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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
Topic - Peter R. Orszag
Despite Democratic claims to the contrary, President Obama's former top budget adviser thinks his old boss has lost leverage for the budget battles to come in the wake of this week's deal avoiding an immediate fall over the "fiscal cliff."
Liberals have isolated the problem in American politics today: There is just too much democracy. The incessant demands of the unwashed masses are far too distracting for the philosopher kings in the government to get any work done.
When Congress was debating the Obamacare law last year, I raised many concerns about the size and scope of the law and the outrageous amount of new federal taxes and spending it created. Like many people, I also have grown concerned about the law's impact on Americans' personal freedoms. My concern stems not only from its controversial mandate that every American buy health insurance, but also from other federal mandates that could follow.
The White House has seen a stunning pre-election exodus of high-level staffers, culminating in the departure over the last two weeks of President Obama's chief of staff and national security adviser.
Peter R. Orszag, director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, positioning him to be the first high-profile member of President Obama's team to depart the administration.
White House budget chief Peter R. Orszag said Tuesday that he will step down next month, positioning him to be the first high-profile member of President Obama's team to depart the administration.
Bipartisan frustration boiled over on Capitol Hill Tuesday at the Obama administration's inability to bring down the unemployment rate, with one liberal House Democrat telling top administration officials they have shown "no urgency" about fixing the problem.
President Obama on Monday failed to heed his vow to take an ever-sharper scalpel to the budget during tough economic times, instead proposing $1 billion less in discretionary spending cuts than last year.
The pay-as-you-go rules President Obama is resurrecting as a solution to runaway federal spending have been repeatedly violated by Congress and the White House, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to be spent without the required spending cuts or tax increases.
The White House declared victory Wednesday saying the House and Senate budget proposals are "98 percent the same" as President Obama requested.
Congress' chief budget scorekeeper said yesterday that the recently approved economic-stimulus plan makes a recession less likely, although many private economists say the country already is in recession.
"We do face a substantial medium-term deficit problem and what we have said is we put forward proposals to get us part of the way there. The commission will have to get us the rest of the way there," he said. "We have been very clear about our stance on taxes and frankly on other spending proposals also. The commission hasn't even been yet named. Let's let it do its work."
For example, he noted, Congress agreed to eliminate the F-22 fighter jet, a program that had eluded previous administrations.