21 Feb 2018

I don't read the Journal, save for a rare link that comes across my feed - like this one. I've heard that it's gotten worse over the last few years, so maybe this isn't as far from their norm as it seems like it should be, but when someone sends you an article, ostensibly about centrists, from a major newspaper - authored by someone who works at Brookings no less... I just didn't expect to find something so overflowing with completely false information about what centrists think, who we are and blaming moderates for things we aren't even involved with. I had to respond.   The Democratic Ideal & False Centrist Stereotypes The first few sentences seemed to be headed in a good direction. He began by speaking about how respect for the outcome of elections is on the decline (I agree), but then first goes off the rails here: "...disrespect for democratic outcomes has become particularly acute on the center-left." That just plain isn't true. ...

18 Apr 2011

The New York Times has a great piece profiling the 'Gang of Six', the group of (now much more than six) U.S. Senators that have been trying to nail out a deal that would be brought to the floor of the Senate that would put our nation on solid fiscal footing. It reads like a movie drama script, with different factions trying to forge a working relationship under fire from both external enemies, as well as and internal friendly fire. While Obama is satisfied sitting on the sidelines, these folks are weathering attacks from all around, building a compromise where both bend on some of their priorities in order to work together to save us from fiscal disaster. They realize that this disaster would harm everyone's priorities far and beyond worse than the compromises being discussed here, more like the extreme austerity measures that Ireland is facing now. Here's a taste: As Mr. Obama and Republican leaders have warred publicly over the budget, this...

01 Feb 2011

Politifact has a nice piece on some points Mark Warner made on the deficit recently. He and republican Saxby Chambliss are working together on a package of reforms that would actually put our country on track to fiscal sanity, and have been getting a lot of attention... and flak... for it. I actually didn't know this, but according to Warner: "I don’t think that most Americans realize that we actually spend more on tax expenditures, or tax breaks, than we collect in personal income taxes each year," he said. Politifact checked on this and found: ...during the last two fiscal years, individuals received a total of about $1.98 trillion in breaks for the $1.85 trillion in income tax they paid. The biggest breaks are very popular, like on pension contributions, health care and the mortgage interest deduction. Warner, I think correctly, doesn't suggest we should toss them out, but merely cap them so we're not giving tax incentives to people buying...

30 Dec 2010

Through the recent tax bill vote and through reactions to the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan, we are able to begin sorting the "Deficit Hawks" from the "Deficit Albatrosses" in Congress.  We'll start today with the Senate deficit hawks. December's compromise tax bill raises deficits on both ends -- decreased tax rates and increased spending.  Only 19 Senators and 148 Representatives voted against this Deeper Deficit Bill, as it might be called.  Also in December, the Simpson-Bowles Debt Panel released its final recommendations -- many spending cuts with some tax increases.  While Congress as a whole has not been forced to vote on Simpson-Bowles, a number of Congressmen and -women have availed themselves of the opportunity to support it or to denounce it. The good news is that at least 25 Senators out of 100 have now taken tough stands for cutting the deficit (not counting those leaving office next week, and not counting a couple of mayb...