Topic: Alan Simpson

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  • If not 'sequester,' then what? Five ideas from left and right.

    Few in Washington believe that "the sequester,” $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the federal budget as of March 1, is a good idea. But what's the alternative? Here are five proposals, from the right, the center, and the left, to replace the sequester. Which do you like?

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  • Readers Write: Less population growth means more water; More to 'Heart of Darkness'; Partisanship kills progress

    Letters to the Editor for the November 11, 2013 weekly print magazine:The Middle East's population boom will exacerbate the regions' upcoming water shortage. Why aren't more environmentalists recommending that these countries work to reduce fertility rates?Joseph Conrad's novel 'Heart of Darkness' is much more complex than 'the enemy as Other.' It can even be read with that feeling of 'We have met the enemy and he is us.'Excess partisanship is deadly to sensible progress in legislation. Does this phenomenon not explain why those who seek compromise have essentially been excoriated by Congress?

  • Readers Write: Fix the debt, but protect the needy; Rodeos show animal cruelty

    Letters to the Editor for the October 14, 2013 weekly print magazine: There is no doubt that some entitlement reform is needed to address US debt, but we can't 'fix the debt' on the backs of the most vulnerable.Rodeos, although less cruel than dogfighting, cockfighting, and bullfighting, can nonetheless be seen as exhibitions of animal cruelty. 

  • Government shutdown? A leap of trust can seal a budget deal

    As Washington once again careens toward a government shutdown and clash over the debt ceiling, we’re hopeful that Congress and the White House can reach a budget deal. Last winter, President Obama and Speaker Boehner were actually quite close to an agreement.

  • 4 ways you can influence the debt debate

    The nonpartisan Campaign to Fix the debt offers four ways Americans can amplify their voice on the debt issue, including signing a petition.

  • Tax VOX Will the Baucus-Hatch plan trigger tax reform? Probably not.

    Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin hatch (R-Utah) are pushing forward a blank slate rewrite plan, but Gleckman says they are off target. Tax reform will come with a specific set of rates and limited preferences — not a blank slate, Gleckman argues.

  • Cover Story Immigration reform: What the last 'path to citizenship' did for immigrants

    Congress is considering comprehensive immigration reform, including amnesty, work visas, and guest worker programs. What this path to citizenship  could mean for 11 million illegal immigrants can be seen in the 1986 amnesty of 3 million legalized in the last major immigration overhaul.

  • Cuts to Social Security? What Obama is proposing.

    In an effort to reach a bipartisan agreement to reduce federal deficits, President Obama is backing a change in the inflation formula used to calculate adjustments in Social Security benefits.

  • Tax VOX Should the US adopt a territorial tax system?

    Backers of a territorial tax system argue that the current worldwide system puts US firms at a competitive disadvantage since they must pay the high US tax rate on repatriated profits earned by their affiliates in low-tax countries, while multinationals based in territorial countries pay only the local tax rate on these profits, Toder writes.

  • Congress opens first budget debate in four years

    Congress this week takes up the parties' sharply different views on taxes and spending. Just laying down political markers on next year's budget could help advance a 'grand bargain' on deficits and entitlements, some say.

  • Obama's plan to replace the 'sequester': Does the math add up?

    President Obama wants to replace the sequester with a package of spending cuts and tax revenues adding up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years. But some say that's not enough savings.