Original Reporting

Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Environment, Regulation
It’s a lamentably old sport, says the agency’s two-time leader, whose memories of Washington stretch back to a time when “the Clean Air Act passed the House by 374 to 1, and the Senate by 73 to nothing,” and who occasionally dares to dream about a more constructive relationship between Congress and federal rule-makers. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Health care, Medicine
With little action being taken to deal with an increasing shortage of physicians, some say that expanding the scope-of-practice of advanced practice nurses can help fill the gap. Others insist that, in the long-term, the U.S. needs to ramp up production of both doctors and nurses. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Regulation
On the Issa Committee stage, businesses accuse the Obama Administration of ignoring their complaints. The examples they cite suggest that such complaints are being heard loud and clear. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Aging, Health care, Medicine
Despite a looming public health crisis, lawmakers have yet to seriously address the problem of physician supply. And because it takes a long time to train a doctor, the window to act is closing fast. More
Original Reporting | By Greg Marx | Economy, Education, Income inequality
As policy-makers grope for strategies to deliver broadly shared economic prosperity, calls for increased education are more insistent than ever. But a closer look at the actual experience of American workers suggests the message often implied by what might be called “the education answer” — that vast quantities of good-paying jobs are waiting to be created in new, scientific-sounding industries, and that a bachelor’s degree is the key to landing one of them — is woefully incomplete. More
Original Reporting | By Brian Paul | Environment, NYC, Transportation
Despite New York City’s extensive mass transportation network, its streetscape was, for decades, distinctly car-centric. In April 2007, however, a new commissioner of the Department of Transportation upended the traditional order of the road with her vision of redesign roadways to serve pedestrians, bicyclists, and buses as well. Recent efforts to extend the network outside of Manhattan have spurred opposition and local Council Members, and interviews with some of those opponents suggests that some have a striking unwillingness to recognize either the actual demographics of their districts, or to imagine the possibility that current preferences about transit options could be malleable. More
Original Reporting | By Diana Jean Schemo | Economy, State government, Taxes
The tendency of states to try to outbid their neighbors — with business incentives or lowered tax rates — has serious consequences. Practiced among Republican and Democratic governors alike, the dog-eat-dog approach has, according to much research, caused states to squeeze their own coffers and weaken environmental regulations, while lavishing subsidies both on firms that relocate anyway, and on those that might have stayed even without incentives. Are states failing to imagine another very basic possibility? What if, instead of persistently undercutting each other, they banded together in interstate agreements? What if they agreed on a common floor for environmental or business regulations? What if states agreed not to fish for jobs in their neighbor’s pond, or sought region-wide revenue increases that would eliminate the fear of being left behind or outgunned? More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Budget deficit, Education
No one has done more than the billionaire private-equity investor Peter G. Peterson to stir America’s anxiety over deficits, debt, and what Peterson (among others) considers out-of-control entitlement-program spending. Those same concerns now lie at the heart of a “fiscal responsibility” curriculum being developed for America’s high schools. The curriculum bears the stamp of Columbia University’s prestigious Teachers College, but reflects the focus suggested by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which provided $2.4 million in funding for the project. More