Papa John’s finds out the problem with blaming the NFL for its poor sales

On Papa John’s most recent earnings call, its CEO and founder John H. Schnatter blamed poor results in part on controversies surrounding the NFL, which the restaurant chain sponsors. Stepping into the middle of a political controversy was a mistake. So was clumsily trying to walk it back on Twitter. What Papa John’s said on … Continued

The Tax Policy Center demonstrates how to screw up and recover

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan organization that analyzes tax proposals, posted and then retracted an erroneous analysis of the Republican tax plan. The problem took several days to fix. If you ever screw up (and who doesn’t), take notes; this is a great case study in how to recover. What does a tax proposal … Continued

How to pay for a $1.5 trillion tax cut

The Republican tax plan reduces government receipts by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. This is not a bug, it is a feature: it is, after all, a tax cut. But a trillion is a hard number to wrap your head around. Just how big is a trillion and a half? So, here’s a … Continued

What do the Republican tax proposals really mean?

Congressional Republicans, egged on by Donald Trump, are debating changes in the tax code. Any number of pundits on both sides have weighed in, as have tax wizards at think tanks and, strangely, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders with a bizarre argument based on reporters buying beer. The analysis tends to focus on who wins … Continued

The Truman Show candidacy: a radically transparent suggestion

What really goes on behind the scenes with candidates for president or other public offices? You know shady things are going on — things that may never come out unless there’s an investigation. It’s time for radical transparency. It’s time for the first full-time livestreaming Truman Show candidate. Recent elections have proven the power of … Continued

You can count on the Bill of Rights. Except when you can’t.

The Bill of Rights — the first and most important ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution — spell out our sacred and irrefutable rights in America: free speech, the right to bear arms, and so on. In the vast and powerful imagination of Americans, these rights are inviolable. In reality, every one of them is … Continued

The Trump Administration is the most transparent presidency in history

You know everything there is to know about how Donald Trump thinks and acts. You want your government to be transparent? You got it. His every utterance get blanket coverage on cable from MSNBC to Fox News, and everything between. We have Politico, Talking Points Memo, and Breitbart dissecting his burps and asides, magnified by … Continued