I’ve been hearing a number of convoluted liberal critiques of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s call for a modernizing Social Security by (a) making it more generous to low-income households and (b) somewhat less generous to high-income households, (c) giving all workers who don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan access to the low-cost retirement savings plan that serves federal workers, and (d) encouraging people to delay retirement by giving older workers a large tax cut. Specifically, I’m being told that giving all workers access to the Thrift Savings Plan is somehow a secret plot to undermine Social Security, despite the fact that Rubio is calling for add-on savings that would simply level the playing field between low-wage and high-wage workers, and that the payroll tax cut is completely trivial, particularly when compared to a minimum wage hike (yes, this is actually what I’ve been hearing). And though I’m sorry to say it, I see this as good political news for the right, as it suggests that liberal lawmakers won’t be willing to simply mimic Rubio’s proposal. If conservatives are alone in calling for eliminating Social Security payroll taxes for workers who reach retirement age, they will have a very effective political weapon at their disposal. Keep in mind that President Obama has floated the idea of a switch to chained CPI for calculating the growth of Social Security benefits and setting the thresholds for marginal tax rates, a move that would substantially reduce growth in Social Security benefits while raising taxes on middle-income households over time. Which do you think is a better political sell?
Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Howard Finkelstein, the Broward County public defender whose office is representing Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., puts it bluntly: This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be ... Read More
American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
The Russians are engaged in “information warfare” against the United States. That was the big soundbite at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s press conference Friday afternoon, announcing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s election-meddling indictment against 13 Russians and three Russian ... Read More
It has become more urgent to ask: Why is there a special counsel in the Russia investigation? At this point, that question should be put to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — in the federal government, it’s the lawyers’ lawyer. To get down to brass tacks: May the president of the United ... Read More
To understand the American gun-control debate, you have to understand the fundamentally different starting positions of the two sides. Among conservatives, there is the broad belief that the right to own a weapon for self-defense is every bit as inherent and unalienable as the right to speak freely or practice ... Read More
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More