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October 29, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionGovernment Capacity

Note to Biden: A President Can Do a Lot Even Without the Senate

For almost four years, the breathtaking cruelty, mismanagement, and corruption of the Trump administration have kept the pundits yapping, the printing presses running, angry congressional letters flying, and the Twittersphere ablaze. Depending on the results of next Tuesday’s election, however, Joe Biden may soon be in a position to actually do something about it all. As Biden and his advisers survey the rubble, it will be important that they not get distracted by the nonsense (“I will tweet less” is not a compelling administrative pillar), but rather home in on those features of the Trump administration that have made life worse for millions.

October 23, 2020 | Washington Monthly

Yevgeny Shrago

Op-Ed

Government Capacity

Uncle Sam’s HR Department Needs Help

Joe Biden promises a return to an honest, competent federal government. For that to happen, the government must be adequately staffed with experienced civil servants empowered to push forward his policy agenda, should he win. Without an experienced team, even the best appointees will struggle.

October 23, 2020 | Public Seminar

Mariama Eversley Yevgeny Shrago

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightGovernment Capacity

Donald Trump Politicized the Federal Bureaucracy: The Next President Needs to Reverse That

In an effort to mitigate the political damage from failing to contain the virus and manage its corollary crises, the White House recently mandated that the Department of Agriculture include a signed letter from Donald Trump inside food boxes, claiming credit for the federal program providing food to families in need. The move effectively politicized the taxpayer funded program as a tool of the president’s own self-promotion just a month before the election. Even worse, the department’s inclusion of the letter has jeopardized the program’s operation, as distribution sites fear they will be improperly engaging in political activity.

October 23, 2020

Timi Iwayemi

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionTrade Policy

Breaking With the Trade Consensus

Over the past decades, U.S. trade policies have primarily served the interests of corporate America. The result? The American worker experienced few if any of the promised benefits of globalization. President Trump seized upon this in his bid for the Presidency in 2016, but his declaration of China as an enemy and ill-advised trade war have only widened the trade deficit he vowed to close. The data show that the trade deficit reached $67 billion in August, its highest level since August 2006. More so, job growth in the manufacturing sector has been on decline since before the pandemic. Indeed, the current deficit in manufactured goods, $84 billion, is the largest on record with data starting in 1992.

October 22, 2020 | Independent Media Institute

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

How BlackRock Is On Track To Infiltrate A Biden Administration

The Democratic base, still scarred from the 2016 election, is frantic not to count its chickens before they hatch. But Wall Street and corporate America have no such qualms. As Joe Biden leads in national polls and swing states, the most powerful firms in the country are seeking assurances that his administration won’t crack down on their crimes.

October 21, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

2020 Election/Transition

The Fed’s Neglect of State and Local Governments Will Cost Us

Last week, the Congressional Oversight Commission — charged with overseeing $500 billion in federal coronavirus aid — finally published its fifth report. Disagreements between Republican and Democratic commissioners delayed its release. The Commission described in detail the blatant prioritization of Wall Street over everyday Americans of Jerome Powell’s Fed. Here’s what we learned:

October 14, 2020

Jeff Hauser Timi Iwayemi Miranda Litwak Pete Sikora

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimate

How Biden's Treasury Department Could Fight Climate Change

The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.

October 07, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionEthics in Government

The Biden Transition’s Ethics Pledge Is a Paper Tiger

For all of his failures—at business, governing, and even just sitting still and receiving proper medical care for a deadly virus—the American public can always count on Donald Trump to put on a show. For four years, he has gripped the country’s attention with an unending stream of scandals. If current polling trends are any guide, however, the curtain may soon be closing. Without all the distraction, we’ll be left squarely facing a key question: How do we fix what Trump revealed to be broken?

September 30, 2020 | American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionExecutive Branch

The Debate We Had Vs. The Debate We Needed

Tuesday’s debate, sadly, was much more about Trump’s performative unruliness than any insight into either candidate’s plan (or lack thereof) for running the executive branch. While he had some decent moments amidst Trump’s freak show act, this was a particular disappointment for Joe Biden. The best, potentially landslide-generating argument against Trump is not that he is a horrible person. Swing voters were reminded of that by Trump’s performance all evening, but few needed the reminder.

September 24, 2020 | The American Prospect

Yevgeny Shrago

Op-Ed

ClimateGovernment Capacity

Re-Fund the EPA

The wildfires and hurricanes plaguing the United States in the last month reflect the massive societal implications of climate change. Understanding the importance of this moment, Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan designed to transition the economy away from greenhouse gas emissions. The plan calls for an emission-free power sector by 2030, as well as an environmental justice component to address how climate policies have failed communities of color. Parts of Biden’s plan will require new legislation and others will deputize numerous federal agencies. But a major share of responsibility for success will fall on the Environmental Protection Agency.