Opportunity 08 - What Matters
Some policy ideas provoke debate, while other equally important proposals get overshadowed by events. What Matters allowed experts to talk about issues that affect us all.
October 21, 2008
Main Street Needs a New Stimulus
Martin Neil Baily, The Brookings Institution
Martin Baily recommends an immediate stimulus package of $200 billion, with preparation of an additional $100 billion to be triggered if unemployment goes over 7.5 percent to prevent the U.S. economy from trending further into the danger zone.
October 14, 2008
Energy and the Environment: National Security Implications
William J. Antholis, The Brookings Institution
William J. Antholis discussed energy and the environment and their national security implications at his Brookings office with Politico’s David Mark.
Rising to the Challenge of Real Health Care Reform
Mark McClellan, The Brookings Institution
The high and rising cost of expanding coverage is a major reason why previous attempts to achieve universal coverage have not succeeded, and why reform will keep getting harder, writes Mark McClellan, if we use the same approaches as in the past.
October 8, 2008
A "Broken" Branch? Four Lessons from Congress's Great Financial Bailout Saga
Pietro Nivola, The Brookings Institution
When the House temporarily turned back the Bush Administration’s colossal financial rescue plan, many proclaimed the country’s political system gridlocked and dysfunctional. Cut them some slack, writes Brookings expert Pietro Nivola, who debunks the unwarranted ridicule that has deepened an already alarming degree of distrust of our venerable political institutions and public servants.
September 23, 2008
Financial Disaster: What Role for Congress
Sarah Binder, The Brookings Institution
Given the slew of questions that have been raised about the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street firms, Congress is right to reject open-ended grants of power at untold cost, writes Sarah Binder. But, if Congress fails to grant new powers to the Treasury, it risks deepening—and being blamed for—the greatest financial crisis since the Depression. Binder offers basic ground rules on how Congress should proceed.
September 10, 2008
Testing the Candidates on Foreign Policy
Michael O'Hanlon, The Brookings Institution
Michael O'Hanlon believes that both the Republicans and Democrats had good conventions. Now, he states, the candidates need to share more thoughts on critical foreign policy matters like energy security and describe how they will address difficult diplomatic issues so that voters can better draw conclusions.
September 9, 2008
Restore Civility to the Selection of Federal Judges
Russell Wheeler, The Brookings Institution
Hot-button social topics often dominate voters' views of where presidential candidates stand on judicial appointments. Plus, as in much of U.S. politics, the process of getting judges on the bench has become cantankerous and divided. Russell Wheeler says that the next president should try to work with the Senate to restore civility.
August 31, 2008
McCain v. Palin on Energy Policy
David Sandalow, The Brookings Institution
David Sandalow observes that Senator John McCain takes sharply different positions than his vice presidential pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, on three of the leading energy issues of our time.
August 29, 2008
Invest More In Students Under Age 5
Julia Isaacs, The Brookings Institution
Julia B. Isaacs calls for both presidential candidates to consider effective preschool programs in their domestic policy platforms.
July 31, 2008
Minneapolis: Our Bridge is Fixed; The Problem is Not
Bruce katz and R.T. Rybak, The Brookings Institution
The replacement for the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed one year ago is nearing completion. But, argue Bruce Katz and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, the calls for reinvestment in transportation infrastructure have not been heeded. As outlined by the Metropolitan Policy Program, the federal government needs to systematically identify, map and prioritize the nation-shaping projects that require federal investment, breaking radically from our current practices. It shouldn’t take another bridge collapse to teach us.
July 29, 2008
White House Contenders: Avoid Negative Sound Bites on Beijing
Jeffrey Bader and Richard Bush, The Brookings Institution
As the Beijing Olympic Games and the U.S. political conventions draw near, Jeffrey Bader and Richard Bush write that Barack Obama and John McCain should avoid condemning China and politicizing complex human issues. Instead, they argue that both presidential candidates should signal their intention to engage China's leaders and find ways to advance human rights through “discrete encouragement.”
July 22, 2008
Infrastructure: Time to Compete to Win
Lael Brainard, The Brookings Institution
The Olympic development boom in China showcases the results of years of rapid growth in China’s economy and mirrors that of many other emerging markets. One of the Olympic lessons for the U.S. should be to reverse its ailing infrastructure trend and begin investing for the long-term to stay competitive, according to Lael Brainard.
June 24, 2008
The Obama Victory: Giving Affirmative Action Its Due
Hugh Price, The Brookings Institution
Hugh B. Price argues that the growing acceptance of diversity that fueled Senator Obama's victory was due to affirmative action, which unquestionably has made our robustly diverse nation a more perfect union.
June 17, 2008
Next President and Congress: Tackle Social Security First
Alice Rivlin and John Kingdon, The Brookings Institution
The next president and new Congress face a daunting set of challenges come January 2009: Iraq war, troubled economy, global climate change, looming government debt, taxes, health care reform and rebuilding infrastructure, all vying for immediate attention. Such a long "to do" list presents two possible tactics: tackle the hardest problem first or get the easy ones out of the way. Alice M. Rivlin and John W. Kingdon prefer the latter and would start with Social Security.
June 4, 2008
Democracy, Not Weapons, Should Drive U.S.-Pakistan Agenda
Bruce Riedel, The Brookings Institution
The United States has failed democratic forces in Pakistan, writes Bruce Riedel. The next president must go beyond threats and sanctions, Riedel urges, and help Pakistan find peace with its neighbors and with itself through democracy.
May 26, 2008
Presidential Candidates Should Address Looming Budget Deficits
Isabel V. Sawhill, The Brookings Institution
With Congress poised to approve a budget blueprint that offers no relief for long-term deficit woes, Isabel Sawhill says that it’s time for presidential candidates to discuss ways to reshape the nation’s fiscal priorities and return to a more responsible path. Right now, she writes, little is being done to prevent a disaster.
May 25, 2008
A Presidential Campaign in Need of a Perot
Alice Rivlin and Michael O'Hanlon, The Brookings Institution
For all of their impressive qualities, this year's presidential candidates are woefully short on fiscal prudence, Alice Rivlin and Mike O'Hanlon explain. The next president will face two daunting budget problems. The winner will inherit a large deficit resulting from a weak economy, an expensive war and the persistent political inclination to spend more and tax less. But, the bigger challenge? Promises made to the growing population of retirees as health-care spending continues to soar.
May 15, 2008
The Tax System: Too Complex, Unfair and Outdated
William G. Gale, The Brookings Institution
The current tax system is presently too outdated, complex, and unfair for taxpayers. William G. Gale, discusses several ways in which the current tax system could be revised or overhauled to alleviated the difficulties taxpayers face.
May 2, 2008
Communities with New Immigrants Deserve Federal Aid
Audrey Singer, The Brookings Institution
The presidential candidates all seem to agree that current immigration policies are broken and need to be fixed. But so far they've avoided dialogue on specific policy ideas. Audrey Singer ideas for our next president include an Earned Legalization program, an Impact Aid program that would offset state and local expenditures and New Americans Initiative to help all immigrants integrate into American life.
April 16, 2008
Iraq: Reasons for Strategic Patience
Michael E. O'Hanlon, The Brookings Institution
Ann Gildroy, Marine Corps Reserve
Michael O'Hanlon and Ann Gildroy believe that "after a 75 percent reduction in the rate of violence ... and significant accomplishments by Iraqi leaders ... there is a reasonable prospect of achieving a sustainable stability there within the next few years."
April 8, 2008
Train and Protect Those Who Serve Us in the Military
Peter W. Singer, The Brookings Institution
Though the current focus continues to be on Iraq, difficulties in recruiting and retaining talent in the U.S. military may continue to impact the country after the conflict is over. Peter Singer believes one of the greatest tasks for the next president will be leading and maintaining our military, therefore difficult questions need to be addressed to ensure readiness and quality in the force.
If we are going to ask so much of our men and women who voluntarily serve under arms, it is only fair that we take good care of them. Fortunately, military pay as well as health and retirement benefits have improved substantially in modern times. But young people leaving the service need more than benefits.
September 17, 2007
How to Not Spread Democracy
Shibley Telhami, The Brookings Institution
Both the American project to spread democracy in the Middle East in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and the Iraq War were doomed from the outset. That's not because the Middle East is incompatible with democracy, but because the project was based on contradictions and erroneous assumptions.
September 10, 2007
Fighting the Right War
Phillip H. Gordon, The Brookings Institution
While the U.S. homeland has not been attacked successfully since 9/11 - no small accomplishment - major terrorist attacks around the world have doubled compared to the six years prior to 9/11, Osama bin Laden remains at large, the United States is less popular than ever globally, we are bogged down in Iraq with no solution in sight, Iran has been emboldened, and the rest of the Middle East is dangerously unstable.
August 22, 2007
Invest at Home
Amy Liu, The Brookings Institution
A major economic focus should be investment in firms and workers in the United States. Rather than trying to level wage competition, Liu says, the government should invest in its assets at home to keep companies from moving abroad.
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August 22, 2007
Moving Beyond No Child Left Behind
Governor Bill Richardson proposes scrapping No Child Left Behind and pursuing better measures of efficiency, accountability and testing in the education system. “One-size-fits-all” testing doesn’t work, Richardson says.
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August 22, 2007
The Iraq Obstacle
Senator Joseph Biden argues that the situation in Iraq must be settled for the U.S. to regain credibility as a world leader, and that the U.S. is more isolated today than ever. The war is costing $120 billion this year, limiting government flexibility in other programs, Biden says, with more funds required in the future to cover veterans’ health care costs.
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July 9, 2007
Suppressing Political Speech?
Thomas E. Mann, The Brookings Institution
A recent Supreme Court ruling allows paid ads by unions and corporations to run right up until Election Day. Brookings Thomas Mann argues that the decision gutted a good faith effort by Congress to limit the influence of money in politics.
June 28, 2007
Preserving America's Compelling Interest in School Integration
Hugh B. Price, The Brookings Institution
The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the school integration cases involving Seattle and Louisville was disappointing but not devastating to the cause of promoting integration in public schools. Nor was it surprising given the increasingly conservative bent of the majority of justices on the bench.
June 8, 2007
Father's Day Lessons
Isabel V. Sawhill, The Brookings Institution
The traditional up escalator that's helped each generation do better than their parents appears to be out of order. On Father's Day, older dads will have more to celebrate than their younger counterparts. It's a complex situation that may have broad implications for the next president.