| Oct. 29, 2014, 5 a.m.
For some years now, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, has waged a war against for-profit colleges and universities. More than almost any member of the United States Congress, he has targeted these institutions of higher learning with the goal of regulating them heavily or putting them out of business altogether.
| Oct. 27, 2014, 2:05 p.m.
From time to time, we seem briefly aware of our skyrocketing national debt, but usually we forget we’ve been on the largest spending spree in American history. And without a strong economy to help generate tax revenues to pay the bills, our national debt has grown by trillions of dollars in only a few short years.
| Oct. 27, 2014, 10:30 a.m.
Although Congress has publicly fretted over the threat of infectious disease pandemics, there have been few legislative attempts in the last two decades to address such health emergencies, leaving lawmakers with a limited set of policy options as they try to contain the Ebola outbreak.
| Oct. 27, 2014, 5 a.m.
America’s sunniest place, Puerto Rico, faces dark days, and the likelihood is rising that Washington will be asked to step in. While the rest of the United States recovers economically, the commonwealth’s economy remains stuck in a decade-long recession. Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate is double that of the mainland U.S., despite one of world’s lowest labor participation rates. And with such prospects, nearly 10,000 Puerto Ricans every month leave the commonwealth for the mainland.
| Oct. 27, 2014, 5 a.m.
Between 1997 and 2012, uninsured rates among low-income children fell from 25 percent to 13 percent despite recession conditions that separated many families from employer-sponsored coverage and left them with fewer resources to purchase coverage on their own. Our findings attribute this persistent decline to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, whose coverage rates among children increased from 41 percent to 63 percent over the same 15-year period.
| Oct. 22, 2014, 5:51 p.m.
Recently there has been discussion over whether the United States should enter into a free trade agreement with the European Union known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. There are several major issues with TTIP that make it not in the interest of the United States to enter into the agreement.
| Oct. 21, 2014, 4:18 p.m.
Imagine this scenario: You’re an app developer, trying to create a small business in your free time. You push your app to the Apple iTunes store and the Android Marketplace and you start seeing some modest success. Then comes the patent troll threat: a dense 100-plus-page document, full of legalese and nearly impossible to understand, threatening a lawsuit for “patent infringement” in federal court if you don’t pay up, either in cash right away or by promising away a percentage of your future profits.
| Oct. 20, 2014, 5 p.m.
The “ambitious” woman in politics is a contrived caricature. Forget the cold, calculating lady stepping on those in her way (in high heels, of course) as she marches to the top, with identifiers such as “bossy,” “aggressive” and “shrill” in cartoonish word bubbles around her.
| Oct. 15, 2014, 3 p.m.
Recent announcements of planned mergers of U.S. companies with non-U.S. companies in Europe and other offshore locations with more favorable tax regimes has prompted frustration within Congress, as well as within the Obama administration. Such transactions, called inversions, have raised concerns over the erosion of the U.S. tax base and what President Barack Obama called a lack of “economic patriotism” on the part of U.S. companies that make use of these transactions to lower their tax bills.
| Oct. 9, 2014, 3:30 p.m.
As business owners in Washington, D.C., we believe in something that most brick-and-mortar retailers do — free and fair market competition. That’s why we ask that e-fairness legislation be passed without further delay. Unfortunately, online-only sellers continue to enjoy an unfair, government-sanctioned advantage over local community shops through a loophole that allows them to avoid collecting and remitting sales tax. This tax disparity puts our local businesses at a significant economic disadvantage and stifles the overall economy.
| Oct. 7, 2014, 2:07 p.m.
Pressure to go along to get along starts early in life. A student who tells the teacher about playground misbehaviors may face taunts as a tattletale. Teens feel social pressure not to report mischief by their peers. Later in life, employees fear reprisals or retaliation for raising questions about workplace wrongdoing. Unfortunately, there’s a pervasive institutional mindset to muzzle whistleblowers from reporting what they know.
| Oct. 6, 2014, 7:23 p.m.
As one of the most historically significant events for African-Americans, the presidency of Barack Obama, winds down, our community has a chance to reflect on the progress we have made — and the work we still have to do. The achievement of our first black president, remarkable though it was, should not blind us to the difficult obstacles we must still overcome. In too many areas of society, from the economy to culture, African-Americans are still on the outside looking in.
| Oct. 2, 2014, 6:04 p.m.
All right already. We get it. Politicians and campaign committees send lots of emails with interesting subject lines and rather frantic requests for contributions.
| Sept. 30, 2014, 3:50 p.m.
I was giving a speech to a group of citizens visiting Washington for a fly-in, and was asked this question: “What’s the most frustrating obstacle to enhancing the democratic dialog between citizens and Congress?” I surprised myself by responding quickly: “Bad writing.”
| Sept. 29, 2014, 5:25 p.m.
Many continue to call for Congress to pass legislation empowering States to require remote sellers to collect sales tax on their behalf. They say such legislation is necessary to provide fairness between brick and mortar retailers and online sellers. Let me be clear: Overstock.com supports a fair federal solution to prevent a patchwork of legal standards, not to mention computer systems, from making online retailing a virtual nightmare. Unfortunately, the Marketplace Fairness Act is not that solution.
| Sept. 29, 2014, 1:59 p.m.
Ray Rice is not the only reason that we, as a society, have far to go in stopping violence against women. People may argue the circumstances surrounding the Baltimore Ravens running back, and the video showing him knocking his fiancée out cold in an Atlantic City elevator, are exceptions to the common American experience. He’s a star, football is an inherently violent sport, the media is on a feeding frenzy, and money and reputations are at stake.
| Sept. 23, 2014, 3:42 p.m.
With the new fiscal year less than a month away, Congress still hasn’t passed appropriations bills, leaving government agencies and departments reviewing orders they’ve already placed for goods and services. This trend is not new. Procurement officers are being asked to buy more with less time and less funding. This forces them to turn to countries and companies which can deliver goods in a quick turnaround time on a razor-thin margin, but have little to no respect for human rights.
| Sept. 22, 2014, 5:50 p.m.
There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State: How limited or open-ended is it? How will Congress respond? What will it cost?
| Sept. 19, 2014, 5:14 p.m.
The U.S. economy is enjoying a slow but steady rebound, with better than 4 percent growth over the second quarter of 2014. Consumers’ spending is healthy, their expectations are at their peak for the year and the private sector has created more jobs over the last several months. But the government can further strengthen job creation and bolster the recovery by improving U.S. trade, especially by increasing exports.
| Sept. 18, 2014, 3:07 p.m.
From coast to coast, courts are taking action to extend equal rights to LGBT Americans. Unfortunately, back in Washington, the Republican-controlled House has extended its historic streak of inaction by continuing to allow employees to be fired simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.