The Lie of Discretionary Spending

Democrats find it hard to accept that fiscal discipline will require reigning in spending on Social Security, Medicare and the like, while Republicans don’t want to admit that most of what government does – Social Security, Medicare, and the like – are things that most Americans are really quite fond of. Continue reading

I Still Believe in Transformative Politics

President Obama promised the country transformative change. After five years in office, some things have changed but much has remained the same. Should those Americans who believe in transformative politics feel disillusioned? Continue reading

The GOP Tells Youngsters They Don’t Need Health Insurance

The most interesting thing in American politics right now isn’t the beltway fight that’s been receiving most of the attention; rather it’s the less visible fight going on in the states. The self-styled party of personal responsibility and the free market is telling people not to purchase healthcare from private providers. Why? Continue reading

4 (Depressing) Ways in Which the Gun Debate is Like the Rest of Politics

Next week marks the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. After those tragic events, the NRA’s most memorable contribution was to suggest armed guards be placed in schools to deter future shooters. No other moment has so brilliantly captured what makes the gun debate so spectacularly instructive. The gun debate is just like all the other debates in our politics, only more so. Here’s why. Continue reading

Obamacare – Who’s Winning and Who’s Losing?

For the next few hundred words, let’s set aside all the substantive questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known affectionately (and otherwise) as Obamacare. Is it good or bad policy? Is it a socialist takeover of medicine, or is it a warmed-over Republican plan from the ’90s? Does the individual mandate mean that one day you’ll be forced to – banish the thought! – eat your broccoli? Instead, let’s take a look at who the political winners and losers are. Continue reading

What Six Years in Private School Taught Me About Education

In 1997, I was a student in the Boston Public Schools. Thanks to the folks over at The Steppingstone Foundation, the next year I enrolled at the Noble and Greenough School. Nobles is the sort of school that charges tuition … Continue reading

SPOTLIGHT: Why Marriage is Not Enough

It doesn’t take an advanced degree in social science to see that public opinion on gay marriage has changed quickly. But the celebratory tone surrounding strides towards equal marriage rights, as well as repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, has served to obscure some troubling facts. It’s time for a reality check. Continue reading

John Boehner is in Charge of The Country What Will the Speaker of the House Do?

No one in Washington has covered themselves in glory over this government shutdown. But there is one man who has emerged with all the influence he could have asked for, and it’s the same man who most of the Washington establishment reserves so much of their professional scorn for. I’m talking, of course, about the little-loved Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Continue reading

The Right to Privacy In the Constitution The Forgotten Ninth Amendment

In theory, the Constitution is valid from beginning to end. But in reality, we all know some parts of it are, to borrow Orwell’s famous phrase, more equal than others. Sometimes this is because certain provisions are so intricately tied … Continue reading