Marc Thiessen

Should the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives in November, their largely unnoticed plan to forgive billions of dollars in student loans at taxpayer expense will be on the agenda. Many borrowers with the means to repay would qualify. The plan was devised by the top Democrat on the education committee, Representative Bobby Scott (Va.), as part of the Aim Higher Act, a reauthorization of student-aid programs. And earlier this month a group of Senate Democrats led by Jeff Merkley (Ore.) introduced a similar version in the Senate. At first glance the proposal appears to be minor and harmless. It [...]
Tue, Oct 23, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
They are at it again. Democrats in Congress have a plan called the Aim Higher Act to make the federal student loan program even more generous, cutting payments and forgiving debts for those who have the means to pay. This all looks like a repeat of Obama-era reforms that led to a budget blowout in something called the Income-Based Repayment program. In 2010, President Obama announced what seemed like innocuous reforms that allow lower monthly payments (10 percent of income instead of 15 percent) and quicker loan forgiveness (20 years of payments instead of 25). Yet these tweaks sent the annual [...]
Tue, Oct 23, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
It's time for another Carpe Diem quiz. Test your knowledge of recent economic news and data points, some featured in recent CD posts, with this new 20-question quiz below. You'll see the correct answers at the end. Good luck! Loading Carpe Diem Economic News and Data Quiz, October 2018 See also:California has a housing crisis, and Californians seem confused about how to solve itIf you care about wage growth, then you also need to care about how taxes affect economic growth [...]
Mon, Oct 22, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
On the campaign trail last week, President Trump said he had been working on “a very major tax cut” for middle-income taxpayers. It caught many in Congress by surprise, but on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said he had been working with GOP House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady to develop a new plan that would be presented soon. Congress is out of session, so any action is far down the road. Recent national polls show that tax cuts aren't at the top of the public's agenda. A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll taken from mid-September to early October found that [...]
Mon, Oct 22, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
Abstract For the first time in the literature, we develop a quantitative indicator of the Chinese government's policy priorities over a long period of time, which we call the Policy Change Index (PCI) of China. The PCI is a leading indicator of policy changes that runs from 1951 to the third quarter of 2018, and it can be updated in the future. It is designed with two building blocks: the full text of the People's Daily — the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China — as input data and a set of machine learning techniques to detect changes in [...]
Mon, Oct 22, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
In the digital economy, one of the most important issues to emerge has been the question of what can be done with the vast amounts of information firms collect on individuals who engage with them. via Twenty20 Firms such as Google and Facebook use this information to customize services provided to customers on both sides of their two-sided markets — users seeking to maximize their benefits from the primary applications on the one side, and advertisers seeking to maximize exposure to their propositions on the other. Other firms, such as Amazon, use this information to craft customized offers, such as proposed product [...]
Mon, Oct 22, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
If, as appears increasingly likely, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, then he has joined Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un among the ranks of rogue leaders who assassinate their critics on foreign soil. The only difference is that the Russian president and North Korean leader weren't reckless and stupid enough to kill their opponents inside their own consulates. The disappearance of Khashoggi, a Post contributing columnist, is a horrific crime. His loss will be felt deeply for those who cherish freedom of expression and believe that all people, including those in the Arab [...]
Fri, Oct 19, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
On November 9, 1989, a 96-mile wall ceased to be a barrier between East and West Berlin. It was the beginning-of-the-end for the USSR and a dangerous chapter of the Cold War. Between 1961 and November 1989, an estimated 171 people died trying to cross the wall to flee communism in East Berlin and reach freedom and a better life in the west. What does the fall of the Berlin Wall have to do with Alex Pollock's book—nothing—but yet in a roundabout way, quite a bit. After the fall of communism, the former republics of the USSR had to switch from [...]
Fri, Oct 19, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
“The entitlement crisis is real, and it is worse than you think.” So argue James Capretta and Yuval Levin in a recent cover story in The Weekly Standard. As they write, the CBO projects that under plausible assumptions, the government's cumulative debt will grow from 78 percent of GDP this year to 148 percent in 2038 and to 210 percent of GDP in 2048 — and even a total repeal of last year's tax cuts won't come close to mitigating that rise. To discuss how deleterious this debt load will be for the United States, and what steps can be [...]
Fri, Oct 19, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN
As President of the IBM Foundation, Jennifer Ryan Crozier oversees IBM P-TECH, a grades 9-to-14 school model that seeks to integrate high school with community college and workplace learning. P-TECH graduates earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree in a STEM field within six years—and some in less than four years. Since its 2011 launch with a single school in Brooklyn, New York, the P-TECH network has scaled to 110 schools across eight states, as well as Australia, Morocco, and Taiwan. Jen and I spoke recently about P-TECH schools, preparing young people for 21st century jobs, and [...]
Fri, Oct 19, 2018
Source: Marc Thiessen Category: MARC THIESSEN