Robert J. Samuelson / Politics

Budget Policy as Prayer

WASHINGTON -- The Congressional Budget Office last week issued one of its periodic long-term budget outlooks. Its themes are distressingly familiar. There is no balanced budget in sight. Under favorable assumptions, the CBO projects deficits of $7...

A Part-Timer Boom -- or Blip?

WASHINGTON -- There may be a dark lining to the sunny June employment report, which recorded an increase of 288,000 payroll jobs for the month. Most -- or all -- of the increase may have been part-time jobs. If that's a trend, it could signal a ...

The Medicaid Paralysis

WASHINGTON -- The White House recently put out a 40-page report arguing that the 24 states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") are hurting their poor and themselves. It's an easy case to make...

The Highway Fuss

WASHINGTON -- It's time for a primer on the Highway Trust Fund, which looms as the next battle in Congress' unending budget wars.

Created in 1956 to pay for the Interstate Highway System, the trust fund is both popular and controversial. To some,...

The Empire of Contention

WASHINGTON -- I am reading historian Gordon Wood's splendid "Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815." It is an ideal companion for this July 4th weekend because it reminds us of the great continuities in our politics and ...

The (Misleading) Ex-Im debate

WASHINGTON -- I was against the Export-Import Bank before I was for it, and I may someday be against it again. But right now I'm for it, because the congressional fuss over the renewal of its charter is mostly political grandstanding. The Ex-Im ...