Just like the Brood X cicadas getting their wings after 17 years underground, President Biden again found his deficit hawk wings. When asked if he’d compromise in raising the corporate tax rate to 25 percent instead of 28 percent, Biden this week said, “I’m willing to compromise but I’m not willing to not pay for what we’re talking about. I’m not willing to deficit spend. They already have us $2 trillion in the whole.” The $2 trillion Biden was referring to was the deficit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) Republicans passed in 2017. Biden yesterday then said…

This isn’t your father’s Republican Party. It isn’t Liz Cheney’s father’s party either. Dick Cheney held the third-ranking leadership position of House Republican conference chair in charge of party messaging back in 1987, a position that catapulted him to House minority whip, Defense secretary, vice president, and the epitome of Republican power for decades. That catapult has backfired for the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). Her vocal challenge of President Trump’s future in the party and his continuing attacks on the 2020 elections has left her persona non grata. “I’ve had it with her. …

A fictitious 16th-century knight-errant and a 21st-century politician have quite a bit in common.

The first part of Don Quixote in the 21st century has already been written. Its cast of characters were in the Republican Party. America experienced the ultimate Don who fought imaginary foes ranging from Kenyan-born presidents, murderous caravans coming to the US southern border, and a deep state intent on defeating the aggrieved Queens man. Republicans first belittled Trump’s delusions, but then accommodated him, beseeched his approval, and even partook in his fights, culminating in one of the gravest windmill attacks at the US Capitol.

America…

It’s just 560 days until the 2022 midterm elections. It’s both way too early and eminently reasonable to start thinking ahead. There’s no magic ball that will provide a clue about what will be top of mind for voters come November 8, 2022. Policies and news cycles in 2021 can half a short political half life. But elections 560 days away influence the day-to-day and strategic operations of politicians today. Just like investors look to future cash flows to predict an asset’s value today, politicians look to the future to understand the value of the policy environment today.

Key Takeaways

  • Republicans hold…

MoviePass and Peeing

(I don’t mean to be too self-confessional here (well, actually, I do), so like those recipes on the internet that have one-too-many pages of personal life details before the actual recipe, I’d recommend scrolling down to my movie selection to save yourself of any overindulgence in my life. But I like to think “MoviePass and Peeing” is a good hook.)

Yes, movies again played a big role in my life over the past year. I went to the movies 82 times. Sure, that sounds like a lot, but it was actually a 38 percent decrease from 2017. I often find…

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a senior figure on the Senate Finance Committee, worried that the recent tax cuts by Republicans would be wasted on people going to the movies. He had reason to be concerned. I went to the movies 133 times in 2017*. In general, I do not budget for movie outings. How much I spend is how much I spend. I like to think my +$1000 on movie ticket stubs, millions of popcorn kernels, and the occasional ice cream sandwich helped promote the local movie economy. However, this was ancillary to my theater-going aims.

2017 was an exceptionally…

2020 update: public health officials are encouraging a low-key 4th this year in lieu of the pandemic. Be safe out there/stay sane in there, America.

Hey, America! Shhhhhh!!! Can you please keep it down? I get it’s your birthday. But c’mon, you’re 244 years old! Aren’t you a bit old for all of this? I’m considerably younger than you and even I don’t like to dwell on my own birthday, let alone celebrate it with a drunken firework stupor. …

Maybe it was just the year 2016, but I was looking to get lost at the movies — forget about the outside world for 90 to 150 minutes and immerse myself in cinema. I wanted to be rocked, aesthetically and emotionally. My favorite movie of the year did just that to me, leaving me disjointed, perplexed, and unnerved. A good movie does not need to leave me feeling all gooey inside. It just needs to leave something that resonates. All in all, I ventured to the theaters seventy times — sixty-two regular films (bolded films below were my favorites), seven…

Doughnuts: those glutinous globules of goodness fueling America’s ingenuity and indigestion since the doughboys of WWI. For me, the competitors and antagonists of doughnuts — including bagels, muffins, toast, the American Heart Association, my mom — have come to challenge its status in my diet, but the fried dough remains one of my staples. They are wonderful critters- — on an emotional, intellectual, and above all else, hedonistic level.

Being the self-reflecting, intelligent hedonist that I am, it was high time I thoroughly scour the Washington D.C. area for the best doughnuts.

The actual concept came to me as I…

In a May 2014 conference, Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested that Hillary Clinton may have brain damage. The current Democratic nominee was diagnosed with a blood clot on her brain after a preceding fall in December 2012. The events — including an alleged thirty days in the hospital and the wearing of glasses specialized for those with brain trauma — were all factors in Rove’s call for further disclosure of Clinton’s health. The Democratic response was swift and unequivocal. “There are no responses for this level of lying,” said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill at the time. “She is 100 percent…

Ben Koltun

Made In Chicago | Policy Research @ Beacon Policy Advisors | Cookie Monster loosely based off of my life

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store