Joshua Green

Joshua Green is an editor at The Washington Monthly and a former staff writer at
The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Pardon Me?

George W. Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer said last week that the president-elect has no plans to pardon Bill Clinton if -- as expected -- independent counsel Robert Ray indicts him when he leaves office next month. Most Republicans strongly favor Bush's position and are eager to see the legal system finally deliver Clinton his comeuppance. "I think if you pardon Bill Clinton, it would be a terrible way to start a new Bush administration," Republican strategist Ed Rollins said on Hardball . Most Democrats believe Clinton has suffered enough and take the opposing view, supporting a Bush pardon if Clinton is indicted. For liberals, this way of thinking is exactly wrong. Rather than help Clinton, a Bush pardon would mainly help Bush. The strongest opponents of a Clinton pardon are the same hardline Republicans who pushed his impeachment through the House. Bush campaigned on the promise that he could stand up to this group. But so far he hasn't. By dropping his preferred...

The Democrats' Illegal Alien Problem

You could be forgiven for not knowing that Linda Chavez, George W. Bush's appointment for labor secretary, is a fierce opponent of a minimum wage hike. Or that she opposes affirmative action. Or that she supports school vouchers. Or that she once served as the president of a group called U.S. English, which lobbied to make English the country's official language. But chances are, if you've heard of Chavez, you've also heard that for some time in the early 1990s she employed -- or merely "housed," depending on whether you're a Bush flack -- an illegal alien named Marta Mercado, who received money from Chavez in exchange for performing various household chores. That fact has eclipsed all other news about Chavez and put her nomination in peril. It would be difficult to imagine a more fitting turn of events, since Chavez was chief among the Republican critics who successfully attacked Clinton nominees Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood for employing illegal aliens. "I...

Black Death

In early April, a group of prominent African-American businessmen led by Black Entertainment Television mogul Robert Johnson ran a full-page advertisement in The New York Times and The Washington Post calling for an end to the estate tax. What was notable about the ads wasn't their message -- the movement to repeal the estate tax has been building for some time -- but who was paying for it. As a group, African Americans -- traditionally Democrats -- are not who you'd expect to see agitating to abolish a tax that affects only the wealthiest Americans. Johnson's ad repeated the arguments estate-tax opponents commonly employ to sway public opinion to their side: The tax hurts small businesses and farmers; it represents a "double tax" on wealth; and it is levied "simply because you die." Each of these points is misleading and easily refuted [see "Meet Mr. Death" and "The Estate Tax as Robin Hood?" TAP , May 21, 2001]. But Johnson's group added a new argument: The estate tax discriminates...

Meet Mr. Death

S omebody once told me, åJim, we ought to call you Mr. Death,'" Jim Martin tells me proudly. "I'll have you know, I don't mind that appellation." These days, Mr. Death has reason to crow. Martin credits himself with coining the term "death tax" in 1993 as a usefully derisive nickname for the estate tax. As the founder and president of the 60 Plus Association--sort of a conservative AARP devoted to repealing the estate tax--Martin is one of the leading advocates for the tax's abolition. His crusade is enjoying considerable success. In April, for the second year in a row, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the tax, with Republicans again frustrating Democratic leaders by drawing substantial cross-party support. And in January, Martin got something he'd wanted for eight years: a man in the Oval Office willing to eliminate the estate tax. Several years ago, even the most optimistic conservatives would have been hard pressed to imagine such a triumph. But thanks in large part to...

Pages