Democrats their own worst problem

The Democrats may be their own worst problem. The party has considerable advantages according to recent national polls, but, at best, it comes across with a somewhat blurred image and, at worst, as pursing a version of liberalism that has limited appeal. Yet surveys show that most Americans agree with what is usually considered Democratic […]

Social Security’s troubles deepen

The good news is Americans are living longer. The bad news is many Americans cannot afford to live longer. Many people do not have enough money saved or in Social Security to provide sufficient income in retirement. Of course, some are wealthy or have good employer provided retirement plans, but they are a minority. Most […]

Conflict undermines historic governing consensus

The American political system isn’t what it used to be. While change in governing is as inevitable as it is in every other part of life, the transformation of political practices and behavior is radical. The system is subject to constitutions, federal and state, and to laws made to carry out their intent. But the […]

Jobs programs guarantee profits, not new employment

Do government programs to encourage job creation work or do they merely guarantee corporate profits? Nobody knows the answer with certainty, but there’s evidence corporations promote development subsidies more to boost their profits than to create new jobs. The mantra of most politicians is “jobs, jobs, jobs.” But many of them oppose direct government hiring […]

Government raises taxes, while denying it

These days, people consistently oppose any proposed tax increases by the federal or state government. Candidates rally support by promising to cut taxes. If that happens, the amount of money governments take out of people’s pockets ought to be going down or at least remaining the same. In Maine, the governor has led the drive […]

To cut budget, few big targets except entitlements

The battle continues to cut the size of government budgets and, as a result, the size of government itself. In Maine, the proposed cuts come under the cover of tax reform. In Washington, the struggle comes more openly. The federal government is now operating under a rule called “sequestration.” That effectively places a cap on […]

Obama claims success, faces disrespect

President Barack Obama, with more than a year and a half remaining in his second term, has begun taking his “victory lap,” according to the political insider media. Not waiting until his last days in office, the president has begun touting his most important accomplishments. He reminds us that he found high unemployment and an […]

Politics rule courts, regulators

Should presidents and governors select judges and regulators based on their political views? Should they be able to direct their appointees in making decisions? The answer to the first question seems obvious. Because the elected chief executive is given the constitutional right to pick those who judge, a president or governor must be expected to […]