In general Republican thought, poverty is not something caused by society into which some people are unfortunate enough to fall. Rather, poverty is something people fall into by their own failures, and it is also something that they can leave behind by climbing the ladder of success.
Republicans feared that trying to pay for their tax cuts by shifting to the highly uncertain dynamic scoring may not be enough. So they are further trying to rig the system with baseline games and make permanent tax provisions outside tax reform.
Frum and Reagan debate the growing Ukrainian civil war and Obama's 2015 budget in a growing economy. What happens if sanctions and arms don't stop Russian-backed separatists? Can the GOP credibly complain about a wealth/income gap they created, but then oppose tax reform that reduces it?
Barack Obama is the second Honorable Mention recipient this week, for his impressive public opinion polling on job approval in January. He had his best month (measured by month-to-month improvement) of his entire second term, and the fourth-best month he's ever had as president.
The re-shuffle of the last U.S. election that put austerity-minded Republicans in power has ironically resulted in a new anti-austerity economist being hired by Senator Bernie Sanders in the Senate Budget Committee.
It's no secret many view Pope Francis as liberal and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia as conservative. While Archbishop Chaput said such political labels are not useful and flawed, there's certainly a difference between the two men.
What Obama is proposing puts the GOP in a bit of a pickle. They're going to have to explain why they think giving working Americans tax breaks, more money in their pockets, and a hand up is a bad idea and why they would prefer to use public money to support billionaires.
The main theme of a national election can turn on a dime, due to a major world event or even due to the public's fascination with one unforeseen minor topic. But, at least for the time being, the 2016 election seems to be shaping up as a race centered on economic populism.
Normalizing both economic and diplomatic relations with Havana should be seen not as a victory for the Castro government, but for the people of Cuba. Liberty will come to that land. The only question is when. Expanding relations should help speed the process.
According to reports, one of the first acts of the Republican Congress will be to fire Doug Elmendorf, current director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, because he won't use "dynamic scoring" for his economic projections. Dynamic scoring is the magical-mystery math Republicans have been pushing since they came up with supply-side "trickle-down" economics. It's based on the belief that cutting taxes unleashes economic growth and thereby produces additional government revenue. Supposedly the added revenue more than makes up for what's lost when Congress hands out the tax cuts. Dynamic scoring would make it easier to enact tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, because the tax cuts wouldn't look as if they increased the budget deficit.
In spite of the intense, unyielding, never-ending opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, nobody can deny that Obama has tackled the problem of health care costs growing out of control when nobody before him would. And that's not all.
Perhaps the disconnect between what the economy seems to be doing and the way people feel about it is that many don't necessarily agree that our economic condition and our overall happiness are the same thing.
American political history is littered with examples of politicians who ran for their current office as well as another office in the same election. Paul is not the first Kentuckian to seek re-election to his current post concomitantly seeking the presidency or vice presidency.
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As the Koch brothers and their ultra-wealthy cronies think they've figured out, a little chicken manure goes a long way when it comes to misleading voters into supporting the GOP.
The rich always vote for themselves. They go for their self-interest, their tax breaks, their liability escapes (think Wall Street). Meanwhile, they've relentlessly instructed the non-rich that they too must vote for the rich.