Jeffrey Bell Articles

Janet Yellen’s ‘Trickle Down’ Economics

7:04 AM, Nov 19, 2013

The nomination of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal ­Reserve has come down to this: a referendum on quantitative easing and zero interest rates. The money-printing program that Ben Bernanke started five years ago this month remains Yellen’s answer for how the economy will get back on solid ground. Yet in her appearance at Thursday’s Senate Banking hearing, a bipartisan group of senators expressed dismay that Fed money printing has widened the wealth gap while fueling potential asset bubbles. 

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Lessons from Lonegan

11:18 AM, Oct 17, 2013

In his concession speech to Senator-elect Cory Booker in Bridgewater, N.J., on election night, Steve Lonegan announced that he would retire from elective politics and enter private business, rather than mount another U.S. Senate race against Booker next year or return to his post as New Jersey director of Americans for Prosperity, a high-profile position he held from 2007 until mid-2013. Whether or not he holds to this withdrawal, conservatives not just in New Jersey but the nation owe Lonegan a debt of gratitude for the underfunded yet exciting campaign he waged, and what it suggests for the future  of Republican politics.

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Marriage Politics After U.S. v. Windsor

4:20 PM, Jun 26, 2013

The Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage effectively leave the issue very much alive in state and national politics. The four justices appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama clearly would declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in a heartbeat, if they were to get a fifth vote.

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Losing Streak

The Democratic ascendancy and why it happened
Feb 11, 2013

In the six presidential elections between 1992 and 2012, the Democratic party has regained the solid popular vote majority it enjoyed during the New Deal/Great Society era (1932-64) but relinquished in the six elections between 1968 and 1988.

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How to Make 2012 into 1980

1:01 PM, Sep 26, 2012

When Republican strategists like Karl Rove cite 1980 as a model for this year’s election, they usually have in mind two main elements: Ronald Reagan’s question in the late October presidential debate about whether voters felt better off than four years earlier, when they elected Jimmy Carter, and Reagan’s ability in that debate to reassure swing voters about his ability to serve successfully if elected, converting a very close race into a ten-point blowout by “closing the deal.” 

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Disrupting Obama’s Plan for Victory

Romney can deploy the social issues.
Sep 24, 2012

In the July 2 issue of this magazine, we argued that anyone wishing to understand President Obama’s reelection strategy should forget about the 2008 election and examine instead his successful drive to win congressional approval of Obamacare in 2009-2010.

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Who Built the Recession?

Two guilty parties.
Sep 17, 2012

Bill Clinton, who rode a recession into office and left the scene just before another one began, knows something about the blame game. Addressing the Democratic convention on Wednesday night, he made a full-throated effort to defend the Obama presidency by putting it in the context of past Republican failure.

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Obama’s Victory Plan

The economy won’t necessarily do him in.
Jul 02, 2012

If you’re wondering how President Obama plans to get reelected in 2012—and why he might succeed—look back not to 2008 but to his successful campaign to win congressional passage of Obamacare during 2009 and early 2010.

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The Politics of Polarization

Why you won’t see a centrist Third Way this year.
May 28, 2012

The organization “Americans Elect” spent $35 million on a new “centrist” party and nobody came. In announcing that no presidential candidate had received the 10,000 online votes needed to qualify for its online convention, the group’s chief executive, Kahlil Byrd, said there was “an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership, and millions of Americans who have supported Americans Elect to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.

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Gay Marriage: North Carolina and the Nation

7:15 AM, May 09, 2012

Yesterday’s overwhelming approval of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions by the voters of North Carolina underlines the growing likelihood that the issue will be a major factor in the 2012 presidential election. Consider the following circumstances:

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The Issue Mix

Mitt Romney needs to run on more than just the economy.
Apr 30, 2012

"Republican leaders urge candidate truce on social issues” was the headline in the Washington Examiner. “Republicans retreat on gay marriage” said another in Politico. The accompanying articles, while in some respects tendentious and a bit misleading, are accurate in relaying a mindset widely shared by GOP elites.

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Social Issues On Track to Matter

5:20 PM, Mar 14, 2012

Despite reports of Republican devastation in the contraception debate, social conservative themes show surprising signs of hanging around.

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George W. Bush's Man in the Middle

11:00 AM, Nov 05, 2011

Tim Goeglein served more than seven years as special assistant to President George W. Bush and as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. By his own account, his job involved no making of public policy. He resigned in mid-2008, after admitting charges of plagiarism in the writing of columns for a daily newspaper in his home state of Indiana.

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Republicans Learn Moneyball

Why the GOP candidates need to talk about the Fed.
Oct 24, 2011

Three Republican presidential candidates​—​Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich​—​have at least hinted about the desirability of a return to the gold standard. The four top Republican congressional leaders recently called on the Federal Reserve to curb its interventions in the U.S. economy. In early October the Heritage Foundation held a two-day sound money conference in which both keynote speakers​—​New York investment banker Lewis Lehrman and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes​—​called for adoption of a gold-backed dollar. Advocating the replacement of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has become a

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Follow the Money

The GOP risks misdiagnosing the weak economy.
Feb 21, 2011

Freshman Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, one of the most promising of the new wave of Tea Party-allied Republican legislators, was chosen to give the Republican radio address, delivered just after President Obama’s weekly radio offering, on Saturday, January 29. This was a notable assignment for a freshman because, for a party not occupying the White House, the weekly radio address (often billed as a “response”) is customarily seen as representing the views of the national opposition party as a whole.

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