The Agenda

In Lieu of Regularly Scheduled Blogging

I’m finishing a piece for NRODT on the future of the labor market, so blogging will be lighter-than-usual.

* Kim Rueben of the Tax Policy Center speaks the truth on the mortgage interest deduction.

* Esther Dyson predicts a clash between social buying platforms like Groupon and the small businesses they ostensibly serve. 

* David Weigel observes that Barack Obama’s strength with non-white voters — despite their economic woes — have put him in a stronger political position that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. I’ve been talking about this for a while, but it seems that Byron York beat me to the punch ages ago. 

* Think it’s impossible to reduce the public debt burden without tax increases? I recommend checking out the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Stabilize the Debt game. I find that one can make significant progress without raising taxes, though it certainly helps to curb the biggest tax expenditures. My favorite target is the state and local tax deduction, which essentially subsidizes high-tax regions at the expense of low-tax regions. To be sure, the required cuts in expenditures aren’t necessarily politically realistic, which is why ones hopes that public-sector productivity improvements are on the table. 

* Tom Jackson of the Tampa Tribune wrote a terrific column on the virtues of bus rapid transit for commuters and taxpayers about a month ago. Check it out.

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

Most Popular

Liberalism as Faith

The British philosopher John Gray is not someone to shy away from ‘difficult’ topics. If you are looking for a provocative long read this weekend, his new article in the Times Literary Supplement ought to be a contender. I didn’t agree with all of it (for example, I would argue that the supposedly ... Read More

Our Cultural Crisis: A Kirkian Response

Editors’ note: The following article is adapted from a speech the author delivered at the Heritage Foundation on March 14, 2018. Few would dispute that we are in the middle of a grave cultural crisis. A despairing conservative critic wrote: “We are on the road to cultural disaster.” He placed the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

An Enduring Error

Editor’s Note: The following piece originally appeared in City Journal. It is reprinted here with permission. Fifty-one years ago, in July 1967, in response to an explosion of rioting in poor black urban neighborhoods around the United States, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the National Advisory ... Read More

Confirm Pompeo

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s 70th secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a ... Read More

The Mournful, Magnificent Sally Mann

‘Does the earth remember?" The infinitely gifted photographer Sally Mann asks this question in the catalogue of her great retrospective at the National Gallery in Washington. On view there is her series of Civil War battlefield landscapes, among the most ravishing works of art from the early 2000s. Once sites ... Read More

James Comey’s Inadvertent Admission

The good folks at the Republican National Committee awaken and realize that perhaps former FBI agents make more compelling critics of James Comey than, say, Maxine Waters. Yesterday afternoon brought the first excerpts of James Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty, and we were expected to run around in ... Read More