February 12, 2013
President Barack Obama used the first State of the Union address of his second term to try to breathe new life into his economic agenda, reviving modest measures to spur growth and trying to create fresh momentum in the all-but-stagnant talks over deficit reduction. Entering his fifth year presiding over a flagging economy, the president on Tuesday declared the restoration of a strong middle class "our unfinished task" and called on a deeply divided Congress to find "reasonable compromise" to solve the nation's lingering fiscal ills.
February 3, 2013
The latest report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute makes a compelling case for raising the minimum wage, nationally and in Maryland. Legislation introduced last week in Annapolis would raise the minimum from $7.25 an hour to $10 in two years and keep it indexed to inflation - a move that EPI says will not only put $778 million more in the pockets of Maryland workers but create 4,280 new jobs from increased economic activity generated by the higher pay. We know that the reaction to many in the business community will be, as it has always been, unyielding opposition.
January 20, 2013
There is an old but rejuvenated movement in the country these days. It's a far-left take on Keynesian economics: a school of thought intent on raising taxes and expanding the public sector - as a way to jump-start the economy. Yes, you read that correctly. The progressive intelligentsia (with a recent assist by the Congressional Research Service) are all hot and excited by the prospect of higher taxes on upper-income taxpayers, the better to spur economic growth. The model is supposed to be the Clinton era, wherein income tax hikes coincided with strong economic growth, a surging stock market, and three consecutive years of a federal balanced budget.
October 24, 2012
Four years ago, Osama bin Laden was at large, the U.S. and world economies were in free-fall, America was bogged down in two wars, and the Bush Administration had lost friends - governments as well as ordinary people - for America around the world. Under President Barack Obama's and Vice President Joe Biden's leadership, all these dangers have been eliminated or reduced. We still have more than enough foreign policy challenges, but in terms of our country's security and economic prospects, we are much better off than we were four years ago. First, with hard power, President Obama has taken out bin Laden and other terrorist enemies of America.
October 11, 2012
In recent days there has been much talk of the presidential debates. We are preoccupied with relatively trivial perceptions of who "won" or "lost. " There has also been endless discussion of whose policy proposals are better. Rather than entertain these meaningless debates, however, we would do better to look at our track record as a nation in comparison to other nations. I bring this up because in 2008 too many of us were blinded by "American exceptionalism" to realize that the recession that we suffered was global in its reach and not isolated to the U.S. All of the research has already been done for us, via the CIA World Fact Book.
September 19, 2012
At last, I can say I finally enjoyed reading one of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s columns. He demonstrated that he learned something (between football practices) about economics and sociology at the prestigious Ivy League university he attended ("The fight to win over the middle class," Sept 16). Rather than regurgitating the week's Republican drivel, he seems to actually be able to provide some original analysis by defining the characteristics of the middle class of the past and today.