Obama’s Latest Fiscal Slope Offer: I’m Missing the Part Where Republicans Give Up Something

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 6:00 am

The headlines here is that the Obama Administration narrowed the demand they maintained for four years, for tax rates to increase above $250,000, and they would agree to a benefit cut for Social Security and $400 billion in unspecified Medicare cuts, and in exchange they would mostly extend current law on a few fronts (but not all) and get an unspecified amount, no more than $50 billion, in infrastructure spending.

Fiscal Slope Deal Taking Shape; Social Security Benefit Cuts Contemplated

By: Monday December 17, 2012 1:47 pm

John Boehner’s willingness to see tax rates rise at some level has kick-started negotiations over a deal to avert the fiscal slope. The President and the Speaker met today for 45 minutes, and the staffs for both sides are working on a deal. In a sign of how ridiculous our fiscal conversation has gotten, the [...]

Durbin Outlines Democratic Approach on Grand Bargain

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 11:33 am

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has almost become the liaison to the left for cuts to federal health care programs in the grand bargain, gave a speech today at the Center for American Progress that included a couple important points: • Durbin sequenced the provisions of the deal, saying that Republicans would have to build [...]

Lame Duck Congress Has Lots of Work to Do Even Without Fiscal Slope

By: Friday November 9, 2012 7:45 am

Among the many other reasons not to engage in a grand bargain during the lame duck session is that Congress actually needs to get busy with other matters. For a variety of reasons, mainly that they’re not good at their job, Congress left a multitude of items on the table for the lame duck, many [...]

The Time for Climate Defense Action is Now

By: Friday November 2, 2012 12:19 pm

I already mentioned Bob Kuttner’s piece on the new fiscal choice revealed by Superstorm Sandy, but it deserves a wider reading. One of the casualties of Hurricane Sandy is the premise that America’s biggest economic problem is deficit reduction. That’s because the United States just became a much larger version of the Netherlands [...] As [...]

Hurricane Sandy’s Legacy Could Be Ramp-Up of Privatization Efforts

By: Friday November 2, 2012 10:48 am

Rebuilding the East Coast after Superstorm Sandy will be an expensive proposition. A new estimate of the cost of the storm now reaches $50 billion, and just protecting New York City from future disasters through the use of a seawall and other barriers would tack on another $15 billion, though that money would be as [...]

Transit Closures Cause Transportation Nightmare in New York City

By: Wednesday October 31, 2012 7:45 am

The time for talking in isolation about preventing the effects of climate change have ended. We’re in the era of adaptation.

Romney Borrows Primary Money Against Banked General Election Dollars, Shows the Value of Borrowing

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 10:12 am

When Mitt Romney started raising serious money for his Presidential run throughout the summer there was one hitch. He was getting checks from a lot of big money donors that were back-loaded. The donors maxed out for the primary election and the general election, which meant half of their money couldn’t get spent until he [...]

Administration Using Unspent Earmarks for Job Creating Infrastructure Projects

By: Friday August 17, 2012 9:35 am

The Transportation Department found some extra coins in the cushions of the couch and will immediately make available $470 million in infrastructure funds to the states for job creation projects. Most amusing is how this unspent money came to arrive in the DoT’s coffers: it’s because of the Congress’ newfound antipathy to earmarks: Transportation Secretary [...]

California Legislature Passes High Speed Rail Bond Issue, Moving Project Forward

By: Friday July 6, 2012 4:14 pm

High speed rail survived by the skin of its teeth today. In a closely watched vote of the California state Senate, a bill to issue the first $5.8 billion in bonds for the construction of high speed rail lines passed 21-16. It needed all 21 votes to pass. Four Democrats voted no – including Allen [...]

California State Senate Vote Do-or-Die for High Speed Rail

By: Friday July 6, 2012 6:55 am

Today is a consequential day in the future of high speed rail in America. The California State Senate will vote to approve initial funding for the state’s HSR project through a bond issue. The Assembly has already passed the funding, but observers expect a tougher road in the Senate. Governor Jerry Brown has been a [...]

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