The Great Debate

Why not a war on child poverty?

By Mike Males
April 22, 2014

President Barack Obama’s recent speeches at the LBJ Presidential Library and National Action Network marking the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Act had a serious omission. While acknowledging “our work is unfinished,” Obama failed to mention this nation’s worst social trend: the stunning increase of children and youth living in poverty.

America is not broke

By Harry Stein
March 31, 2014

“We’re broke.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Tea Party groups have repeated that phrase so frequently that it must be true, right?

from Reihan Salam:

The ‘grand compromise’ that wasn’t

By Reihan Salam
February 24, 2014

One of President Obama’s defining convictions is that he is the most reasonable man in our nation’s capitol. He seems to view opposition to his agenda as a reflection of intellectual or moral failures (my opponents don’t understand the underlying issues well enough, or their hearts aren’t big enough), or as a product of naked cynicism (my opponents are dishonest, and they will do anything to defeat me). To prove his point, the president will occasionally tout an idea from the other side of the aisle, or rather an idea he imagines to be from the other side of the aisle. And when his political opponents don’t embrace the idea, well, that means that they are acting in bad faith.

What about Social Security’s rollout?

By Bruce J. Schulman
October 29, 2013

After the nation’s major social program finally became law, critics regularly blamed it for a slowing economy and a swelling federal bureaucracy. Fierce congressional opposition led to the formation of a blue-ribbon panel to overhaul the measure. Obamacare in 2013? Not quite. It was Social Security in 1937.

To help end budget gimmicks, pass this bill

By David M. Walker
July 24, 2013

When it comes to addressing our growing national debt, there is no shortage of disagreement between the political parties in Washington. But there is one thing they should both agree on: to tell the truth about our nation’s growing fiscal imbalance.

Obama’s budget bid for a ‘grand bargain’

By David M. Walker
April 10, 2013

President Barack Obama’s budget, released Wednesday, is getting a lot of criticism from ideologues on the right and left. That is one of the most encouraging things about it.

The price of defying your base

By Bill Schneider
April 8, 2013

Defying your base is always risky. It can either bring you down — or it can make you look stronger.

Social Security as solution, not problem

By Josh Freedman
April 3, 2013

Social Security is not the problem – it is the solution.

Washington is filled with talk of a looming “retirement crisis.” The discussion focuses on funding Social Security and usually includes calls to cut benefits – either by changing payout formulas or raising the retirement age.

2014: The Democrats’ dilemma

By Robert L. Borosage
March 18, 2013

Washington has been fascinated by Republican self-laceration since the 2012 election. Karl Rove triggered a circular firing squad by vowing to take out unwashed challengers in GOP primaries. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal begged Republicans to stop being the “stupid party.” Strategists say the party can’t survive as stale, pale and male. Tea Party legislators knee-cap GOP congressional “leaders” and well-funded political PACs strafe any who dare deviate from the party’s unpopular gospel. Republicans are even talking about changing “Grand Old Party” to something more fashionable.

The fight for a grand bargain

By David M. Walker
November 29, 2012

The Gang of Eight: (Top Row, L to R) Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) (Second Row, L to R)) Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)  REUTERS/File