The Corner

The Commission’s Pre-Report

The preliminary report from the co-chairs of the president’s deficit commission makes for a very plausible leftmost boundary of the serious fiscal-policy debate. If this is the Obama administration’s starting position in the conversation about deficit and debt reduction, it will be a serious position and a constructive conversation. They will obviously need to be willing to move rightward on some key issues (especially the entire health-care question, which is the report’s most glaring and serious weakness, and is at the heart of our crisis of public finances). But on social security, discretionary spending, and many of the proposed tax reforms, this is a very good start.

 

The people who treat even this as going too far and “simply unacceptable” (to borrow the phrase employed by the outgoing Speaker of the House) are simply not serious about the problems we confront, and not ready for the kind of debate the country needs to have about how to get out of the hole we have been digging for ourselves and how to get beyond the social-democratic welfare-state fantasy that has dominated our political imagination for a century and think seriously about what genuine democratic-capitalism with a responsible safety net for the poor ought to look like.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More