The Department of Defense recognizes that it has a Hispanic retention problem. As any business operator knows, that's expensive. Losing a trained employee means they have to start over teaching a new one.
Now the ball is in Obama's court. Is he going to present a big plan that tries to tackle the serious long-term fiscal problems the nation faces?
This was a week of expansion and contraction. Equal rights were allowed to continue expanding in Arizona, where Governor Jan Brewer vetoed an anti-gay bill masquerading as a "religious freedom" bill, and in Texas, where a federal judge ruled the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department announced that the deficit had shrunk to its smallest level since 2008 -- although the victory here is less clear, since the byproduct of deficit cutting in the middle of an ongoing recession has been prolonged unemployment and slow growth. The idea that government spending should contract at the same time the overall economy does is an American Hustle not worthy of an award. More entertaining will be seeing whether the cinematic American Hustle will triumph tonight -- or whether the Best Picture Oscar will go to fellow front-runners Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. My own prediction for a big win: Ellen.
On revenue neutrality, the plan uses revenue-raising provisions whose savings taper off or disappear after the first decade, and it includes a major tax cut whose full costs don't appear in the first decade.
The gears of government are grinding slower than usual because of a deficit in Washington. Yet even though budgetary squawking continues nonstop in the Capitol, it's not the financial deficit that appears at fault.
Republicans want a strong, upwardly mobile middle class and a weak government, but the two cannot coexist. Given the party's obsession with cutting government spending, "mobility" will remain a hollow mantra, nothing more.
Democrats and Republicans are blitzing us with propaganda about the national debt. My purpose here is not to side with either political party, but to add understating to the subject.
Yes, as widely reported, CBO estimates that a minimum wage hike to $10.10 would mean the loss of 500,000 jobs, and some business owners and shareholders would have lower profits. But, even after factoring in those costs, the wage hike would lift 900,000 people out of poverty.
Has Christie crossed a line that's presidentially disqualifying and O'Reilly misused a sporting event to peddle crackpot conspiracies? And if conservatives like choice for markets and schools, why not for balancing health care, work and family?
The president did not start his speech with the usual "The state of our union is strong," presumably because that would be a lie.
Rather than slashing services that millions of Americans rely on and cutting wages and benefits for government workers and retirees, Congress should be exploring ways to generate new sources of revenue that would put us on a path to prolonged economic growth.
No one argues that the government shouldn't be more prudent with its money, but a balanced budget amendment does almost nothing to address the underlying problems that lead to wasteful spending.
The deficit hawks' prophecies of near-term doom have not materialized.
Government cutbacks are also the main reason for our soaring inequality and social immobility, as domestic austerity policies have endangered the social safety net while conservative state governments inhibit collective bargaining, voters' and women's rights.
Here's something you won't hear anyone in Washington admit: we've only once made a principal payment on our debt in the last forty years. Just once! Today our federal debt clocks in at $17.3 trillion dollars.
If a friend asks for $16,000 so that they can pay off a debt, how do you react? Chances are you think that is a lot of money, and you question how they got into that kind of debt in the first place. Now think about what happens if your state lawmakers ask you for $16,178 to get out of debt.