Blog No. 170. The Budget Act, the Trump Budget and the Road to Fiscal Ruin

Writing, and no doubt reading, about budgets is not as much fun as writing about the pronouncements of the Tweeter in Chief and various misadventures of the Trump White House. But the budget is an important matter, so even a further look at the peculiar saga of Trump and the Russians will be temporarily deferred,[…]

Blog No. 165 The Republican Tax Bill: The Sausage Examined

The passage of the Republican tax bill was celebrated at the White House with a gaggle of Republican legislators showering lavish praise and gratitude on their Dear Leader. Peggy Noonan aptly described the scene: Wednesday afternoon’s big White House rally celebrating its passage was embarrassing. All these grown men and women slathering personal, obsequious, over-the-top[…]

Special Bulletin. The Republican Tax Bill: An Interim Report From the Sausage Factory will defer comment on the specific ingredients of the sausages being produced by Republicans in the House in the Senate. In the meantime, and for an overall perspective, we are publishing below the analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) of the bill released by the Senate. Senate Tax Plan is[…]

Blog No. 160. Carla Hills On NAFTA (and Job Training)

Forty years ago or so, I had the opportunity to work for Carla A. Hills when she was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and several years later we were law partners. In the meantime, Carla had served as United States Trade Representative under President George H.W Bush and formed her own international trade consulting[…]

Blog No. 155. Trump and the Democrats (and a brief au revoir)

The deal that Trump suddenly struck with Democratic leaders Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi is at once promising and perilous. It is promising in that it avoided, at least for the time being, the twin disasters of a government default (failure to increase the debt ceiling) and a government shutdown (failure to approve[…]

Blog No. 152. Contortions: Charlottesville, Trump and the Republicans

Donald Trump’s responses to the ugly events in Charlottesville demonstrated once again his glaring deficiencies in character, temperament and competence. As summarized in Lawfare: Commentators are debating whether he is revealing himself as sympathetic to the white nationalist program, fearful of alienating that constituency, or just unable to respond to criticism in any way other[…]

Blog No. 135. The GOP and Climate: Patches of Blue Sky?

Amid the Sturm und Drang of Washington these days, it is easy for positive developments to go largely unnoticed. That was the fate of the Republican Climate Resolution introduced by seventeen Republicans in the House last month. The resolution was hardly radical in its terms and should have attracted broader support without difficulty: Resolved, That[…]

Blog No. 120. The Bully in the Pulpit and The Carrier Coup.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that House leaders had pushed back against President-Elect Trump’s plan to impose a 35% tariff on companies that relocate jobs overseas. The report was the first sign–and a welcome one–of any willingness on the part of Congressional Republicans to stand up for traditional Republican principles in dealing with Trump. The threat of a 35% increase had been at the heart of Trump’s much-heralded deal with the Carrier Corporation and its parent, United Technologies (UT), but it carried a clear risk of sparking a trade war that could seriously damage the American economy. […]

Welcome to RINOcracy 2.0 was founded in May, 2013 as a voice within the Republican Party, albeit a voice dissenting from party orthodoxy on some significant issues. The 2013 “Welcome to RINOcracy,” which appears below, explained the origin of the name, some of my political background and offered brief thoughts on several issues. Now, however, things have changed.[…]

Blog No. 104. After Brexit, Now What?

Blog No. 102, “Brexit: Arguments, Consequences and the Trump Factor,” expressed our view that, while the burdens on Britain of membership in the EU were genuine, they were far less than the costs and risks of leaving. Our tone, however, was cautionary rather than alarmist:

The Brexit proposal will be put to the voters in a referendum on June 23, and to the questions “What will happen?” and “What will it mean?” there is clearly only one answer: no one really knows. Without attempting predictions, our view is that if the vote is to leave the EU, the risks to Britain, the EU, and ultimately the United States, could be significant.

Well, we now know what happened, and to some extent why, but what it will mean—for Britain, the EU, global markets and the United States–is something that still no one really knows. […]