'Equal sovereignty' of the states in the age of Trump

Less than a week into the new year, the Trump administration kicked off 2018 with one of the most cynical and craven acts of political favoritism in recent American history. On January 4, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke unveiled the Draft Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. That massive gift to Donald…

State block grants: The GOP’s worst health care idea of them all

Even as the U.S. Census reported that the percentage of Americans lacking health insurance dropped to a new record low of 8.8 percent, the past week was nevertheless a big one for health care reform proposals in Washington. Sen. Bernie Sanders, backed by 15 of his Democratic colleagues, unveiled his “Medicare for All” bill providing one…

Trump, GOP demand blue state payback

In recent years, “red state socialism” has become the hallmark of American federalism. That is, even as supposed GOP budget hawks loudly (and wrongly) decry “out of control” spending by Uncle Sam, less well-off Republican-controlled states generally benefit from a one-way flow of federal tax dollars made possible by wealthier blue states usually dominated by…