The Agenda

Stray Links for 19 September 2013

James Forsyth warns Conservatives (and conservatives) that Ed Miliband still has the inside track to become Britain’s next prime minister. 

Henry Olsen recommends that GOP lawmakers focused on crop insurance subsidies rather than rolling back the expansion of SNAP. I see this a bit differently. Attacking corporate welfare is a good and worthwhile thing to do. But rethinking how we support low-income households is actually a much more important issue. This rethinking shouldn’t just entail calling for the rolling back of SNAP, so on that front I agree with Olsen. But the debate over SNAP is a stand-in for the larger debate we ought to be having about the future of the labor market and what we, as Americans and as conservatives, ought to do about it.

Alex Nussbaum of Bloomberg Businessweek and Josh Barro of Business Insider both have articles that touch on how the Affordable Care Act will impact state and local governments. The rising burden of pension and benefit costs threatens to overwhelm state and local governments — but the ACA will allow state and local governments to offload a big chunk of these costs onto federal taxpayers, an issue that wasn’t really taken into account during the health reform debate, but which will prove enormously consequential in the years to come. 

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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