Block Those Metaphors

Posted by , 13th December 2010

Congress USAPaul Krugman
12/13/2010

The Obama-McConnell tax-cut deal will probably pass Congress, with both good and bad elements. Krugman says the deal will boost the economy in the short-term but isn’t addressing the heart of the problem. Highly indebted Americans are paying down their debts and not spending in while others who can spend are not spending more. To solve our nation’s economic problems, the government should be spending more while the private sector is spending less to support employment while debts are being paid down. This is a form of stimulus, which will be expensive but is worth it if it is done well and rights the economy. The tax deal will likely not give the nation much “bang for the buck,” he says, and the country will be having this conversation again in 2012.

Krugman is a New York Times columnist.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

An Obama foreign policy win in South Sudan

Posted by , 10th December 2010

Michael Gerson
12/10/2010

The new independence of South Sudan is a diplomatic success worth celebrating. After the Obama administration offered the Khartoum regime (the Muslim north of Sudan) a series of incentives called “the road map,” the regime agreed to allow southern Sudan to “go quietly.” The bipartisan nature of this pending diplomatic solution is worth noting: the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was begun in 2005 under the Bush administration, and helped create a unified national government in Sudan and guaranteed an “independence referendum” for south Sudan in 2011. That referendum will be voted on this January 9, with many southern Sudanese who now live in Khartoum returning to their home region to vote. Of course there will be challenges as the newly independent South Sudan becomes a nation, but this successful venture shows how government officials can do a great deal of good in the world.

Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

Why Mike Pence catches conservatives’ eyes

Posted by , 9th December 2010

Mike PenceGeorge F. Will
12/9/2010

Tea Partyers and social conservatives are urging Republican Rep. Mike Pence to run for president in 2012. The author says it is unlikely that Pence will run, but given the congressman’s voting history and family-oriented personal life, conservative support for his candidacy is understandable. Pence voted no on both versions of the TARP legislation, and he also voted no on President Bush’s proposed addition to Medicare in the form of a prescription drug entitlement. Pence’s dedication to his family and participation in wholesome Americana is a common thread that runs throughout his political career and is attractive to social conservatives.

Will is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing about foreign and domestic politics and policy.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

A strange way to honor the founding fathers

Posted by , 3rd December 2010

Founding FathersDana Milbank
12/2/2010

Republicans led by Bob Bishop and Eric Cantor are introducing a constitutional amendment that would allow states to reject and repeal federal laws that they find objectionable. Improbably, the party brought to power by virtue of the Tea Party’s brand of constitutional originalism is making its first order of business a rather severe edit of the same. The mechanics of the bill would allow the smallest 33 states with a third of the nation’s population to nullify federal law for the 17 largest, comprising two thirds.

Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

WikiLeaks provides the truth Bush obscured

Posted by , 30th November 2010

Julian AssangeRichard Cohen
11/30/2010

While abhorrent in many respects, this week’s Wikilinks leak serves as a stark contrast and counterbalance to President Bush’s book, “Decision Points.” The war with Iraq predictably handed influence in that country to Iran and thereby rearranged the region’s political balance. The various Arab governments and our own remain involved in a far messier debate over how to proceed than is evidenced in the former president’s memoir, which strains credulity in the harsh light of day.

Cohen is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on domestic and foreign politics.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

If you’re grateful, pay more taxes

Posted by , 26th November 2010

ThanksgivingMatt Miller
11/25/2010

The anti-tax rhetoric has reached a fever pitch, and the Thanksgiving holiday allows us a moment to pause and consider a different mode of response. Given the considerable sacrifice made by our armed services and the invaluable benefits of a distinctly American culture and history, citizens should consider a reasonable tax burden as a worthy investment back into the nation’s ongoing maturity. Restoring the marginal tax rate on top earners will not be sufficient to deflect the growing debts from foreign wars and social services, but it is a necessary first step to stabilizing the national debt.

Miller is a weekly columnist for The Post’s online edition.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

The irrelevance of START

Posted by , 26th November 2010

new startCharles Krauthammer
11/26/2010

Despite more urgent issues on the table (such as unemployment and tax ambiguity), President Obama considers his New START treaty of the utmost importance. But in these post-Soviet days the Russians are no longer a significant threat no matter how many weapons they amass. This is because it is not the number of weapons but the nature of the regime controlling them that is the issue. While much of the New START treaty with Russia is simply an irrelevant distraction, the fact that the president is ignoring the very real threat posed by the nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran is troubling and dangerous.

Krauthammer is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign and domestic policy and politics.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

Axis of Depression

Posted by , 19th November 2010

Federal ReservePaul Krugman
11/19/2010

China, Germany, and the Republican Party are all trying to bully the Federal Reserve into calling off its job-creation efforts. Krugman says their motives are suspect. He calls the three the Axis of Depression. China and Germany don’t want the dollar to fall because it would make US goods more competitive, and a smaller US deficit would then cause them to run a deficit. Republicans’ reasons are odd and incoherent since the Fed is following the policies of none other than Milton Friedman. Krugman says Republicans are afraid that if the Fed succeeds and helps the economy, it would foul their election chances in 2012.

Krugman is a New York Times columnist.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion

What Now for Burma?

Posted by , 19th November 2010

Aung San Suu KyiIan Holliday
11/19/2010

Aung San Suu Kyi’s release has generated important political possibilities for Burma, says Holliday. Beyond Burma’s borders, key powers are generally supportive of change. China seeks above all a stable, prosperous, and friendly Burma, and has long urged military rulers to embrace national reconciliation and incremental reform. India has no problem with this agenda. The US wants faster progress but is pushing too hard after many years of policy failure. The odds therefore remain stacked against Ms. Suu Kyi. However, by signaling that talks are now possible without preconditions and that sanctions may be debated, she has created an important political opening. For generals keen to settle a fractious nation and bring in Burma from the cold, the offer placed on the table could be enticing.

Holliday is dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong.

Link to full text in primary source.

Give your opinion