Tag Archives: Washington

David Davenport: The Elephant In The Policy Room


You would never know this listening to presidential candidates but Social Security, in crisis mode for a while, will begin paying out more than it takes in next year. The reserve fund will be depleted in 16 years, meaning seniors would face 20 percent cuts in their payments.

Roughly half of Americans rely on Social Security for most of their retirement income. And with baby boomers retiring and living longer, the numbers will only get worse.

While Democrats talk about welfare and socialism, and Republicans love their tax cuts, we still need to pay for the entitlements we already have such as Social Security and Medicare.

Fixing this will take several things Washington hardly does anymore: exercise fiscal discipline, debate and deliberate, and come to some kind of bipartisan agreement.

Party line vote—the new normal in Washington—will not do the trick

Social Security needs a fix.

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Michael Medved: An Astonishing Legacy


During the holiday season, an astonishing legacy inspired Seattle. A single, childless social worker named Alan Naiman died of cancer at 63; he had become known to his friends for “unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical,” holding together his battered shoes with duct tape.

But when he died, he left $11 million to children’s charities that helped the poor, disabled and abandoned. He scrimped, saved and invested, while working three jobs, so he could help kids he never met.  Because he left everything to charity, government imposed no “death tax” on his wealth, but had he directed it to relatives, or even designated strangers, the State of Washington would have imposed its crushing estate tax.

This case demonstrates why government should keep hands off honestly earned, previously taxed life-savings, while honoring wishes of the deceased on their designated distribution.

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Albert Mohler: Earth-shaking Developments in the Catholic Church


The recent revelations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church are unprecedented. I’m referring first to the Grand Jury report that came from Pennsylvania. That was followed by the report from the former ambassador from the Vatican to the United States of America. Archbishop Vigano, in his 11-page letter, accuses the highest leadership of the Catholic church—including the Pope himself—of covering up this sexual corruption and, specifically, protecting the now-disgraced former Cardinal Archbishop in Washington, D.C.

We have as a result one of the biggest stories in international religious life over the course of our lifetimes.

We are witnessing right now earth-shaking developments within the Roman Catholic Church—developments that should be of interest not only to Roman Catholics, but to all Americans.

In the words of author and blogger Rod Dreher, Vigano has, “Dropped an atomic bomb on Francis’s papacy.”

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Hugh Hewitt: The Real Story of Election 2016


There have been a number of releases of late where we are seeing substantive investigative works of journalism on the 2016 election that blindsided the pundit and the political classes and gave us President Trump.

Salena Zito and Brad Todd in their remarkable book titled “The Great Revolt” have shifted the focus from candidate Trump to the voters who elected him president, creating the electoral earthquake of 2016. So did Dan Balz in the Washington Post.

All of this on the seismic shift in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and yes, Ohio.

We’re starting to get a more nuanced picture of the “why” behind this quake. The key theme is status—a fundamental conviction that elites of LA, Silicon Valley, Manhattan and Washington wore a collective, fixed sneer toward their “lessers” between the coasts. Midwestern swing voters felt, to use the cliché from sports, “disrespected.”

This is the real story of 2016.

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David Davenport: The Lost Art of Political Compromise

Compromise

Among many lost arts in Washington the most problematic is the lost art of compromise.

The dictionary says compromise includes the root word “com” or together with the word promise:  We make promises by coming together.  America learned this early, with the Constitutional Convention full of compromises.

But now members of Congress vote not to find the best solution for the country but the best platform for their next election.   Democrats threatened to shut the entire government over dreamer immigrants, while Trump was willing to see a shutdown over his wall.  And so it goes, politicians standing firm on one issue or another which they believe will get them reelected, and the whole of the federal government is held hostage.

We need more politicians like Ronald Reagan, who told House Speaker Tip O’Neill, “I will take half a loaf today, but I will come back for the other half tomorrow.”

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David Davenport: What Kind of Country Wants Media Stars for President?

Compromise

Social media blew up when it appeared that Oprah Winfrey might run for president.  Think of it:  two billionaire media stars who had never held political office running for president. Only in America.

But the deeper question is why voters are turning in this direction?  Besides their obvious frustration with politicians, voters seem more interested in making statements than actually governing. We don’t know what policies Oprah might follow and, even after a year, Trump’s policy approach is still taking shape.  But they do make a statement.

A related problem is that the presidency is becoming all bully pulpit and no real leadership, all hat and no cattle as they say in Texas.  We want superheroes and action, not mature deliberation.  What passes for action in Washington these days is party-line votes and executive orders, not working through complex issues.

Citizens have duties, too, and we shouldn’t vote just to express frustration, but to guide the policy and governance of the nation.

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Lanhee Chen: Healthcare and the 2018 Agenda

Tax Reform

As the Republican-led Congress plans the 2018 legislative agenda, healthcare needs to continue to be a top priority.

 

Health premiums are soaring, and millions of people have little or no choice of health insurance. Millions of people who once could afford coverage no longer can, and many find that their health insurance premiums cost more than their mortgage or rent payments.

 

In a new Associated Press-NORC poll, nearly half of Americans said health care is their primary concern for 2018, topping taxes, immigration, education, and the environment by more than 15 percent.

 

Obamacare has failed miserably in fulfilling the last administration’s promise to cut health costs. The typical American worker now must devote roughly twice as many work hours to cover health costs as to pay for food.

 

Individuals need to be empowered with greater flexibility and choice. And states are better equipped than Washington to oversee their health insurance markets. This requires legislative action from Congress for these new and better choices.

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