"Mediscare" And The Conventional Wisdom
May 08, 2011

The Washington Post editorial clucking its tongue at Democratic attacks on the GOP Medicare plan is a useful encapsulation of the vacuity of the conventional wisdom on this subject. It's worth paying some attention to the editorial, because it takes at least a half step toward making explicit the assumptions that undergird most of the coverage of this issue. Here are all the parts of the editorial that make, or gesture toward, arguments. First: Democrats have effectively scared seniors as a political tactic for many years.

The House GOP vs. The Deficit Grand Bargain
April 13, 2011

The widespread speculation about a big bipartisan agreement to reduce the budget deficit focuses on what seems to be some impressive bipartisan behind-the-scenes support in the Senate. But it overlooks the extremely long odds of getting a deal like that through the House. It's pretty significant news that Paul Ryan is throwing cold water on the possibility of a big deficit deal: Mr.

About that Whole "Replace" Thing...
January 20, 2011

On Wednesday, after the House Republicans voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I wrote that "the more serious Republicans have some ideas, yes, but nothing that would come remotely close to insuring 30 million people or bolstering coverage for the people who have it." Here is my latest column for Kaiser Health News, which helps explain why I think that:  The Republicans insist they want not just to repeal the Affordable Care Act but also to replace it. But replace it with what, exactly?

Moral Minority
January 15, 2001

Here are some of the things for which Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is best known: He opposes abortion rights and signed into law a measure so restrictive the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. He fights with teachers' unions and helped bring a school-voucher pilot program to Milwaukee. Finally, and most famously, he despises welfare, having signed one of the first laws requiring single mothers to work in order to receive government assistance. So it's no wonder conservatives are so gleeful that President-elect George W.