Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz is a former staff writer for the Prospect. His work has been published by Newsweek, The New Republic, The Nation, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He is also a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Recent Articles

Will the Payroll Tax Cut Threaten Social Security?

The latest argument against the tax deal goes like this: After the payroll tax, which funds Social Security, is temporarily cut to stimulate the economy, Republicans will never let it go back up again, and indeed, that's what they're telling Ryan Grim on the Hill. This is all just a secret plan to roll Obama and go after the social safety net. Jon Walker writes at Firedoglake, "The payroll tax holiday was never a progressive idea."

Ron Paul Is Your New Fed Watchdog.

True, he's always been a Fed watchdog, but now it's official: America's most prominent Fed critic is now the chair of the House subcommittee that oversees the Fed. I previewed this transition, and the strange bedfellows it's producing, a few weeks ago:

Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, are mounting an extensive critique of the Fed's latest policy, even suggesting it's time to rewrite the institution's operating mandate. But Paul is still not exactly on the same page.

"I think they're missing the whole point," he says. "I don't want the Fed to have any power!"

The Problem Isn't Fox News.

Media Matters has obtained a leaked memo from Fox News, where an executive advises producers to use GOP-pollster approved language during their newscast:

1) Please use the term "government-run health insurance" or, when brevity is a concern, "government option," whenever possible. 

2) When it is necessary to use the term "public option" (which is, after all, firmly ensconced in the nation's lexicon), use the qualifier "so-called," as in "the so-called public option."

3) Here's another way to phrase it: "The public option, which is the government-run plan."

A Million Consultants Crying Out in Unison, and Suddenly Silenced.


Via Ben Smith, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets Shermanesque:

"I'm not going to run for president, period," he said. "End of story."

Replied Couric: "Ever?"

"I think at my age ever is the easy thing to say," Bloomberg, who is 68, responded with a laugh.

Lobbyists Never Lose.

Would you believe that anti-lobbyist candidates have transformed, like caterpillars into butterflies, and arrived in Washington to hire lobbyists to work for them? The hypocrisy play here is obvious, but of course, but members of Congress need to find people to help them influence the legislative process, and that's what lobbyists do for a living. And lobbyist PR people pointing out that public advocates are lobbyists, too, isn't off the mark. The problem isn't lobbyists themselves, but the structure they work in -- the lack of transparency around who's lobbying for whom and the amount of money lobbyists spend that isn't properly documented.