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Tag Archives: Republican Party

Wonking Out: Keynesian Republicans, Supply-Side Democrats?

This article is a wonky edition of Paul Krugman’s free newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it. So Joe Biden appears to have his bipartisan infrastructure deal. Of course, progressives will be bitterly disappointed if that’s the end of the story. But it probably won’t be. In the end, Democrats will probably pass a second bill through reconciliation, adding several trillion dollars in “soft” investment — especially spending on children, which almost surely will have bigger economic...

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How Covid Became a Red-State Crisis

Less than a month ago President Biden promised a “summer of joy,” a return to normal life made possible by the rapid progress of vaccinations against Covid-19. Since then, however, vaccination has largely stalled — America, which had pulled ahead of many other advanced countries, has fallen behind. And the rise of the Delta variant has caused a surge in cases all too reminiscent of the repeated Covid waves of last year.That said, 2021 isn’t 2020 redux. As Aaron Carroll pointed out Tuesday in...

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Should Only the Little People Pay Taxes?

I yield to no one when it comes to cynicism about politicians who see tax cuts for the rich as the answer to every problem. Indeed, the claim that tax cuts can perform magic is a prime case of a zombie idea — an idea kept alive, despite overwhelming evidence against it, because its survival serves the interests of wealthy donors.Yet even I was caught by surprise when Republicans negotiating over a possible infrastructure bill ruled out paying for it in part by giving the Internal Revenue...

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Republicans Have Their Own Private Autocracy

I’m a huge believer in the usefulness of social science, especially studies that use comparisons across time and space to shed light on our current situation. So when the political scientist Henry Farrell suggested that I look at his field’s literature on cults of personality, I followed his advice. He recommended one paper in particular, by the New Zealand-based researcher Xavier Márquez; I found it revelatory.“The Mechanisms of Cult Production” compares the behavior of political elites...

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Only the Incompetent Need Apply

I wrote a few days ago about how ignorance — ignorance about history, about science, about economics and more — has become a core conservative value. This exaltation of ignorance naturally goes hand in hand with disdain for expertise: A vast majority of scientists may agree that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet, but hey, it’s all just a gigantic hoax. But wait, there’s more. On the right, expertise isn’t just considered worthless, it’s viewed as disqualifying. People with...

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The Right Goes All In on Ignorance

As everyone knows, leftists hate America’s military. Recently, a prominent left-wing media figure attacked Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declaring, “He’s not just a pig, he’s stupid.” Oh, wait. That was no leftist, that was Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. What set Carlson off was testimony in which Milley told a congressional hearing that he considered it important “for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and widely read.”The problem is obvious....

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Economics in a Post-Truth Nation

If a tree falls in a forest but nobody is there to hear it, did it make a sound? If we have a rapidly expanding economy but much of the electorate refuses to acknowledge it, is the country experiencing a boom? Despite some growing pains, the U.S. economy is clearly on a vaccine-and-stimulus-fueled tear, with just about every measure indicating rapid recovery from the pandemic slump.Yes, supply bottlenecks have caused some inflation, although recent data seems to validate the view that this...

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Why Won’t Republicans Rebuild America?

On June 26, 1956, Congress approved the Interstate Highway Act. Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill three days later. The legislation allocated $24.8 billion in federal funds for a down payment on the construction of an interstate highway system. That’s not a lot of money by current standards, but prices are far higher now than they were then, and the economy is vastly bigger. Measured as a share of gross domestic product, the act was the equivalent of around $1.2 trillion today. And the...

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Republican Cowardice Endangers American Democracy

America’s democratic experiment may well be nearing its end. That’s not hyperbole; it’s obvious to anyone following the political scene. Republicans might take power legitimately; they might win through pervasive voter suppression; G.O.P. legislators might simply refuse to certify Democratic electoral votes and declare Donald Trump or his political heir the winner. However it plays out, the G.O.P. will try to ensure a permanent lock on power and do all it can to suppress dissent. But how...

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Republicans Are Still Waging War on Workers

Has the Republican Party, which has championed the interests of big business and sought to keep wages low since the late 19th century, suddenly become populist? Some of its rising stars would have you believe so. For example, after the 2020 election Senator Josh Hawley declared that “we must be a working-class party, not a Wall Street party.” But while Republicans have lately attacked selected businesses, their beef with big companies seems to be over noneconomic issues. It bothers them a...

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