Politics, Moderate



An Unnecessary Coronavirus Victim: The Right to Travel

For Chicagoans who need to go to Texas, there is bad news. You can do it, but anyone flying from Chicago to the Lone Star State will feel extremely unwelcome. Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered a 14-day self-quarantine for such travelers.

The mandate also applies to those arriving by air from California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Atlanta, ...Read more

Right now, fiscal restraint would be folly

Fiscal discipline was once a durable American practice. But in the 1940s, it went out the window. The federal government embarked on a sudden, unprecedented binge of borrowing that put the nation in hock up to its ears.

From 1940 to 1945, federal spending rose tenfold. The national debt increased sixfold. The public would have to shoulder the ...Read more

Why Trump can't restart the economy

The federal government's effort to combat the new coronavirus carries an economic price that is getting higher every day -- too high, it appears, for President Donald Trump and some of his advisers. They fear a sharp, brutal downturn that could boost unemployment into double-digits, litter the landscape with bankruptcies and doom his reelection ...Read more

Trump and the perils of being a "wartime" president

The new coronavirus has been one of the worst moments of Donald Trump's presidency. A crisis erupted, and he spent weeks downplaying and dismissing before finally conceding the urgent need for action. If things go badly, he will get a lot of the blame for his tardy, ineffectual response.

But in some ways, the pandemic puts him in the position ...Read more

How to relieve the growing economic pain -- and how not to

In normal times, we expect the people who make economic policy to do everything possible to avoid a recession. But with the new coronavirus, that's not an option. The steps needed to cope with the epidemic virtually guarantee a painful contraction. And that's a price we should be willing to pay, because there is no good alternative.

Donald ...Read more

What makes the coronavirus crisis different

The coronavirus pandemic is hardly the first national crisis that Americans have faced in this century. But it's different from the previous ones, and we are not ready for it.

What sets it apart from the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and the Great Recession is that it will require us to make unwanted sacrifices. Absorbing that stark ...Read more

Dangerous complacency about coronavirus is not better than panic

In a moment of looming crisis, there are two reactions that should be avoided. The first is panic. The second is complacency. Faced with the coronavirus epidemic, the president, many other officials and the general public are avoiding the first mistake by falling into the second.

A look elsewhere shows the folly of relying on hope as a strategy...Read more

Chuck Schumer, the Supreme Court and an abortion menace

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh certainly have grounds to feel threatened and aggrieved by Sen. Charles Schumer's warning that they "will pay the price" for any "awful decisions" they bring about. It was an irresponsibly worded comment, as Schumer himself later conceded. I can just imagine what anxiety they must have suffered.

But in ...Read more

The coronavirus carries a big risk of recession

If you see a fleet of fire trucks go by with sirens blaring, you can take it as good news. All those firefighters and all that equipment are available and ready to do the job they exist for. But it's really the bad news that is more relevant. They wouldn't be racing out if there weren't a big, destructive fire blazing.

The Federal Reserve's ...Read more

Sanders and Bloomberg both want to run your life

The Democratic primary battle between Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg could be easily resolved if they would realize how much they have in common. In fact, they would make a great ticket. Imagine the slogan: "Sanders-Bloomberg: Because you're tired of running your own life."

Being a moderate libertarian -- or a libertarian moderate, I'm ...Read more

Will Utah decriminalize polygamy?

In modern America, sex is pretty much a government-free zone. It's been a long time since we treated fornication and adultery as crimes. The Supreme Court struck down state laws banning homosexual acts. Nudity is common on mainstream TV platforms, and pornography is available in every home.

Most Americans, if not all, have made peace with the ...Read more

Under Trump, crooked big shots get a break

Irving Kristol, a New York intellectual and youthful communist who became a guru of the American right, once defined a neoconservative as "a liberal who has been mugged by reality." Thanks to Donald Trump, we have a new definition of a criminal justice reformer: a rich person who is shocked to see his felonious friends punished as though they ...Read more

The Astros' apology? Not accepted

The Houston Astros have gotten a lot of criticism lately, but they may also have a business opportunity. They could work out a marketing promotion with Reese's, maker of those peanut butter cups, whose ad slogan is: "Not sorry."

Oh, they say they're sorry, just as losing Academy Award nominees force themselves to smile and applaud for the ...Read more

On foreign policy, Bernie Sanders shines

Bernie Sanders is a strident ideologue with immovable convictions that defy conventional Democratic thinking and haven't changed in more than half a century. When it comes to foreign policy, however, he may be exactly what we need.

I am no fan of Sanders' domestic policy agenda, which shows an undue faith in the wisdom and competence of the ...Read more

Trump's surprising outreach to black voters

At times during his State of the Union address, Donald Trump seemed to be running for president -- of the NAACP. In 2016, he asked black voters, "What the hell do you have to lose?" This year, his message amounts to, "You never had it so good."

In his State of the Union address, Trump boasted that the black unemployment is the lowest ever. He ...Read more

After the Iowa caucuses eisaster, let's bring back the smoke-filled room

This year's Iowa caucuses were a pratfall shackled to a debacle and wrapped inside a horror. The failure of organizers to get and report results promptly has provoked demands for change: Scrap the format, change the way results are tabulated, or cancel Iowa's first place on the calendar. But the spectacle was a distraction from the graver defect...Read more

A helping hand for ex-offenders is holding them back

The United States leads the world in many categories that evoke pride and one that should not: We lock people up at a higher rate than any other country. We also have a lot of ex-offenders who have a hard time finding legitimate work. And an ex-offender with no job and no money is a crime waiting to happen.

But a few years back, we came up with...Read more

Trump's supporters actively denying reality

There was a time when I was unconvinced of the case that greenhouse gases were causing the planet to warm and that action was needed to curb them. I'm not one to jump to conclusions on such an important matter. But over time, I noticed something fishy. The people who began by rejecting the case kept changing their story.

First, they said the ...Read more

Warren and Sanders and the Wealth Tax Folly

For any problem you can think of, Elizabeth Warren has a plan -- usually an expensive one. She promises universal child care, universal pre-K, the elimination of student loan debt, rural broadband, "Medicare for All" and more. She's of the "go big or go home" school.

There was a time when Democrats like Bill Clinton recognized that Washington...Read more

Trump's alleged 'love' of the military is completely phony

Many women are acquainted with a certain type of boyfriend. He's generous with gifts, meals and compliments. In public, he's the picture of devotion. But when you need him, he's not there. When you have a problem, it's your fault. Eventually, you have to accept: He's just not that into you.

For the U.S. military, Donald Trump is that kind of ...Read more


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David Horsey Gary Varvel Gary Markstein David M. Hitch Mike Shelton Dan Wasserman