November 13, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA When it comes to postrecession recovery, Philadelphia is in the middle of the pack of large cities, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report released Monday. While the city was almost near full recovery in 2011 - the last full year of data used for the report - Pew researchers warned that Philadelphia's unfunded pension and retiree health benefits posed great threats to the city's available revenue in years to come. The report, "America's Big Cities in Volatile Times," was based on data from 2007 through 2011 and looked at how the country's 30 most populous cities fared in the aftermath of the recession, which ended in June 2009.
November 8, 2013 |
UNION CITY, N.J. - Fresh off a 22-point reelection victory in a Democratic state, Gov. Christie on Wednesday left wide open the possibility of pursuing the presidency and said he didn't mind if reporters kept asking him about running. "It's flattering and I have no problem with it, but I want to be clear about this: I have a job to do; I was reelected to do a job," Christie said. "If the time comes where I change my mind and I decide I want to do something else, I'll tell the people of New Jersey I want to do something else," he said.
July 27, 2013
By Carter Eskew Republicans are greeting President Obama's summer push on the economy with derision. To House Speaker John Boehner and others, the president seems like an aging rock star whose recycled hits became stale years ago. Yet he still tours, playing to smaller and smaller arenas. While the president is unlikely to be celebrated for his economic record, his presidency marks the end of Republican orthodoxy on economic matters dating to the late 1970s. The Republican frame for 40 years has been that Democrats are the party of tax, spend, and regulation, while Republicans are the party of tax cuts, austerity, and deregulation.
May 12, 2013 |
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a gooey confection of seasonal sentiment. It also is an economic manifesto. It concerned a 19th-century debate that is pertinent to today's argument about immigration. Last week, a disagreement between two conservative think tanks erupted when the Heritage Foundation excoriated the immigration reform proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators. Heritage's analysis argues that making 11 million illegal immigrants eligible, more than a decade from now, for welfare-state entitlements would have net costs of $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years.
March 1, 2013
WITH JUST one day until their self-imposed sequestration deadline kicks in, Washington lawmakers have resolved to hold their breath until they turn blue in the face. The sequestration agreement they locked themselves into a year ago is poised to start hacking an $85 billion hole in the federal budget. As their robo-knife threatens programs neither side wants to cut, the people we elected to handle our business in Washington declare themselves at an impasse. Depending on whom you believe, this is either Apocalypse Now or just another full-throated chorus from the little boy who cried wolf.
February 5, 2013
By Sharon Ward Gov. Corbett and his staff have crisscrossed the state over the past few weeks, previewing the state budget to be unveiled Tuesday. The change in style is welcome for a governor who has seemed reluctant to explain his priorities or defend his positions. Pennsylvanians also appear to be clamoring for a change in substance. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that only 36 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of Gov. Corbett's job performance - while 46 percent disapprove. It's not a mystery that the governor's popularity tumbled after last year's budget debate: An on-time spending plan is not enough to compensate for a budget out of step with Pennsylvanians' priorities.
January 7, 2013 |
Connoisseurs of democratic decadence can savor a variety of contemporary dystopias. Because familiarity breeds banality, Greece has become a boring horror. Japan, however, in its second generation of stagnation, is fascinating. Once, Japan bestrode the world. Now the Japanese buy more diapers for adults than for infants. America has its lowest birthrate since at least 1920; family formation and workforce participation have declined in tandem. But it has an energy surplus, the government-produced overhang of housing inventory is shrinking, and the average age of Americans' cars is an astonishing 10.8 years.
January 7, 2013
Thanks to an ultraconservative congressional faction, many Americans now view the Republican Party as extremist, petty, and irresponsible. You need look no further than the ridiculous, drawn-out drama over the so-called fiscal cliff to see the GOP's inability to negotiate reality. But while its brand is damaged, the GOP has maintained its mystique as the party of fiscal restraint. Shortly before the election, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that, by a margin of 51 to 43 percent, Americans believed Mitt Romney would do a better job on the deficit than President Obama.
January 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The bill was 153 pages long. It was written only the day before, by Washington insiders working in the dark of night. It was crammed with giveaways and legislative spare parts: tax breaks for wind farms and race tracks. A change to nuclear-weapons policy. Government payments for cheese. And most significant, the bill would raise taxes but do relatively little to cut government spending or the huge federal deficit. To a tea-party-influenced crop of House Republicans, the bill to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis was everything they had wanted to change about the way Washington worked.
January 2, 2013
WE COULD have sworn that, after campaigning on a pledge to make the richest Americans pay more taxes - and vowing to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for incomes over $250,000 - Barack Obama won re-election by nearly 5 million votes and an Electoral College landslide. And yet a deal passed in the Senate at 2 a.m. yesterday looked quite different from what the majority of Americans support and thought they had voted for. If passed by the U.S. House of Representatives - and for a while yesterday, that was a rather big "if" - it would extend the tax cuts to incomes over $450,000 a year.