Columnist: George Will

Mar. 22, 2015 @ 03:34 PM

Social inequality's roots are steadily deepening

The rate of dog ownership is rising ominously. How can a profusion of puppies be worrisome? A report from the Raymond James financial services firm concerning trends in the housing market explains: Increasing numbers of women "are adopting dogs for security and/or companionship," partly because of "the great education divide."


Mar. 19, 2015 @ 11:51 AM

Ohio’s Kasich waits in the wings, suited up

Ideas fly from Gov. John Kasich like sparks from a flint. While explaining his prison reforms, he interrupts himself mid-sentence -- his sentences, like some e. e. Cummings poems, are unpunctuated -- to praise a Delaware church that buys prom dresses for low-income high school girls. His spirit would add spice and his policies would add substance to the Republican presidential contest.


Mar. 15, 2015 @ 03:49 PM

The prescience of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

In the mid-1960s, a social scientist noted something ominous that came to be called "Moynihan's Scissors:" Two lines on a graph crossed, replicating a scissors' blades. The descending line charted the decline in the minority male unemployment rate. The ascending line charted the simultaneous rise of new welfare cases.  


Mar. 11, 2015 @ 08:22 PM

The Export-Import Bank's bipartisan grip on existence

Conservatives' next disappointment will at least be a validation. The coming reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will confirm their warnings about the difficulty of prying the government's tentacles off what should be society's private sphere.


Mar. 08, 2015 @ 06:35 PM

Obama needs GOP for Asian trade deal

Michael Froman received from a Harvard Law School classmate, Barack Obama, a job that validates the axiom that the unlikelihood of any negotiation reaching agreement grows by the square of the number of parties involved. In trade negotiations, even one's own country is troublesome, as the catfish conundrum illustrates. And the degree of difficulty in achieving a free trade pact is proportional to the number of Democrats in Congress.


Mar. 04, 2015 @ 08:00 PM

Stopping the IRS’ persistent pattern of corruption

Rep. Peter Roskam is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois Lerner's legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS exempt-organizations division, directed the suppression of conservative advocacy groups by delaying and denying them the tax exempt status that was swiftly given to comparable liberal groups.


Feb. 25, 2015 @ 08:01 PM

Reversing course in Illinois

CHICAGO -- The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century's most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six elections. But by electing businessman Bruce Rauner, it initiated a process that might dismantle a form of governance that afflicts many states and municipalities.


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 08:33 AM

War authorization's difficult and urgent debate

Americans, a litigious people, believe that rules for coping with messy reality can be written in tidy legal language. This belief will be tested by the debate that will resume when Congress returns from a recess it should not have taken, with a war to authorize. The debate concerns an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State and also against ...


Feb. 15, 2015 @ 04:02 PM

Americans should curb their pessimism

Barack Obama's tone of mild exasperation when tutoring the public often makes his pronouncements grating even when they are sensible. As was his recent suggestion that Americans, misled by media, are exaggerating the threat of terrorism.


Feb. 11, 2015 @ 08:01 PM

The Pence paradox

WASHINGTON -- Although he is always preternaturally placid, Mike Pence today exemplifies a Republican conundrum. Sitting recently 24 blocks from Capitol Hill, where he served six terms as a congressman, and eight blocks from the White House, which some Republicans hope he craves, Pence, now in his third year as Indiana's governor, discussed two issues, Common Core and Medicaid expansion, that illustrate the following:

 


Feb. 08, 2015 @ 11:45 PM

Education is the business of the states

In 1981, Tennessee's 41-year-old governor proposed to President Ronald Reagan a swap: Washington would fully fund Medicaid and the states would have complete responsibility for primary and secondary education. Reagan, a former governor, was receptive. But Democrats, who controlled the House and were beginning to be controlled by teachers unions (the largest, the National Education Association, had bartered its first presidential endorsement, of Jimmy Carter, for creation of the Department of Education) balked.  


Feb. 08, 2015 @ 11:52 AM

Education is the business of the states

In 1981, Tennessee's 41-year-old governor proposed to President Ronald Reagan a swap: Washington would fully fund Medicaid and the states would have complete responsibility for primary and secondary education. Reagan, a former governor, was receptive. But Democrats, who controlled the House and were beginning to be controlled by teachers unions (the largest, the National Education Association, had bartered its first presidential endorsement, of Jimmy Carter, for creation of the Department of Education) balked.   


Jan. 28, 2015 @ 08:23 PM

Bud Selig's winning legacy

The business of baseball and the nation's business used to be conducted in Washington with similar skill. The Washington Senators were run by Clark Griffith, who said: "Fans like home runs, and we have assembled a pitching staff to please our fans." Today, however, Washington's team is a model of best practices. The government? Less so.


Jan. 21, 2015 @ 08:17 PM

George Will: The mushrooming welfare state

America’s national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:


Jan. 18, 2015 @ 12:08 PM

Mitt's third run would be no charm

After his third loss, in 1908, as the Democratic presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan enjoyed telling the story of the drunk who three times tried to enter a private club. After being tossed out into the street a third time, the drunk said: "They can't fool me. Those fellows don't want me in there!"