Senate Democrats got just enough help from Republicans to approve $34 billion in jobless benefits – $34 billion that adds to the deficit because lawmakers decided not to cut other spending to pay for the benefits. Why would Democrats fight against spending cuts? What kind of tax hikes are around the corner? We ask Heritage Foundation economist J.D. Foster. We also get his reaction to a new poll showing 60 percent of working Americans do not expect to receive Social Security benefits and ask what changes could help to sustain the system for future generations.
Archives for July 2010
A teacher and students from a Christian school are stunned that Supreme Court police barred them from quietly praying on the front steps of the highest court in the land. How is it that the free exercise of religion guaranteed in the first amendment of the Constitution would be blocked in front of the institution tasked with protecting them? What does the law say? How do police really interpret it? And what will happen next in this case? We ask Nate Kellum, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund.
As the Senate Judiciary votes to confirm Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan today, is she worthy of a spot on the highest court in the land? Does she have anywhere near enough experience for the job? What does her record show about how she approaches the law – particularly laws she disagrees with? How have we seen an activist approach to the law in Kagan’s current job as solicitor general? We ask Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
A new series of reports from The Washington Post suggests the intelligence community has added incredibly complicated and redundant layers of bureaucracy in the years since 9-11. So why and how did this happen? What would have been a better approach? Are we any safer than we were on 9-11? And will these reports lead to any substantive changes? We ask former CIA officer Larry Johnson, who also served as deputy director of the State Department’s office of counter-terrorism.
In March, President Obama signed an executive order banning taxpayer funding of any abortions through the new health care laws. However, your tax dollars have already been used to pay for abortions in at least three states. So how were abortions funded by taxpayers if that is supposed to be illegal? How much transparency are we getting from the Obama administration as this massive plan gets implemented? How credible is the administration when it promises to fix this problem? And what will happen when the vast majority of this bill takes effect in 2014? We ask Douglas Johnson, legislative director at the National Right to Life Committee.
The center of of the national immigration debate is Arizona, but a small city in Nebraska is also divided over whether to enforce federal immigration laws. Radio America’s Jasen Sokol examines the politics, passion and lawsuits surrounding a new law in Fremont, Nebraska.
President Obama went to western Michigan on Thursday to tout what he sees as evidence of his stimulus plan working to rescue the U.S. economy. But is the plan really sparking the long-struggling Michigan economy? What would really kick-start the state’s economic agenda? We ask Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who is also running for governor. We hear his economic agenda, how it differs from the plans of his GOP rivals and how ready Michigan voters are for some change.
The Tea Party is dealing with several major stories this week. One-time Tea Party darling Scott Brown voted for the Democratic version of financial reforms – the latest in a string of votes that do not please the conservative base. The NAACP says the Tea Party contains “racist elements”. And a new poll shows Harry Reid leading Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle in Nevada. So how is the grassroots movement responding to all of these developments? We ask Richard Viguerie, chairman of conservativehq.com and a longtime fixture in the conservative movement.
Late this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that by 2014, all of our federal electronic medical records will include our Body Mass Index, which calculates obesity. Why is that significant? And what does it say about government getting involved in our lives and how health care resources may be prioritized or rationed based on overall health? We ask Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, who also explains how the massive new entitlements contained within the new health care package will financially cripple younger Americans.
Earlier this year, Al and Tipper Gore announced they were ending their 40-year marriage. So as as the former vice president tries to move on, he turns to his invention that changed the world. The Capitol Steps take a peek.