Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Why the Republicans' Tax Cut Won't Save Them from Political Disaster

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Republican Congress members applaud as Senator Orrin Hatch signs the final version of the GOP tax bill during an enrollment ceremony at the Capitol on December 21, 2017. D onald Trump lies so often that when he tells unadorned truths it can be a shock. But sometimes it happens when he forgets to spin, as it was when he was speaking to a group of wealthy friends at a dinner at Mar-a-Lago last Friday. "You all just got a lot richer," he told to the well-heeled diners, referring to the tax cuts he had just signed. And they certainly did, despite the endless assurances that the bill was really aimed at the struggling middle class. That's particularly true if Trump's guests own lots of stock, because the bill's centerpiece, the cut in the corporate tax rate, will in all likelihood be mostly passed on to shareholders, in the form of dividends and share price-boosting efforts like stock buybacks. Republicans in Washington, however, are holding out hope that before...

Democrats Can't Stop the Tax Bill -- But They Can Make Republicans Pay

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Cameron Smith, of Kansas City, Kansas, blocks a hallway with others as they protest the GOP tax bill on December 5, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. T hroughout this year, anyone familiar with the Republican Party could have told you that no matter how many ways they might fail, the one thing they will do when they have power is cut taxes, particularly for the wealthy and corporations. If it required their last dying breath, or at least incurring huge political cost, this they would do, above all else. And now they appear to have gathered the votes, with every last Republican in the Senate likely to vote to approve the conference committee's final version of the bill (though it's possible Mitch McConnell may allow Susan Collins to vote no and save face now that they have a cushion of a vote or two, an old technique called "catch and release"). Democrats cannot stop this bill from passing. But there is something else they can do: Make Republicans pay a...

A Constitutional Crisis Is on the Way

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Special Counsel Robert Mueller on June 21, 2017 R emarkably, we are almost a year into Donald Trump's term as president of the United States and we haven't yet had a full-blown constitutional crisis. But it may be on its way. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is circling the Oval Office, and the closer he gets, the more agitated President Trump and his defenders become. In response, they've begun an all-out assault on Mueller, one that could well result in Trump firing him. It's more than obvious that Trump wants to do so; the only question is how long the relatively sane people around him who appreciate the consequences of such a move can hold him back. They surely know that Trump firing Mueller would not only be a political disaster for him but would plunge the government into its most serious crisis in decades, with a president moving to shut down an investigation into his own wrongdoing. In order to do it, Trump would have to create his...

How Republicans Are Digging Their Own Grave for 2018

(Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA via AP Images)
(Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA via AP Images) Protesters hold signs at a rally opposing the GOP tax bill in New York City on December 2, 2017. I n the wee hours of Saturday morning, Senate Republicans passed their version of tax "reform," and you could feel the relief flooding over the Capitol. Yes, they were joyful that at long last, corporations and the wealthy will find the terrible burden of taxation under which they struggle lightened considerably. But even more, Republicans knew that they had averted political disaster by finally accomplishing something, sparing themselves the wrath of their ever-wrathful base. The fight isn't over—there still has to be a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions, and once it comes up with a compromise, that bill will have to pass both houses. But if the conference committee fails, the House could merely pass the Senate's version and be done with it. In other words, the chance that Republicans won't get their tax cuts is not...

Why We All Should Be Sick and Tired of This Tax Debate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images) Senators Debbie Stabenow, ranking member Ron Wyden, Chairman Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley participate in the Senate Finance Committee markup of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on November 15, 2017. O rrin Hatch is sick and tired, and so am I. Hatch, however, has the benefit of knowing that his illness and fatigue will soon be relieved by the soothing balm of victory, as the Republican Party fulfills its most profound and deeply revered purpose and delivers a tax cut to corporations and wealthy people. It was Thursday night, not long before the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of the Republican tax cut bill, when Hatch and Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown got in a spirited exchange that began with Brown's assertion that the tax bill is not, as Republicans contend, all about helping the middle class, but instead bestows its greatest bounty on corporations and the rich. Hatch took spectacular umbrage to this charge, to the point where his...