Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the highest increase in poverty in recorded history. The down economy is partly to blame for the increase, but Heritage Foundation expert Robert Rector says one factor dwarfs all others in explaining why the poverty rate continues to rise despite almost 50 years of government efforts. Why is getting married before having kids the key to fighting poverty? Why do single parents make up the bulk of those living in poverty? How many would escape poverty simply by getting married? What can the government do to encourage people to be married before having kids? We ask Robert Rector, senior fellow in domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation.
Archives for September 2010
Restore the Republic
The public seems to be in the mood to give Democrats the boot in November, but if Republicans do reclaim the majority, what will their agenda look like? How will they address rampant federal spending? What drives the vast majority of our spending and debt? How would they change the tax code? What would a GOP energy plan look like? And are Republicans going to look markedly different than the Republicans who lost the majority four years ago? We ask California Rep. Devin Nunes, author of “Restoring the Republic: A Clear, Concise and Colorful Blueprint for America’s Future”.
‘Global Climate Disruption’
Obama administration science czar John Holdren says ‘global warming’ should now be referred to as ‘global climate disruption’. Is this just a semantic change or is it a strategic move designed to give cover to those in the climate change movement – no matter what the climactic evidence shows? What should we know about Holdren’s many years of involvement in this movement? Why is the terminology changing now? And how can anyone not schooled in climatology determine which side is right in this debate? We ask Dr. Tim Ball, former professor of climatology at the University of Winnepeg.
‘The Concrete Is Already Set’
President Obama and his fellow Democrats are getting more aggressive in their criticism of the Republican economic agenda and are hoping to gain ground over differences in how to address the expiring Bush tax cuts. But are the Democrats making progress or are most voters already convinced Obama is leading us on the wrong course? Is Obama’s push to extend most of the Bush tax cust an admission that most of those tax cuts were not for the rich? And why have the Democrats failed to put forth a budget or any major spending bills just 10 days before the start of a new fiscal year? We ask Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
More Taxpayer-Funded Abortions?
The Defense Authorization bill is supposed to focus on the needs of the military, but this year’s version is becoming the repository for a number of divisive social issues as well. Already included is language to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy banning gays in the military and a provision providing college scholarships for illegal immigrants. Now Illinois Sen. Roland Burris is trying to lift a ban on abortions performed at military hospitals. Why would lifting this ban be a terrible precedent? How is this proposal part of a much larger agenda? And how has the military become the testing ground for major shifts in social policy? We ask Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs at Americans United for Life.
‘An Absolute Abject Failure’
Earlier this week, Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain released a report detailing how billions of stimulus dollars were wasted on frivolous projects that only served special interests and created very few jobs. On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden responded with a list of 100 stimulus success stories. So which side has it right? Did the government essentially flush $800 billion or would our economy be far worse without the stimulus? We ask Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and get his thoughts on President Obama’s new czar – this one designated to head up the brand new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
More Customers, Not More Loans
For weeks, President Obama implored Senate Republicans to allow a final vote on his small business bill. He got his wish, but will his plan be of much help? Why does Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns believe more access to credit is not what small business owners need? What very basic things do businesses need that are not provided in this legislation? We ask Sen. Johanns and get his thoughts on the tax cut debate. He also shares what concerns his constituents shared during the summer recess.
On Friday, the U.S. Constitution turned 223 years old. But how many Americans have actually read it or even know what it says? How do adults of all ages and levels of education do when quizzed on basic elements of the Constitution? Why is it important for us to know the Constitution thoroughly? How is the Constitution impacted by some recent political debates here in Washington? And how would the framers react to what their founding document has created? We discuss all these questions with Rich Brake, co-chair of the National Civic Literacy Board at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
New York, New York
The proposed construction of an Islamic Center and mosque at Ground Zero has prompted a firestorm of debate. The Capitol Steps now have their own unique take on the story, including the real reason why this complex will never be built. Our guest is Steps impressionist Mark Eaton.
Paying College Bills for Illegals
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to include the DREAM Act as part of a must-pass defense bill. What is the DREAM Act? How would it support illegals at the expense of American citizens? What are the political calculations behind Reid’s move? And what message does the process send to the American people? We discuss it all with California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.