Improving Economic Prospects May Bring Minorities to the Polls

October 22, 2012

The Republican Party has hit rock bottom when it comes to appealing to black voters, according to recent polls. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll taken in late summer found zero percent black voters supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

That’s no typo. Republican support in the African-American community has dwindled to negligible levels, down from the 4 percent won by John McClain, President Obama’s 2008 opponent.

This isn’t just about the nation’s first African-American president cementing overwhelming support from his own ethnic group, although...

Typical Households Lose Deductions in Romney Plan

October 17, 2012

“Mitt Romney: “I’ll pick a number -- $25,000 of deductions and credits, and you can decide which ones to use.”

Tax analysts haven’t passed final judgment on Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s tax plan, which he says will cut everyone’s tax rates by 20 percent, lower taxes on the middle class and hold wealthier citizens’ tax payments constant without increasing the deficit.

The only way to accomplish this fiscal jujitsu is by limiting tax expenditures, which the Tax Policy Center has said would sharply increase taxes on the...

Romney: Americans Don't Die because They're Uninsured

October 11, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told the Columbus Dispatch yesterday that “we don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” “We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’ ” he told the newspaper’s editorial board. “No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get...

Emanuel’s Effective Triptych

September 5, 2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago was last night’s forgotten man.

The star of the evening was Michelle Obama, of course, with her perfect pitch rendition of an ode to her common husband. His strength of character allowed him to steer through the myriad crises he’s confronted during his first term in office while delivering on promises like health care, gay rights and ending the war in Iraq, she said.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro delivered an impassioned keynote address that highlighted the stark contrasts between the Republicans and Democrats on...

How Romney Would Prop Up a Dying Industry

August 31, 2012

Every reputable budget analyst recognizes that dealing with the long-term budget deficit depends on holding government health care costs in check. One line in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech last night not only ignored that reality, it posed a direct threat to efforts already underway to return to fiscal sanity.

The threat wasn’t in his repetition of his campaign’s factually challenged claim that the president’s “$716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare” will hurt today’s seniors, which has been panned by numerous fact-...

The Uncertainty About Uncertainty

August 3, 2012

The debate over policy uncertainty’s effect on the economy breaks down along ideological lines.

Leading Republicans and their economic advisers say the uncertain economic environment created by President’s Obama’s push for higher taxes on the rich and stricter banking regulations is forcing businesses across America to sit on their hands rather than invest and create new jobs. “Job creators in America basically are on strike,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio,...

Who Invented the Internet, Redux

July 23, 2012

You were expecting an Al Gore joke, right?

The eternal “who invented the internet” question is once again in the public eye. After President Obama claimed it flowed from government research, Republican challenger Mitt Romney went on the warpath.

His campaign launched a nationwide ad attacking Obama for denigrating the work of entrepreneurs. “It shows how out of touch he is with the character of America,” Romney said during a campaign stop last week.

The Washington Post fact checker gave Romney’s ad and comments...

Fat City: One Area Ripe for Rationing

June 26, 2012

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is at it again. This time, the government-appointed panel is on fat patrol. Its review of the medical literature found that diet and exercise combined with group counseling beat popping a pill when it comes to controlling weight.

For those with short memories, USPSTF is the government panel that in the midst of the health care reform debate had the temerity to suggest the evidence was iffy on the wisdom of mammography for women under 50. Check with your doctor before deciding if an early start to routine breast...

Environment: As the World Turns, It Gets Warmer

June 19, 2012

The latest report on global carbon emissions from the International Energy Agency is generating a lot of heat. Emissions from fossil fuels rose 3.2 percent in 2011 to 31.6 gigatons, the highest level on record.

If you’re a global warming skeptic, you needn’t read any further. But if you believe in the precautionary principle, then you might be upset with the report’s warning that the world has moved within 1 gigaton of the level that climatologists say...

The Republican Party’s Winning Strategy

June 6, 2012

Campaign consultants will tell you there are two strategies for winning any election. First, get out your voters. Second, discourage the other side’s voters.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, aided by a massive ground and air operation funded by right wing SuperPacs, accomplished both in Tuesday’s recall election. Virtually every potential Republican voter in the state trekked to the polls, while organized labor’s vaunted ground game...