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OPINION
September 12, 2012
In case anyone had forgotten, Moody's Investors Service issued a stark reminder Tuesday that the federal government is speeding headlong toward a political and financial cliff. On Jan. 1, a number of temporary tax cuts are due to expire just as new spending restraints kick in, pulling hundreds of billions of dollars out of the U.S. economy and potentially triggering another recession. At the same time, Washington is expected to reach the limit of its borrowing authority, necessitating another increase in its debt limit.
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OPINION
September 9, 2012
Like the Republican convention that preceded it, the Democratic National Convention was a combination of infomercial, revival meeting (with former President Clinton in the role of evangelist in chief) and audition for rising political stars. Also like the Republican gathering, it was predictably longer on general pronouncements than on precise policy prescriptions. Still, the convention in Charlotte, N.C., effectively dramatized important differences between the two parties and their candidates.
OPINION
August 14, 2012
The Los Angeles Fire Department is run by a chief but overseen by a board of commissioners that, to do its job, must be able to delve deeply into the department's inner workings. It should have been unnecessary for the commissioners to go to voters, fire hats in hand, to ask to amend the city charter to make it even clearer that they had the authority to exercise their oversight. Yet in March 2009, that's just what they did when they sought approval of Proposition A to create the position of independent assessor, with the power to audit, assess and review the department's handling of complaints against employees.
OPINION
August 7, 2012
Elected officials in Farmers Branch, Texas, deserve credit for their perseverance. They have spent four years and more than $4 million defending a misguided ordinance that bars landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants. Court after court has struck down the law as an unconstitutional intrusion into the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration. Still, city officials persist, arguing that the law is merely an attempt to regulate housing, not to target immigrants who are in the country illegally.
OPINION
August 2, 2012
Politicians on both sides of the partisan divide want to simplify the federal tax code by pruning the thicket of loopholes, exemptions and credits. In fact, President Obama and his presumptive Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have both promised to seek tax simplification if elected in November. A new study by three fiscal policy experts, however, shows that if simplification is coupled with a deep cut in rates, as Romney has proposed, lower- and middle-income Americans would have to pay more in taxes just to keep the same amount of revenue flowing into the Treasury.
OPINION
July 26, 2012
As he begins a weeklong trip to Britain, Israel and Poland designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials, Mitt Romney is offering a critique of President Obama's military and diplomatic policies that is long on bluster and short on detailed disagreements. So far, he has provided mostly hyperbole, broad and vague criticisms, and cheap shots. In a speech Tuesday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, for instance, he said that Obama had "given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due. " He revived the canard that Obama has been traipsing around the world apologizing for America and accused the president of lecturing Israel, undermining its position and speaking "as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem.
OPINION
July 26, 2012
The fatal police shooting of an unarmed, fleeing suspect in Anaheim is drawing scrutiny from at least three different agencies as city officials seek to quell the outcry from local residents. But these investigations address only part of the problem that four days of sporadically violent protests have brought to light. There is something fundamentally wrong in the relationship between the Anaheim police and the city's growing Latino community. It's time not just for investigations but for soul-searching.
OPINION
July 24, 2012
As severe as they may be, the penalties that the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. imposed on Penn State University's football program Monday aren't likely to have as profound an impact on the school as the scandal that caused revered coach Joe Paterno to be ousted in disgrace last year. The larger purpose of the sanctions - including a four-year ban on bowl games, 40 fewer scholarships, 111 wins revoked and a $60-million fine - is to tell universities across the country that there's a considerable price to pay for letting their mission become subservient to their athletics programs.
OPINION
July 11, 2012
The tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bushare set to expire at the end of December, and the resulting increase in tax bills could be large enough to stall the already struggling economy. On Monday, President Obama called on Congress to renew the reductions for one year, but just for low- and middle-income Americans, not for individuals with taxable incomes above $200,000 or couples with incomes above $250,000. Given that there's virtually no chance of Congress acting on taxes before the November elections, Obama's announcement was a political gesture aimed at focusing the debate on the rates paid by the wealthy.
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