Brookings Today, 1/27/15

A roundup of some of the content published today at Brookings.

  • Is democracy in decline? Robert Kagan looks at the spread of democracy throughout the world and at the critical role of the United States in that spread.
  • Can billionaires buy elections? In the wake of the news that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch plan to spend $889 million on the 2016 presidential election, Darrell West takes a look at billionaire activism.
  • What the 2015 blizzard tells us about government. John Hudak explains how government preparedness responses to the recent winter storm—particularly in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut—show competent leadership and management.
  • Gas tax for infrastructure. Ron Haskins argues that increasing the federal gas tax, especially when gas prices are falling, is the right policy response to the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.
  • Medicare physician payment reform. Mark McClellan and co-authors offer modifications to legislation that would reform how physicians are paid under Medicare.