Political conflict and violent conflict are not the same thingRead More
Lame Duck sessions undermine representative governmentRead More
The leader-driven equilibrium is increasingly precariousRead More
What exactly are political parties, and how do they matter?Read More
Congress no longer seen as preeminent institutionRead More
We seek to clarify and deepen our original discussion about polarization in this post.Read More
“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”Read More
Republican leaders try to fend off a rogue effort to force House actionRead More
Americans have good reason to believe that their government isn’t workingRead More
History is important. We ignore its lessons at our peril.Read More
Only thing remarkable is how utterly unremarkable and familiar it has becomeRead More
Let us look to the new year confident in the knowledge that we are treading the well-worn path of those who came before us. And let us continue the work they began by conducting our politics in the institutions created by the Constitution. It may feel a bit unsettling. But welcoming conflict into our political lives will ensure that our future will continue to be brightened by a rising and not a setting sun.Read More
Republican efforts to reform the tax code received an important boost with last week’s passage of the annual budget resolution in the House of Representatives. But the GOP should not celebrate just yet. How Republicans overcome the remaining challenges will determine whether they actually cross the finish line.Read More
The Republican Party is gearing up for a critical push to reform the tax code. After the spectacular collapse of its seven-year effort to repeal Obamacare this summer, the GOP is in desperate need of a victory.
And according to Republican leaders, that victory is all but assured. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., observed, “If there’s anything that unifies Republicans, it’s tax reform.”
But it’s far from clear that’s the case.
Conspicuously absent from such platitudes is any indication of what, exactly, tax reform means.
That’s because it means different things to different people.
And therein lies the problem for Republicans. The vague language they use to communicate with voters implies a level of agreement within the GOP that may not exist.Read More
The federal government creates an inflection point every time it hits the debt ceiling.
The decision to raise it, by how much, and for how long, confronts Congress with a turning point at that moment in the nation's politics. Regardless of one's views about the direction Congress should take today, everyone should agree that the nation's present fiscal course is unsustainable.
The upcoming debt debate gives members of Congress, and the people they represent, an opportunity to consider their options and to chart a new course. As part of that debate, members in the House and Senate should leverage the debt ceiling to enact much-needed policy and process reforms.
Not surprisingly, this is easier said than done.Read More
Congress has a problem. The federal budget is a mess, and its members have yet to demonstrate the willingness to fix it.
This is a problem because it's their job to budget.
Budgeting requires trade-offs between appropriate levels of taxes and spending. It also forces members to prioritize some programs over others. Doing so is controversial. Some people will be unhappy with the decisions their elected representatives make.
And therein lies the problem.Read More
Regardless of where people are on the political spectrum, many Americans—in fact most—believe that something is gravely wrong with the political system today. According to a recent report from Pew Research Center, 55 percent of Americans are frustrated with the federal government. Similarly, popular trust in government is near historic lows. The Pew survey found that only 16 percent of Americans trust the government to do the right thing “most of the time.” A paltry 4 percent of respondents reported trusting the government to do the right thing “just about always.”Read More