Obama's Second-Term Agenda
Posted at noon on Nov. 9, 2012
National Journal provides a must-read deep dive on the “litany of thorny problems that face Washington over the next two years,” including the economy, budget, energy policy, social issues, health care, technology, immigration, education, transportation, foreign policy, and national security.
“The need for faster growth, coupled with rock-bottom borrowing costs, almost certainly cries out for more fiscal stimulus, such as bridge-repair projects and other infrastructure improvements. Other means to growth might come much cheaper. Obama and federal regulators must finish implementing the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law. The White House and Congress must forge agreements on what role the government should take in the housing market.”
“Over the next two years, the president will have one more chance to push carbon-pricing legislation through Congress—this time, however, with a distinctly different political profile. As early as next year, Congress is expected to take up a sweeping tax-reform package that would lower corporate rates and eliminate loopholes in the tax code. As part of that process, support is growing for a carbon tax, to be paired with a cut in the payroll or income tax.”
“The president spent the past year setting up the education agenda for his second term. Now all he has to do is put the strategy in motion. It has three parts—access to college; waivers for state public-school systems; and early-childhood development. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will stay in his Cabinet post to guide the existing department programs to the finish line. That means the incentives the administration now dangles in front of states to create teacher evaluations, to rework their student assessments, or to turn around failing schools will continue.”