Articles from Institute for Policy Studies

Will Trump Rule by Decree?

The Republican Party, since its takeover by Reaganauts in the 1980s, has long favored shrinking the federal government to the point at which it can be “drowned in the bathtub,” to use Grover Norquist’s colorful phrase.

Tax cuts reduce the federal budget. Budget cuts weaken social programs. Even cutting remarks have their effect. Reagan got plenty of laughs when he said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the federal government and I’m here to help.’”

Celebrating the Life of Norman Birnbaum

IPS joins in mourning the death — but celebrating the life — of Norman Birnbaum, an IPS senior scholar and friend of the Institute from its earliest days. Norman died on January 4 at 92. He was a colleague of IPS founders Marc Raskin and Dick Barnet, even before they opened the Institute in 1963.  Through his work as a public intellectual (alongside a long academic career), Norman served as a link between post-WWII left movements in the United States and Europe.

Prices, Plutocrats, and Corporate Concentration

Andrew Leigh, a member of the Australian parliament, has a side gig. He just happens to be a working economist. Other lawmakers may spend their spare hours making cold calls for campaign cash. Leigh spends his doing research — on why our modern economies are leaving their populations ever more unequal.

Get the Federal Government out of Washington

Americans of all political stripes distrust the federal government.

For years, the name of the nation’s capital has been used as shorthand for federal overreach and bloat. For most Americans, Washington, D.C. is hundreds of miles away — and a million ways disconnected — from them.

Stop Wasting Money on the Pentagon

In this season of (hoped for) peace and goodwill, it’s worth looking for things our divided country can agree on. And since all of us want to be able to trust government to spend wisely, we might find common cause in a surprising place: the Pentagon budget.

John Bolton Says He Wants to Protect Africa from ‘Predatory’ Chinese Behavior. What About Washington’s?

John Bolton’s recent unveiling of the Trump Administration’s “Prosper Africa” plan did what is typical of such U.S. foreign policy announcements. It performed the balancing act of admitting motives to protect vague “U.S. interests” while dishonestly claiming benevolent intentions for the other country, region, or continent concerned. In this case the continent is Africa.

Will the Government Shut Down Over Trump’s $5 Billion Border Wall?

If Congress doesn’t reach a deal on a government spending bill by midnight on December 21, one-quarter of the federal government will shut down. At issue is $5 billion in funding for a border wall that President Trump demanded and Democrats insisted was not forthcoming.

Paul Ryan Was a Villain and No One Will Miss Him

Each New Year’s, my wife and I indulge one of our favorite traditions: the household purge. We scour our closets for stuff that’s just taking up space, quietly draining our home’s energy, and move it along. I can’t recommend it enough.

This year, America’s doing the same thing — and putting House Speaker Paul Ryan out on the curb.

For years, the ten-term Wisconsin Republican — who’s retiring as Democrats prepare to take over the House — enjoyed an improbable reputation as a “deficit hawk” and “deep thinker” about fiscal issues.