Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

The Meaning of Harry Reid’s Departure

For the last decade, Harry Reid has been a bulwark against efforts by Republicans and members of his own party to send the core of the New Deal achievement down the road to oblivion. Other Democratic lawmakers may be equally committed, but almost none have the same close emotional ties that he possesses to the Rooseveltian state.

When Senate minority leader Harry Reid announced last week that he won’t run for reelection in 2016, the first thing that flashed through my mind was his age: he’s 75. Only nine senators are older than Reid, and only two of them are Democrats. That underscores how few people still serving in the Senate were born during the New Deal, the period that formed the modern US government, with its social protections, administrative apparatus, and (not so happily) military-industrial complex. For the past 35 years, roughly corresponding to Reid’s career in electoral office, the legislation that Washington enacted during the Great Depression has been a war zone, Continue reading The Meaning of Harry Reid’s Departure

Hail Mary! Co-Chairs Spin While Deficit Commission Staggers Toward Deadlock

I’ve been saying for months that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is probably doomed. The co-chairs, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, appear to agree.

So my first real question is, What have these people been doing with $500,000 of the taxpayers’ money for the past nine months? Lori Montgomery in the Washington Post reports that many of the commission’s 18 members were “startled” by the Bowles-Simpson plan, which Bowles himself called a “starting point.”

Starting point? Are you kidding? This commission was empaneled in February and held its first – official – meeting in May. It’s now less than three weeks Continue reading Hail Mary! Co-Chairs Spin While Deficit Commission Staggers Toward Deadlock

The “Progressive” Road to Poverty

“Progressive indexing,” an idea that failed to rescue Bush’s doomed privatization campaign five years ago, is again the Flavor of the Month for Washington’s deficit hawks.

Arguably, Steny Hoyer wouldn’t be House Majority Leader today if George W. Bush hadn’t made the fatal error of staking his second term as president on privatizing Social Security. “We miscalculated,” Bush’s consigliere, Karl Rove, admits in his recently published memoir. That miscalculation was so bad it cost the Republicans control of Congress a year later and then, in 2008, the White House.

So it was a mite strange to see Hoyer, in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, suggesting that President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform unbury one of the stillborn proposals that failed to stem the Bush debacle of 2005: progressive indexing.

“When it comes to entitlement spending,” Hoyer writes, Continue reading The “Progressive” Road to Poverty