Joshua Green

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

Recent Articles

Numbers Racket:

One frequently cited reason for the Democrats' uninspired response to George W. Bush's $1.6 trillion tax cut plan is that they're no longer privy to the White House's staff of number crunchers. There once was a time, under President Clinton, when these tax wizards worked on behalf of Democrats. They'd run the numbers for the latest Republican tax scheme and discover that, say, Dick Armey's proposal to abolish the tax on Lear Jets primarily benefited the rich. Armed with facts and figures like these, Democrats could keep most Republican excesses in check. But with Bush in the White House, that's no longer an option. Democrats can still complain about the unfairness of Bush's cut, but they can't throw around the kind of numbers they once could to demonstrate why it's a lousy idea. Fortunately, I can. Like most working Americans, I recently received my W-2 form in the mail. And like most, I flinched when I saw how little I'd earned last year. Then I wondered how I would have faired under...

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...

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