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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Congressional Dealmaking Isn’t Extortion

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg View) — Are Senator Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats who opposed the government funding bill the practical equivalents of Senator Ted Cruz and the radical Republicans who shut down the government last year?

They are not.

Matt Yglesias makes the case that, in fact, Republicans were responsible for trouble in both 2013 and 2014. In both cases, Republicans pressed to add a provision that Democrats opposed — most recently one that rolled back a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law in the funding bill that passed the House yesterday and is moving to the Senate .…

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Can You Spare 12 Cents For Better U.S. Highways?

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg View) — In the middle of the last century the U.S. started building the Interstate Highway System. It’s now named after President Dwight Eisenhower, who shepherded its passage through Congress in 1956. Connecting the far-flung corners of this large nation, this 47,714-mile network allows commerce to flow freely. The cost of construction, adjusted for inflation, was more than $400 billion. By any imaginable measure, it was a wild success, and soon became the envy of the world.

The construction and maintenance was paid for mainly through levies on sales of vehicles, tires and related goods, and a federal gasoline tax that generates about $28 billion a year for the Highway Trust Fund.…

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Big Money’s Futile Search For A GOP Frontrunner

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg View) — The New York Times has a well-reported article today outlining the desires of various Republican Party donors and bundlers to get behind a single establishment candidate in the 2016 presidential primary. There’s only one problem: That doesn’t seem remotely possible.

Yes, it makes sense to try to limit the intraparty war. The three potential establishment candidates — former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney — would presumably compete for the same donors and voters if they all enter the race. But each of the three has his own personal ambitions, core set of loyalists, individual and institutional strengths, and potentially fatal flaws.…

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