Articles filed under Hamilton, Lee

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  • Always hope in the next political moment Sep 5, 2014 1:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: There is great unease in the land — concern about economic inequality, disgust with scorched-earth politics in Washington. But the long reach of our history teaches that when an aroused public forces political leaders to focus on finding solutions to problems, we can overcome differences and make progress.

     
  • Why government transparency matters Aug 22, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: One of the fundamental lessons of 9/11 was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that al-Qaida posed, but because the agencies charged with our safety did not share what they knew, either up and down the chain of command or with each other. The attacks were preventable with shared information.

     
  • Why government fails, and what we should do Aug 8, 2014 1:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: What’s odd is that while the frequent failures in government’s performance are very much on ordinary people’s minds, politicians don’t talk much about fixing them

     
  • Why incumbents keep getting re-elected Jul 29, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Nearly three-quarters of Americans want to throw out most members of Congress, including their own representative, yet the vast majority of incumbents will be returning to Capitol Hill in January. In other words, Americans scorn Congress but keep re-electing its members. How could this be?

     
  • Are we doomed to polarization? Jul 13, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don’t much like the way it’s performing. The reason for this dissatisfaction is clear. Polls in recent years detail a polarized nation, divided both ideologically and politically.

     
  • The lesson Congress should learn from the VA scandal Jun 29, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Like other federal scandals before it, the mess involving VA hospitals has followed a well-trod path. First comes the revelation of misdoing. Then comes the reaction: a shocked public, an administration on the defensive, grandstanding members of Congress. Finally, major reform bills get introduced, debated, then put aside when the heat dies down, or the target agency gets more money thrown at the problem. With the VA, we’re at the reform part of the cycle.

     
  • What our country needs from the press Jun 17, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: These days, the scandal involving long wait times at VA hospitals can feel like some made-in-Washington spectacle generated by politicians looking for headlines. But it isn’t. It had its genesis in a late-April report on CNN that as many as 40 veterans may have died waiting for appointments at VA hospitals in Phoenix. And it’s a reminder of just how important old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting remains to our system of government, especially when it uncovers official misdoing.

     
  • Why I still have faith in Congress Jun 4, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: It’s depressing to read poll after poll highlighting Americans’ utter disdain for Congress. But it’s my encounters with ordinary citizens at public meetings or in casual conversation that really bring me up short. In angry diatribes or in resigned comments, people make clear their dwindling confidence in both politicians and the institution itself.

     
  • Prepare yourself for more of the same May 21, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: I felt a brief surge of hope about Congress a few weeks ago. It was returning from Easter recess, and Capitol Hill was filled with talk about immigration reform, a minimum-wage bill, a spending bill to keep the government operating, and maybe even funding for transportation infrastructure. But, as I said, it was brief.

     
  • The justices and the scramble for cash May 7, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: I fervently hope that support for public financing and for muscular disclosure laws will grow with time, because our politics will be more democratic, more honest, and more free if we reduce the impact of money on elections.

     
  • Government as innovator? You bet! Apr 20, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: There are many reasons to reduce government spending. But in this case they’re wrong.

     
  • A broken system en route to failure Apr 10, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Government today is highly pressured and deals with tough, complicated problems. It needs to be able to recruit and retain first-rate talent; you don’t want a second-rate lawyer negotiating a nuclear arms treaty.

     
  • Congress must be repaired from within Mar 26, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: It is no coincidence that this comes while Congress has developed a taste for so-called “unorthodox lawmaking,” wandering far outside its traditional procedures. That’s why I would argue that as grim as things seem now, there is a fix for what ails Congress.

     
  • Where Congress falls short, and where it doesn’t Mar 19, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Congress, I said, does some things fairly well. Its members for the most part want to serve their constituents and the country. They may be ambitious — it’s hard to be a successful politician if you’re not — but they’re not motivated primarily by personal interest.

     
  • An alternative to the imperial presidency Feb 25, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: The march toward presidential unilateralism, whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican, dangerously undercuts our constitutional system. Before we give up on the separation of powers, let’s try strengthening Congress.

     
  • In new budgeting, the demise of policy, rise of power Jan 24, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: The budget bill that congressional leaders produced is hardly a triumph. Instead, itís another example of Congressís stubborn determination to deal itself out of the budgeting process.

     
  • Trust is a pillar on which government stands Jan 10, 2014 5:00 PM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Trust is essential to our political system and our way of life. The belief that people and institutions will do what they say they will do is the coin of the realm in our society.

     
  • Congress still isnít being responsible Dec 20, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Congress is winding down its historically unproductive session with a small flurry of activity. Itís a welcome change, but so long overdue that it canít possibly make up for what should have been accomplished on Capitol Hill this year.

     
  • Why doesnít Congress aim higher? Dec 5, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Congressional budget negotiators are moving to meet a Dec. 13 deadline to produce, well, something. For weeks, weíve been told to keep expectations low.

     
  • Dogged journalism a blessing, not a curse Nov 27, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: At a moment like this, we have to depend more than ever on the curiosity, skill and determination of good reporters to spur the kind of debate we should be having as our society tries to strike the right balance between security and freedom.

     
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