Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Where the Cash At

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nifty chart showing the huge impact of tax expenditures -- credits, loop holes, write-offs, etc. -- on the federal budget. Short story: In terms of overall spending, tax expenditures dwarf virtually everything else, including major entitlement programs: For further context , this comes to a few hundred billion more than total defense spending, and more than twice the budget for non-defense discretionary spending, i.e.,the main target of GOP spending cuts. What's more, because of their design, tax expenditures tend to benefit those near the top of the income distribution. CBPP Director Robert Greenstein explains: From an economic perspective, such a structure makes sense only if higher-income people need a substantially greater monetary incentive to take the desired action and wouldn’t take it without the tax incentive. Yet, as a number of tax experts and economists from across the political spectrum have explained, the reality is...

Check Back in a Year

As far as the immediate short-term is concerned, union-busting has not been good for the popularity of Republican governors. According to the most recent polling, Wisconsin's Scott Walker has an approval rating of 43 percent, while Ohio's John Kasich has tanked with an approval rating of 35 percent. Neither governor enjoys majority (or even plurality) support from independents, and both rely on heavy Republican support to buoy their approval ratings. For now, this is good news for Democrats. In the long-term, however, I'm not so sure; on the whole, job approval has more to do with economic performance than it does with good policy or political strength. In all likelihood, if the economy improves, it won't take much for Kasich and Walker to claim credit and restore their standing with voters. By contrast, state Democrats will benefit if the economy stays weak and union-busting remains a salient issue. It's worth noting that we're basically witnessing a reverse of the last two years in...

Tim Pawlenty: Then vs. Now

If this New York Times profile is any indication, the Tim Pawlenty of 2011 is intensely focused on positioning himself as a Tea Partier, religious conservative, military hawk, and all-around generic Republican: “I want to be every person’s candidate — that’s my goal,” Mr. Pawlenty said. “The notion that you can’t do more than one thing at a time, I think, is a flawed premise.” At a recent Tea Party Patriots rally, he pronounced, “The government’s too damn big!” To an evangelical audience, he declared, “The Constitution was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith.” And to Republicans in New Hampshire, he closed with a gentle plea: “Please leave with hope and optimism.” As Matthew Yglesias notes , this is in marked contrast to the Governor Tim Pawlenty of 2005, a moderate Republican, who attracted attention and support from reform-minded...

On Libya

Given the pervasive belief in American military power as the solution for every problem -- and the enduring allure of humanitarian interventions -- it's no surprise to see establishment liberals join the chorus for using force against Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi . Jonathan Chait 's rationale is typical of the liberal case so far: I'm mindful of my lack of relevant expertise, but the case for a no-fly zone and arms shipments to the rebels seems more compelling than the case against. It's the possibility of a disaster against the likelihood of one. Leon Wieseltier's online column is very powerful. Tom Ricks argues, "This does remind me a lot of Bosnia '94." With that said, Ross Douthat , in a very good column, draws lessons from our fiasco in Iraq to offer a strong rebuttal to these broad calls for intervention: [T]here are lessons from our years of failure in Iraq that can be applied to an air war over Libya as easily as to a full-scale invasion or counterinsurgency. Indeed, they can be...

In Wisconsin, There Is No Enthusiasm Gap

As if it weren't already apparent, Scott Walker has badly overreached : Given the distance between now and the 2012 elections, I don't know how much this matters. There's no guarantee that we'll still be talking about this in 20 months, and even still, a lot can change between now and the presidential election. Still, this is a huge change, and I'm sure other GOP governors will take note; attacking the most organized part of the Democratic base might not be a great idea if it ends up yielding a hyper-enthused Democratic electorate.