Constitution / Economy / Fiscal policy / Politics

Swiss-tested, Keynes-approved: Switzerland’s debt brake as a model for the U.S.

By Will Portman Critics of a balanced budget amendment (BBA), such as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), argue that a BBA would “mandate perverse actions in the face of recessions” and thus “aggravate recessions.” And they’ve got a point — at least about a BBA that would mandate that the budget be balanced … Continue reading

Economy / Fiscal policy / Healthcare / Politics / Tax

Occupy entitlements! And the tax code!

By Will Portman The Occupy movement has brought income inequality to the forefront of the national political discussion over the past year, even if both the movement and the issue have faded in recent months. Occupy protestors are concerned about the growing wealth gap in the U.S., pointing to studies like the recent Congressional Budget Office … Continue reading

Economy / Fiscal policy / Healthcare / Politics / Tax

The Ryan budget vs. the Obama budget

By Will Portman Winston Churchill once said, “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing… after they have exhausted all other possibilities.” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) cited the late British Prime Minister’s famous quote this week as he unveiled The Path to Prosperity, his budget for fiscal year 2013, arguing … Continue reading

America / Constitution / Fiscal policy / Politics

Is it too hard to amend the Constitution?

By Will Portman On Monday, I went to a talk at the Brookings Institution entitled “America’s Dysfunctional Politics: Is the Constitution to Blame?” Professor Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas School of Law discussed his new book, Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Government, which argues that the 225-year-old U.S. Constitution is … Continue reading

Economy / Fiscal policy / Politics

Trim the fat! Just not my fat

By Will Portman According to a recent Gallup poll, 76% of Americans think that most members of Congress don’t deserve to be re-elected. The same poll, however, showed that a majority of Americans, 53%, think that their representative does deserve to be re-elected. The mentality seems to be something along the lines of, “Throw the bums out! Just not … Continue reading