Politics, Moderate



Trump's tendency to double down on bad ideas doesn't bode well for the economy

WASHINGTON -- There are lots of reasons to worry about how President Trump would handle a recession, should we tip into one. There's his incompetent economic team. Or the limited fiscal policy tools at his disposal, given that Republicans already spent nearly $2 trillion on tax cuts. Or his efforts to discredit the Federal Reserve just when we'...Read more

Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump's economy is massive.

When Barack Obama was president and the economic statistics were good, then-candidate Donald Trump said they were fake. When Trump became president and inherited the exact same stats, they suddenly became real.

Now that they're turning south, they're apparently fake once more.

Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, ...Read more

The Scaramucci story ends like all the others: With a Trump tweetstorm

On Friday evening, during our joint appearance on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that he stood by President Trump despite his flaws -- because Scaramucci loves his country. He also warned Democrats that his bosom buddy could win reelection in a 40-state landslide.

By Sunday ...Read more

For Trump and his cronies, draining the swamp means ousting experts

Once upon a time, President Trump pledged to "drain the swamp."

This resonated with lots of Americans, who resented the ecosystem of interest groups rigging government in their favor: corrupt officials, revolving-door lobbyists, palm-greasing executives and the network of pseudo-think tanks and analysts funded by industries trying to pass off ...Read more

What are Republicans afraid of?

It's almost funny, in a twisted sort of way. Election after election, Republicans have based their core political appeal on fear.

And yet -- as dual gun massacres this weekend starkly illustrate -- they refuse to offer solutions to any of the mortal threats Americans actually face.

President Trump's closing (losing) message in the midterms was...Read more

A question missing from the health-care debate: Will doctors make less money?

Won't single-payer health care require higher taxes? (Yes, obviously.) And won't abolishing employer-sponsored insurance face opposition from some of the 160 million people happily on those plans now? (Almost certainly.)

At the debates, in post-debate spin rooms and on Sunday TV show interviews, the Democratic presidential candidates are asked ...Read more

'The president would never do that!' Oh, yes, he would.

President Trump would never even think of doing that!

So we've heard again and again, from Trump allies apparently trying to pre-commit the president to not doing something stupid or dangerous that he's obviously inclined to do.

They said it when they claimed, way back when, that Trump had no interest in starting any trade wars. They ...Read more

Trump is the true socialist

Republicans are right. The scourge of socialism is already upon us. They're just wrong about which party is to blame.

Technically, "socialism" refers to a system in which the government controls the means of production. In popular parlance, however, "socialist" has instead become a more generic right-wing slur. To the extent the descriptor ...Read more

The 1930s were a dark period for immigration policies. There's one way today's could be worse.

Eighty years ago last month, the S.S. St. Louis entered American waters.

The liner carried more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution, hoping to find a haven across the Atlantic. Passengers had purchased landing certificates and transit visas issued by the Cuban government, and most planned to wait in Cuba while their U.S. visa ...Read more

Trump's immigration policies speak louder than his racist, xenophobic words

Vile, chilling, dangerous and life-threatening.

These words cannot adequately describe the Trump rally chants of "send her back," referring to a U.S.-citizen congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who immigrated from Somalia as a child refugee; or the presidential tweets that inspired this chant, suggesting that Omar as well as three native-born U...Read more

Abolish the debt ceiling -- no strings attached

The government is about to run out of money because of an arbitrary cap on how much it can borrow to make good on bills that it long ago promised to pay.

Lawmakers and the White House are haggling over the conditions under which they will, once again, temporarily raise that cap, known as the debt ceiling. But the better solution would be to ...Read more

Judy Shelton is a dangerous pick for the Fed board

Let's say you are deciding between two models of Federal Reserve candidates. One has no fixed principles and embraces whatever is most politically expedient; the other has a blind commitment to a dangerously wrong set of beliefs.

To borrow from "Hamilton": I know it's lose-lose, but if you had to choose?

Or maybe you don't. Because with Judy ...Read more

Trump's proposed tennis ball tariff represents a grand slam of terrible trade policy

Want to know how ill-conceived President Trump's proposed China tariffs are? Look to the tennis ball tariff.

It represents a sort of grand slam of terrible trade policy.

Head Penn Racquet Sports, a division of Colorado-based Head USA Inc., makes the best-selling tennis ball in the United States. It sells about 65 million balls under its "Penn"...Read more

We should be concerned about emails in 2020 -- just not Hillary Clinton's

President Trump would like to make someone's email a central issue in the 2020 election, just as it was in 2016.

I'm on board -- though I disagree with which someone we're talking about.

We should be laser-focused on newly discovered private emails between a high-ranking census official and a GOP operative, and what they reveal about a long-...Read more

If even France can't figure out a climate policy, what hope is there for the U.S.?

PARIS -- If your country can't figure this out, what hope is there for mine?

I kept wondering this as I met here with Notre Affaire à Tous, one of four organizations suing the French government for failing to keep its Paris climate accord commitments.

In France, unlike in the United States, politicians actually want to lead on this ...Read more

The struggling iconic American industry you're not thinking of is retail

An iconic American industry is struggling.

This sector has long been battered by forces beyond its control: globalization, automation, "disruptive" new competitors, changing tastes. Bankruptcies mount, and workplaces shutter around the country. Big, empty buildings, once bustling with young people, have been left to rot.

To add insult to ...Read more

A Republican finally reveals the truth about the GOP tax cuts

Breaking: A Republican accidentally told the truth about tax cuts.

Almost. At least if you count Rep. Kevin Brady's (Tex.) recent equivocation about whether the GOP tax overhaul will really pay for itself.

Way back in the first year of President Trump's administration, Republicans made a bunch of promises about their tax law, nearly all of ...Read more

Trump's latest scapegoat: The Federal Reserve

Not this again.

Faced with any sort of self-inflicted crisis, Trump cycles through a series of scapegoats. Among the usual boogeymen (and boogeywomen): immigrants, China, NFL players, Hillary Clinton, House Democrats.

But lately -- and alarmingly, for anyone who cares about the long-term health of the U.S. economy -- the Federal Reserve has ...Read more

Everyone's got a climate plan. So where's the carbon tax?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a big, bold, multitrillion-dollar plan for addressing climate change. So does her rival Joe Biden. Likewise former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke. And, of course, Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., whose entire campaign is structured around the climate crisis.

These candidates, to their credit, have offered ...Read more

Happy 10th birthday to the economic expansion. Don't count on an 11th.

WASHINGTON -- Happy 10th birthday, U.S. economic expansion! Let's hope you'll be allowed to live a little while longer, despite a certain someone's concerted efforts to kill you off.

The Great Recession officially ended -- and the current recovery officially began -- exactly a decade ago, in June 2009. That means we've now tied the record for ...Read more


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