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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Without a budget plan of their own to offer House Republicans try to steal the president’s thunder

“Show me your budget,” President Joe Biden is fond of saying, “[and] I’ll tell you what you value.” Biden introduced his 2024 budget on March 9 at the Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden’s 182-page, $6.9 trillion budget plan advances a vision of the United States based on the idea that the government should invest in workers, families, and infrastructure to increase the purchasing power of those on the “demand side” of the economy. It offers a stark contrast to the theory of the Republicans since the 1980s, that the government should cut taxes and slash government spending...

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Showcase of extremism at CPAC: Trump embraces grievances that echo surge of fascist movements

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) met in Washington DC, over the March 4 weekend, sparking speculation over the 2024 Republican presidential field. Hard-right figures like Donald Trump and his loyalists Mike Lindell, the MyPillow entrepreneur, and Kari Lake, who lost the 2022 race for Arizona governor, attended, along with House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) and right-wing media figure Steve Bannon, but many of those testing the 2024 presidential waters gave it a miss. CPAC started in 1974, and since then it has been a telltale for the direction the Republican Party is going. This year was...

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How MAGA Republican’s radical tax bill will dismantle the federal system created by Civil War Republicans

One of the promises House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made to the extremist members of the Republican conference to win his position was that he would let them bring the so-called Fair Tax Act to the House floor for a vote. On January 8, Representative Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) introduced the measure into Congress. The measure repeals all existing income taxes, payroll taxes, and estate and gift taxes, replacing them with a flat national sales tax of 30% on all purchased goods, rents, and services. Its advocates nonsensically call it a 23% tax because, as Bloomberg opinion writer Matthew...

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A conservative fantasy: GOP leaders seek way out of economic ruin after growing debt by trillions

Republican control of the House of Representatives has fed a changing dynamic. After decades of playing defense, the Democrats are going on offense. President Joe Biden visited Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he talked about protecting Medicare and Medicaid. He was careful — as he always is — to differentiate between “an awful lot of really good Republicans” and the “MAGA Republicans.” “There’s kind of like, in my view, sort of two Republican Parties.” The MAGA Republicans, he said, “want to eliminate a lot of healthcare coverage,… increase costs for millions of Americans, and make deep cuts in programs that...

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When rightwing politicians weaponize public opinion to cover-up investigations into their schemes

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently asked six former presidents and their vice presidents to look to see if they have any presidential records, including documents marked classified, in their possession. It sent the letters to representatives for former presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan and former vice presidents Mike Pence, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, and Dan Quayle. It did not make a similar request to former president Jimmy Carter because although he was the one who signed the Presidential Records Act into law, it...

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Why the far right opposes the idea that the United States has ever practiced systemic racism

Nick Anderson of the “Washington Post” recently showed how the Advanced Placement course on African American studies changed between February 2022, when its prototype first appeared, and February 2023, when the official version was released. One word, in particular, had vanished: the word “systemic.” In February 2022, “systemic” appeared before “marginalization; in April 2022, “systemic” came before “discrimination, oppression, inequality, disempowerment and racism.” By February 2023, that word was gone. While the College Board, which produces the AP courses, says it did not change the course in response to its rejection by Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who said...

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