Over the last few days, the uproar about news anchor Brian Williams’ claims of taking fire in Iraq in 2003 has reached extraordinary heights. I was amazed at the PhotoShopping frenzy that took place when his deception came to light. Images of Williams eating pizza with Jesus at the Last Supper; sitting in Ford’s Theater at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; and crossing the Delaware with General George Washington filled my Facebook feed and probably yours as well. They were all fake, all funny and all pretty much outrageous.
Blame it on Woodward and Bernstein—or Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Nobody really thought of journalists as celebrities until the Washington Post reporters who pursued the Watergate scandal to Richard Nixon’s disgrace were transformed into American icons by two of Hollywood’s most charismatic actors in the 1976 movie “All the President’s Men.”
From Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman ’s play “You Can’t Take It With You” (1936), a scene when Wilbur C. Henderson of the Internal Revenue Department visits Martin Vanderhof (“Grandpa”), to discuss his failure to pay income tax since the law took effect in 1914: Grandpa: Suppose I pay you this money—mind you, I don’t say I’m going to pay it—but just for the sake of argument—what’s the Government going to do with it?
One of the slow-rolling and under-reported government debacles is the rising amount of student-loan debt that is guaranteed by taxpayers and will never be repaid. Thanks to the federal takeover of the student-loan market in 2010, the Education Department now stands behind more than $1 trillion in outstanding debt. Less well known is how the same federal government that has promoted and subsidized this debt is also scheming to make sure it doesn’t have to be repaid.
After eight years as Texas Comptroller, Susan Combs leaves office this month with a record her successors might find hard to match.
Imagine an economic historian in the year 2050 talking to her students about the most consequential innovations of the early 21st century—the Model Ts and Wright flyers and Penicillins of our time. What would make her list?
The Department of Veterans Affairs provided misleading or false information to Congress and the media multiple times this summer about a year-plus review of unresolved patient consultation requests, according to an internal watchdog’s report issued Monday.
Two top state officials offered different but equally important snapshots of Texas higher education last week. They highlight decisions lawmakers face in 2015 to keep college useful and affordable for high school grads.First came state Comptroller Susan Combs with an update on the increasingly heavy debt burden that college students carry. About 6 in 10 Texas students borrow for college. They end up owing an average of $25,244, according to the Project on Student Debt.
The Democrats who were caught standing on the beach last week when the GOP’s 40-foot wave washed over them are now explaining why it wasn’t their fault.
The day after Republicans won solid majorities in the House and Senate, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader-to-be Mitch McConnell outlined priorities for the newly elected Congress. High on the list is fundamental tax reform. In addition to overhauling the federal tax code, however, Congress should rein in the Internal Revenue Service.