Joshua Green

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

Recent Articles

Lies, Damn Lies, and Bush's Statistics

"The American people are paying the highest taxes during peacetime in history," Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey declared last week, arguing for Bush's tax cut plan. Many Republicans have parroted the line, but none has explained it. If Armey had bothered to characterize his claim, he would have said that taxes as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) were the highest they've been during peacetime since World War II. And if he'd suddenly been overcome with honesty and forthrightness, Armey further would have explained why his statistic is utterly misleading: The statistic on which it is based doesn't count capital gains, which accrue mainly to the rich, and have soared from about $100 billion to about $600 billion annually during the recent economic boom. Factor that into GDP, as one should, and Armey's nifty sound bite goes bust. Armey also fails to mention that only taxes on the rich have gone up, while taxes for the middle class have remained the same or dropped. Armey...

The Business of Being Small:

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill kicked off national "Small Business Week" by issuing a press release that claimed George W. Bush's proposal to cut the top income tax rate would benefit not only super rich folks, but more than three quarters of all small business owners as well. "Do you know who benefits from cutting the top tax rate? It's not who you think," said O'Neill, doing his best impression of a late-night cable pitchman. According to the Treasury Department, which is quickly gaining a reputation for fudging the numbers , 77 percent of small businessmen would get a tax break if the top rate were reduced from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, as Bush has proposed. Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonprofit watchdog group, countered that only one out of every 16 small businesses -- about 6 percent -- would get a tax break. What gives? Bush has resorted to amazing numerical contortions to portray his tax cut as beneficial to the "middle class" and "working folks." Small businesses...

Bargaining Chip

I n his continuing effort to cater to swing voters, George W. Bush is venturing ever further onto Democratic turf. For example, his campaign touts the governor's support for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), intended to help working families who make too much for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance. "When the CHIP program was first implemented," a press release reads, "Governor Bush embraced it as an opportunity to help deliver health coverage to more than 423,000 children." Those are impressive numbers. And the need is plain in Texas, where a quarter of the residents--1.4 million of them children--lack health insurance. But Bush's actual record on CHIP is anything but supportive. As previously reported, Bush fought doggedly, but unsuccessfully, to limit the number of Texas children the program would cover. One reason was Bush's desire to keep money free for a big tax cut. But another key reason has received less attention: Bush's desire to prevent...

Supreme Court Dispatch:

The U.S. Supreme Court did not allow cameras in the courtroom, but they were definitely allowed outside. So as the lawyers wrangled inside, protesters staged made-for-TV-protests outside. For the first time in at least a week, this morning's mob outside the Supreme Court roughly resembled the mob vote on Election Day -- it was equally divided. Irate Bush supporters lately have tended to dominate protests and monopolize camera time in Florida. But today they were matched -- possibly outnumbered -- by Gore supporters in Washington, DC. On this one-year anniversary of the Seattle World Trade Organization Protests, this equal-opportunity mayhem proved that no single ideology has a monopoly on outlandish expression. The left-right divide was evident because the DC police wisely chose to separate the protesting camps -- Republicans to the north side of the street, Democrats to the south, with the various other causes, of which there were many (Abortion, women's...

Gerrymandering for Position in 2002

W hen Indiana Democrat Tim Roemer announced recently that he would retire from the House of Representatives at the end of this session of Congress, the officially cited reason was that he wanted to spend more time with his family. That's no doubt true. But it is surely also the case that Roemer didn't want to lose--as he most likely would have had he chosen to vie for re-election. Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census Bureau completes its tabulation of the country's inhabitants, congressional seats are reapportioned to reflect the state-by-state distribution of the population. Indiana's population has declined relative to other states' since 1990, so that when congressional lines are redrawn this year, the Hoosier State will lose a seat. Most experts predict that Roemer's South Bend district, which he carried last year by only 4 percent, will be expanded to include more conservative voters, making it much more difficult for the three-term Democrat to win re-election. Roemer is the...

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