Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Jindal’

Recent Readings for Nov. 19, 2015

November 19, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 19, 2015

• U.S. releases longtime British captive who was never formally charged with wrongdoing. A small step was taken last week to repair the depressing legacy of the invasion of Afghanistan, a war that I consider to have been completely necessary but handled in suboptimal fashion. Gabrielle Bluestone has the (mostly grim) news for Gawker:

Shaker Aamer, a British citizen who spent more than 13 years in Guantanamo Bay, was freed Friday and is reportedly on his way back to London.

Aamer, the last British Gitmo detainee, was captured by the Northern Alliance in 2001 and eventually turned over to the U.S. on allegations that he had worked as an Al Queda operative in London, associated with Osama bin Laden and led a band of Taliban fighters at Tora Bora. Over the next 13 years, the 46-year-old — who says he was in Afghanistan doing charity work — was subjected to waterboarding, force fed through a nasal feeding tube after coordinating a hunger strike, and held in solitary confinement for years. During that time, his six-by-eight-foot cell reportedly had 24 hour exposure to light and constant noise from a nearby generator.

The British House of Commons had unanimously passed a resolution calling for Aamer’s release.

Bluestone notes that 112 captives remain at the American military installation in Guantanamo Bay, of whom only 10 have been charged with a crime.

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Patented Pundit Scorecard™ No. 1: Looking back at my Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal pontification

November 18, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 18, 2015

I’m feeling pretty good about a recent announcement that jibes with something I wrote in December 2013. So in what will likely be a futile attempt to forestall some smugness on my part, I’m going to open this post with a reminder that another assessment that I made two years ago didn’t pan out so well.

In September 2013, I wrote the following about then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

I enjoy having fun at Perry’s expense as much as the next person. But anyone who dismisses Perry out of hand is potentially making a big mistake.

Well, that didn’t quite turn out the way I expected. In mid-September of this year, Perry became the first Republican to bow out of the race to secure the party’s nomination for president of the United States.

“Fundraising was a challenge, and he failed to gain traction in the polls despite spending significant time in the early states, especially Iowa, and despite the assistance of a well-funded super PAC,” Katie Glueck reported for Politico. She added that in the days before Perry ended his campaign,

[H]e was down to one paid staffer in Iowa, one in South Carolina and none in New Hampshire. He was foundering in the polls after failing to qualify for the main stage debate in the first GOP primary contest and his weak polling support had once again relegated him to the second-tier debate next week.

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Dynamic scoring, sobering results: More on the Tax Foundation’s analysis of GOP candidates’ tax plans

November 14, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 14, 2015

Recently, I performed some sophisticated data crunching on a Tax Foundation analysis of the tax-reform plans of seven Republican presidential candidates. (Which is to say, I typed the data from this Tax Foundation table into a spreadsheet and divided certain numbers by 10.) After comparing the results to historic U.S. budget deficits, I concluded that:

[A]ll of these tax proposals would be budget busters, creating some of the largest annual deficits in U.S. history. If enacted, and if they worked as projected, either government services would have to be cut dramatically or tax rates would have to be increased in order to prevent the national debt from ballooning. And given the political scene, the former option would be far more likely to be enacted.

However, there’s a catch.

The catch is that the Tax Foundation projected potential budget surpluses or deficits for the Republican proposals using two different methods. The numbers I relayed in my previous post were produced using static revenue estimates, a technique that has long been employed by government budget analysts.

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U.S. budget deficits: Numbers past, present and future

November 12, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 12, 2015

Earlier this week, I wrote about an analysis from the Tax Foundation that indicated that the tax-reform plans of seven Republican candidates each might increase the deficit by more than a trillion of dollars over a 10-year period. I want to explore the details a little further.

Allow me to set the stage with a brief history of federal budget deficits. The first time the U.S. budget was in the red for more than $75 billion was in fiscal year 1981, when it hit $79 billion under a plan enacted in what turned out to be the last year of Jimmy Carter’s presidency. The first time the federal deficit exceeded $100 billion was the very next year, under Ronald Reagan, when it reached $128 billion. Between 1983 and 1995, the budgetary gap ranged from a low of roughly $150 billion to a high of $290 billion.

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Tax deductions and magical thinking: When smart policy makes for unpopular politics

October 10, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 10, 2015

Republican tax plans all seem to have something in common — something besides lowering the top individual and corporate income-tax rates, that is. See if you can spot it.

Real estate mogul and reality TV host Donald Trump’s tax plan aims to lower taxes and to simplify the tax code. Trump’s proposal claims that its “tax cuts are fully paid for by:”

1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.…

3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income…

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s tax proposal would:

• Simplify the tax code for all Americans to lessen the power of the IRS and increase both prosperity and fairness.

• Reduce loopholes and special tax provisions created by lobbyists that invariably benefit those at the top.

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Voters don’t always care very much about policy details when it comes to picking a president

December 12, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 12, 2013

Recently, Robert Mann, a mass communications professor at Louisiana State University, wrote a Times-Picayune column panning Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chances of winning the Republican nomination for president in 2016. The crux of Mann’s argument is telegraphed in the headline, “Jindal’s meager record at home won’t get him to the White House.”

Referring to America Next, a new organization affiliated with the Louisiana governor, Mann writes:

The group hasn’t yet proposed a single policy innovation, so it’s not clear exactly what specific programs Jindal will tout.

However, selling his vision to the nation may be a challenge. That’s partly because the policy-cautious Jindal really hasn’t revealed much vision unless, by “vision,” one means serving up warmed-over, off-the-shelf conservative ideas. As for leadership, his modest job approval ratings provide no evidence of a deep well of affection or enthusiastic support at home.

The problem is that whatever ideas Jindal ultimately champions will emerge near the end of his tenure as governor. Republican primary voters and the news media would be justified in asking, “If your ideas are so new and compelling, why didn’t you try them in Louisiana?”

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