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“People are being bribed by the government [through the mortgage interest deduction] to buy exceptionally big homes,” says economist Jonathan Gruber

If you want to understand why the tax code is so hard to overhaul, consider the case of the mortgage interest deduction. The issue is so sensitive that the House and Senate are dealing with it in completely opposite ways.

[OP-ED]: The curse of middle-aged capitalism -- for Trump and all of us

 08/21/2017 - 13:57
In 1995, the largest five firms by market “capitalization” (the value of a company’s shares) were old-line businesses: Exxon, AT&T, Coca Cola, General Electric and Merck. By 2015, only Exxon (now Exxon Mobil) remained.

 A persisting puzzle about the U.S. economy is how it can seem both strong and weak. On the one hand, it remains a citadel of innovation, producing new companies like Uber. On the other, the economy is expanding at a snail’s pace of 2 percent annually since 2010. How could both be true? Why isn’t innovation translating into faster growth? The answer -- or part of the answer -- is that American businesses are running on two separate tracks. Call them the “youthful” and “middle-aged” tracks.

[OP-ED]: El gran debate de Trump sobre el crecimiento económico

 08/15/2017 - 10:01
No hay suficiente dinero para satisfacer todas nuestras demandas, incluso a tasas más altas de crecimiento económico. Habrá conflictos entre gastos privados y gubernamentales; entre gastos nacionales y locales; entre gastos de salud y gastos de no-salud; y entre gastos dedicados a los ancianos versus los jóvenes. El presente es polémico; el futuro quizás sea peor.

La discusión entre el gobierno de Trump y sus críticos sobre una tasa de crecimiento económico sostenible suscita profundas preguntas sobre el futuro de Estados Unidos. ¿Ingresamos en un período prolongado de crecimiento económico lento? Si es así, ¿cómo altera eso la sociedad y la política? ¿O acaso las medidas “correctas” elevarán el crecimiento económico a niveles del pasado?

[OP-ED]: Trump’s great growth debate

 08/09/2017 - 08:58
There isn’t enough money to satisfy all our demands, even at higher rates of economic growth. There will be conflicts between private and governmental spending; between national and local spending; between health spending and non-health spending; and between spending on the old versus the young. The present is contentious; the future may be worse.

The argument between the Trump administration and its critics over a sustainable rate of economic growth raises profound questions about America’s future. Have we entered a prolonged period of slow growth? If so, how does that alter society and politics? Or will the “right” policies raise growth to past levels? 

If you haven’t paid attention, here’s a brief overview of the debate.

[OP-ED]: Donald Trump’s lost opportunity

 07/26/2017 - 09:12
Donald Trump could have quickly begun reshaping American politics. He heard voices that others didn’t, understood what those people wanted to hear and articulated much of it. But when it came time to deliver, it turned out that he had no serious ideas, policies, nor even the desire to search for them. EFE

There are many ways to evaluate the Trump presidency at the six-month mark. What I am struck by is the path not taken, the lost opportunity. Donald Trump had many flaws, but during the campaign, he tapped into a real set of problems facing America and a deep frustration with the existing political system. Additionally, he embraced and expressed -- somewhat inconsistently -- a populism that went beyond the traditional left-right divide. What would things look like at this point if President Trump had governed in the manner of a pragmatic, jobs-oriented reformer who was relentlessly focused on the “forgotten” Americans of whom he often speaks?

[OP-ED]: Deficits forever?

 07/20/2017 - 12:15
The federal budget remains badly out of whack, even though we are near or at “full employment” (June unemployment rate: 4.4 percent). We cannot afford tax cuts; we need tax increases.

House Republicans, who are now deliberating the government’s 2018 budget, pledge to eliminate deficits within a decade. Well, good luck with that. It must be obvious that chronic deficits reflect a basic political impasse that can be broken only if majorities in Congress do things they’ve refused to do: trim Social Security benefits; raise taxes significantly; control health spending. There is a giant mismatch between what Americans want from government and what they’ll pay for with taxes.

[OP-ED]: Heroin Corridor Cleanup – Is City Hall Addicted to Exclusion?

 07/19/2017 - 10:54
The train-tracks in  the area between Kensington Av. and Fairhill is known as “El Campamento”. The City of Philadelphia and Conrail signed an agreement in June to clean and seal this place. The company’s deadline is schedule on to July 31st. File AL DÍA News

Disappointment is how Louis Cruz described his reaction to the closed door he encountered when he sought work for his company on the project City Hall and Conrail proudly announced recently to cleanup a section of railroad tracks in West Kensington where a filthy heroin abuse corridor has festered for nearly twenty years.

Próxima Parada: Innovación

 07/05/2017 - 14:12
SEPTA isn't stopping with the SEPTA Key, new changes to the system are coming as early as July.

Coherente con su misión desde los inicios de su carrera dentro de la compañía y con un gran conocimiento de la estructura básica y el funcionamiento de ésta, el director general de SEPTA, Jeffrey D. Knueppel, habló en exclusiva con AL DIA sobre la transformación de la empresa de transporte público de Filadelfia de cara a los retos del siglo XXI.

Republican divisions force postponement of healthcare bill vote

 06/28/2017 - 05:27
Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell (R) turns away from the microphones beside Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn (L) after speaking to members of the news media outside the West Wing of the White House following a meeting to discuss healthcare legislation with Senate Republicans and US President Donald J. Trump, in Washington, DC, USA, 27 June 2017. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

 US Senate Republicans on Tuesday found themselves forced - due to internal divisions - to postpone a vote on the controversial bill designed to replace former President Barack Obama"s healthcare reform, a bill that could leave more than 20 million Americans without medical coverage.

Plain Text Author: 
EFE

[OP-ED]: Una Reforma Fiscal Disfrazada de Ley de Salud

 06/21/2017 - 18:17
Mitch McConnell

En lugar de trabajar de manera bipartidista con los demócratas para mejorar nuestro sistema salud actual, los republicanos han aprobado una propuesta de ley que permitirá que las aseguradoras regresen a sus prácticas discriminatorias de antes contra las personas con condiciones preexistentes. 

Plain Text Author: 
Bob Casey - Senador

[OP-ED]: Pensar en el bien común, la razón fundamental para ayudar a los niños a que crezcan y den lo mejor de sí mismos

 06/19/2017 - 11:10
Alumnos de una escuela gestionada por la mezquita de Blikkiesdorp, un barrio de la periferia de Ciudad del Cabo, Sudáfrica. Linn Washington

El pasado 16 de junio, Día de la Juventud, diversas protestas estallaron en varias ciudades de Sudáfrica. Dichas protestas sirvieron para recordar  los orígenes de esta importante celebración anual para el país.