may recall, tempers got so hot at several anti-tax Tea Party protests in Texas that the Lone Star governor who was riling up the crowds, one Rick Perry, declared that he might just be open to his great state seceding from the union. Just three years later, Tax Day 2012 has now passed in decidedly quieter fashion.

Will Syria’s Sectarian Divisions Spill Over Into Turkey?
April 14, 2012

Observers of the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria are increasingly worried that the conflict will turn into sectarian struggle, and with good reason: The Assad regime has enjoyed overwhelming support among Syria’s minority Alawite population while the country’s Sunni majority is leading the anti-Assad rebellion. But the conflict poses another risk.

Why Mitt Romney Is Right About Mom’s Work
April 13, 2012

In the trenchant debate sparked by Democratic talking head Hilary Rosen’s comment about Ann Romney—the subject of front-page articles today in both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal (what’s wrong, New York Times—you don’t care about mothers?)—we heard much about how highly Mitt Romney valued his wife’s work running the household, often saying it was harder work than his own. “I will tell you that Mitt said to me more times than you would imagine, Ann, your job is more important than mine,” Ann said on Fox News yesterday. And you know what? Mitt was right about Ann working harder.

Low-Density Suburbs Are Not Free-Market Capitalism
April 10, 2012

Recently in the Wall Street Journal, transportation consultant Wendell Cox published an op-ed entitled: “California Declares War on Suburbia.” Cox argues that “planners” in California are attacking what he calls “the most popular housing choice,” the single-family detached home, and if they get their way, they will weaken California’s economy, drive up housing prices, and increase traffic congestion. Actually, the homogenous prevalence of low-density single-family suburban housing is the outcome of the very government “planning” process that Cox decries, as economist Ed Glaeser has noted (see

Peggy Noonan, Meet Mimi Alford
April 09, 2012

Peggy Noonan, in her weekly column in the Wall Street Journal weekend edition, this one headlined, “Oh, For Some Kennedyesque Grace”: The other day an experienced and accomplished Democratic lawyer spoke, with dismay, of the president's earlier remarks on the ObamaCare litigation. Mr.

Department Of Trying Too Hard, Ctd.
March 28, 2012

Mitt Romney declared last month, to some incredulity, that he owns several guns.

The Rove Op-ed … Keeps Getting Better
March 26, 2012

Last week I wrote about how Karl Rove’s Wall Street Journal rebuttal of the recent Obama campaign documentary was a masterpiece in projection. Of particular interest was this paragraph, in which Rove downplayed Obama’s biggest foreign policy achievement: As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film "I hope that's the call I would have made" [emphasis added].