the economist

Suscribirse a canal de noticias the economist
RSS feed for the Democracy in America Economist blog.
Actualizado: hace 23 horas 38 mins

A stalemate with the governor

Mar, 11/08/2015 - 01:29

“WHAT he wants is so radical,” says John Cullerton. Sitting amid the Germanic splendour of the Berghoff, a local haunt that has been serving beer and sausages for over a century, the president of the Illinois Senate explains why his state still does not have a budget for the current financial year: Bruce Rauner, the Republican governor of Illinois, is making his approval of the budget contingent on the passage of his business-friendly reform agenda. The problem is that his proposals are too radical for the Democrat-controlled Senate and lower House, Mr Cullerton says. Both sides are refusing to budge.

As a result, Illinois is now in its second month without a budget. There is little indication that Mr Rauner, Mr Cullerton and Michael Madigan, the speaker of the House, will come to an agreement soon. In May Mr Rauner, a first-year governor and political neophyte, vetoed the budget lawmakers sent him because he wanted the legislature to back his reforms (the budget also exceeded revenues by over $3 billion). He has been particularly keen on curbing payouts for workplace injuries and restricting public-sector employees’...Continue reading

When is a new voter law unconstitutional?

Dom, 09/08/2015 - 19:02

ON AUGUST 6th 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a sweeping law that would do much to protect the right to vote for all Americans, including those who have historically suffered from discrimination at the polls. When it was first passed, Southern states were systematically suppressing the black vote, in some cases violently. Over the coming decades, the law was tweaked to ban all voting practices that effectively deterred certain groups of voters. But many presumed that time and racial progress would ultimately make the law unnecessary.

Alas, 50 years on, the law continues to be cited in a number of cases involving mischief at the polls. On August 5th the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down part of a controversial voter-identification law Texas passed in 2011, one of the strictest in the country, which the state argues protects the “integrity of...Continue reading

Who were the debate's winners and losers?

Vie, 07/08/2015 - 23:38

LAST night’s Republican debate was wildly entertaining, at least as far as American political debates go. The presence of Donald Trump, a billionaire reality-TV star and GOP front-runner, brought energy and excitement to what is ordinarily a soporific rehearsal of canned platitudes punctuated by one or two moments of diverting conflict. Americans tuned in. Thursday's event was the most-watched primary debate in history.

Those who hoped to catch the bumptious Mr Trump brazenly riffing got what they wanted. Mr Trump was the biggest personality on stage, and he got more airtime than the others. However, rather than overshadowing his mainstage competitors, Mr Trump may have boosted their fortunes by giving them a much larger audience than they otherwise would have enjoyed.

Marco Rubio, a spry Florida senator, distinguished himself with poise, an appealing positive vision, and a thoughtful grasp of policy detail. He declined to take on Mr Trump’s vague bluster directly, but took advantage of the opportunity to appear crisp, competent and...Continue reading