Gwen's Take

The Tax Cut Debate: The Latest Train Wreck Waiting To Happen

Posted: December 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

As I prepared for a PBS NewsHour discussion about the prospects of extending and expanding the year-old payroll tax holiday, I knew the challenges that lay ahead. And that was before the Senate confirmed my pessimism by rejecting not one, but two, proposals to grant Americans year-end tax relief late Thursday.

This time, I hoped for a little more nuance. After all, both sides say they agree that now is not the time to allow a tax cut to lapse that has saved many families as much as $1,000 this year. Plus, the proposal now on the table would boost those savings to $1,500, while cutting payroll taxes for small businesses as well. What’s not to like at holiday time?

A Little Q&A From The Road

Posted: November 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Not many people can boast of having traveled to Providence, R.I., Cleveland, Newark, Madison, WI. St Louis, and Venice, Italy within little more than a month.

In every instance – including the Italian trip, where I got to hang out with PBS supporters at sea – I’ve had the chance to answer lots and lots of questions about politics, Washington, and even the future of public broadcasting itself.

Condoleezza Rice Tells Her Story

Posted: November 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm

When former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice walked into our interview at her publisher’s office in New York this week, she was as composed as ever—happy to be out of Washington and now free to tell her side of a tumultuous story.

I’d just spent the past several days living inside her head as I read the memoir of her time in Washington, “No Higher Honor” (Crown Publishers). Rice, the reserved, piano-playing minister’s daughter and Russia expert, occupied center stage during eight critical years in the nation’s history.

Pick Your Poison: How Compromise Ceased To Be A Choice

Posted: October 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

It happened again the other day. Someone in the audience I was speaking to in Newark, New Jersey wanted to know: “Is compromise too much to hope for in Washington?”

And once again, I had to duck the question. I simply don’t know. But the signs are not good.

I spend my days sorting through the pronouncements of our leaders in search of answers to thorny questions like this.

Why the End of Gadhafi May Not Help Obama

Posted: October 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Three years into his Presidency, Barack Obama is turning out to be quite the tough guy.

Osama bin Laden is a bad memory. Anwar al-Awlaki – an American citizen no less – is gone. And now, thanks to U.S.-led support, Moammar Gadhafi – an ally turned pariah – is dead as well.

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