Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein is a staff reporter at The Washington Post. You can read his blogging here. His work has appeared in the LA Times, The Guardian, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Slate, and The Columbia Journalism Review. He's been a commentator on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and more.

Recent Articles

DEPARTMENT OF SHOCK, HORROR.

This isn't really my beat, but Wanda Sykes' comedy routine at last weekend's White House Correspondent's Dinner was really shockingly offensive.

THE PROBLEM WITH CORPORATE TAX CODES.

The administration's proposals to close some corporate tax loopholes didn't get much attention last week. In part, that's because the actual issues being addressed are extremely complicated. But that doesn't mean they're not important. This sort of thing , for instance, is really galling, and insofar as we need to raise $60 billion from somewhere, stopping corporations from playing a game of international tax arbitrage is probably a good idea. But "this sort of thing" is endemic to a complicated tax code. The more intricate the statutes, the easier it will be for trained lawyers to find loopholes. But if the loopholes are very complicated, then the only people who know enough to argue over them will be the lobbyists dedicated to their preservation. It's hard to build a movement around the fact that a rule designed to simplify the classification of different kinds of subsidiaries has been misused by multinational companies who set up subsidiaries and then use high-interest loans to...

ARLEN SPECTER NOW OPEN TO A PUBLIC PLAN.

Lot of health reform posts on the blog today. That's because there's a lot of health reform policy news today. For instance, Arlen Specter, who recently gave a one word "no" when asked if he supported a public plan on Meet the Press, is now proclaiming himself open to a public plan: In a letter to the progressive group Health Care for America Now, Specter said he looks forward to ``discussing and considering'' the issue. He said a starting point could be a proposal by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that seeks to maintain a level playing field between the private and public sector. The mark of a great political mind, I guess, is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas within days of each other. Elsewhere, The Washington Post -- where I'll be starting next week -- just created a health care reform super site, including a blog from Ceci Connolly. Welcome to the 'sphere!

ANDY STERN: "EVERYONE HAS EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS."

I just got off the phone with Andy Stern, head of SEIU. For the past few years, Stern has been manically building coalitions. This, it seems, was the payoff: The ultimate health care coalition. Every major industry group. And SEIU was at the table with them. Stern acknowledged that the early release is light on specifics. But that, he argued, was a function of it being early. "We set a deadline of June 1st to try to provide real proposals that can be costed. It'll be complicated to decide what goes in the legislation. But we'll have competent people providing verifiable savings." That deadline is important. June is when the Finance Committee's first bill drops. So if these stakeholders want to see their proposals in that bill, then they need to move quickly. Asked about the possible flashpoints in the discussions, Stern said that "there was more of a recognition that we weren't going to agree on certain things. People came to the table with an admission that there were lines -- like...

OBAMA: NO ONE CAN DO THIS ON THEIR OWN.

Obama just left the meeting with the stakeholders and gave some quick remarks. The key bit: [N]one of these steps can be taken by our federal government or our health care community acting alone. They'll require all of us coming together, as we are today, around a common purpose -- workers, executives, hospitals, nurses, doctors, drug companies, insurance companies, members of Congress. It's the kind of broad coalition, everybody with a seat at the table that I talked about during the campaign, that is required to achieve meaningful health care reform and that is the kind of coalition which -- to which I am committed. So the steps that are being announced today are significant. But the only way these steps will have an enduring impact is if they are taken not in isolation, but as part of a broader effort to reform our entire health care system. We've already begun making a down payment on that kind of comprehensive reform. We're extending quality health care to millions of children of...

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