Over the past two months, the federal government has spent an unprecedented $2.6 trillion addressing the COVID-19 crisis, with another $3 trillion in new spending that is up for debate. Daniel Heil, a Hoover research fellow specializing in fiscal policy, explains the short- and long-term effects of “binge-spending” and why any serious conversation about fiscal and entitlement reform is years way at best.

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California’s current fiscal plight – a record $54.3 billion dollar budget deficit for this year and next – raises the question of how much the coronavirus is to blame. Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and a weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, discusses the poor tax and fiscal choices that are partially responsible for the Golden State finding itself awash in red ink.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom finds himself at odds with Orange County lawmakers over the opening and re-closing of Southern California beaches. Meanwhile, a “tsunami” approaches – in a ravaged economy and a wave of tax increases needed to prop up otherwise unsustainable state spending. Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow, economist, and weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, explains the size and shape of the tax tidal wave.

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Not a recession, but an emerging depression. Or so deems Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow, economist, and weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel. When will California’s economy restart? Will an anticipated Green New Deal agenda pushed by Gov. Newsom’s economic recovery task force make matters worse?

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February’s announcement of a potential US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 raises the question of the legacy of America’s military involvement in that region – a presence dating back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Col. Joseph Felter, a Hoover Institution research fellow and Iraq and Afghanistan counterinsurgency veteran, reflects on lessons learned and what comes next in South and Southeast Asia.

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A global pandemic brings the world’s fifth-largest economy – which is California – to a crawl. But will it derail the Golden State’s progressive agenda? Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, discusses how best to bring California’s economy back to life – and the opportunities (helping the gig economy) that Gov. Gavin Newsom may be ignoring.

 

The first rule of the movie Fight Club: “you do not talk about fight club.” The first rule of “fight house,” aka the White House: you talk and leak and self-promote, even if it hurts the boss. White House historian Tevi Troy, author of Fight House: Rivalries In The White House, From Truman To Trump, explains what makes for feuds and turf struggles inside the Office of the President and what challenges Donald Trump and Joe Biden face in staffing a White House in 2021.

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That’s Vladimir as in Putin, the Russian president who intends to remain in power until at least the next decade’s end – and maybe as long as 2036 – now that Russia’s high court has deemed term limits inapplicable to his current rule. Hoover senior fellow and Russian historian Robert Service offers his thoughts on Putin’s grip on power, the role of oligarchs in maintaining that power, why Putin recently engaged in an oil price war with Saudi Arabia, as well as Putin’s regional and global ambitions.

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Yes, that would be the presidential race, which slowed to a crawl courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. David Brady and Doug Rivers, Hoover Institution senior fellows and Stanford political scientists, weigh in on the state of the race – discussing what polling suggests about Joe Biden’s campaign, President Trump’s handling of the health and economic crises, and the virus’ effect on voters’ attitudes.

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Should Washington’s reaction to the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic include a stimulus package? John Cochrane, the Hoover Institution’s Jack and Rose-Marie Anderson Senior Fellow and author of the “Grumpy Economist” blog, discusses the do’s and don’ts of Washington’s economic response to the pandemic.

Remember all those predictions that Bernie Sanders was the Democratic front-runner and socialism was in vogue? That no longer seems the case after resounding Joe Biden wins in South Carolina and Super Tuesday states. David Brady, Hoover senior fellow emeritus and Stanford political scientist, weighs in on the state of the race – why the ground suddenly shifted in Biden’s favor.

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After four rounds of voting in February, the Democratic presidential primaries kick into high gear with March 3’s “Super Tuesday” avalanche of 14 states, followed by votes in key swing states across America for the remainder of the month. David Brady and Doug Rivers, Hoover senior fellows and Stanford political scientists, weigh in on the state of the race and what their tracking survey reveals as the candidates scramble for support.

Will a president of the United States ever be impeached? Was the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” clarified? Did one branch of government emerge stronger than others? What does the future hold for the FBI, FISA Court, and Special Counsels? John Yoo, a Hoover Institution fellow and UC-Berkeley law professor, discusses the legal fallout from the Trump impeachment saga.

After 40 years of service to his country, Army Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper is one of only two members of West Point’s Class of 1979 still on active duty. He reflects on changes in the military over that span, his tours abroad, and Douglas MacArthur’s principles of “duty, honor, and country.”

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A schism within the field of Democratic candidates: Medicare-for-All advocates vs. supporters of a “public option” for America’s health care system – i.e., expanded Obamacare. Hoover research fellow Tom Church details the enormous fiscal impact on government and taxpayers should a politically feasible public option become law.

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Iowans will caucus next week and the Democratic presidential field remains unsettled. David Brady and Doug Rivers, Hoover senior fellows and Stanford political scientists, weigh in on the state of the race – what their tracking survey reveals pre-Iowa, what impact Washington’s impeachment drama has had on the Democratic presidential race.

 

China cheats on trade, Iran cheats on nukes, Trump cheated his way into office…or so the allegations go. And of course, there’s baseball’s cheating scandal. Richard Epstein, the Hoover Institution’s Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow and the voice behind The Libertarian and Law Talk podcasts, weighs in on the balance of virtue and rules-flaunting in modern society.

 

Iran’s next move, a Senate impeachment trial, and the beginning of the Democratic primaries. Despite January and February’s uncertainties, Victor Davis Hanson, the Hoover Institution’s Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow, believes in this certainty: President Trump is on a path to reelection this fall.

 

Last week’s US drone attack killing Iranian military leader and terrorism architect Qassim Soleimani marks a new chapter in America’s relationship with the Persian people and their regime. Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid & Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, offers his thoughts on what happens next inside Iran.

Regardless of next November’s outcome, Republicans will be searching for a new presidential standard-bearer for 2024 and beyond. Sarah Isgur, a staff writer for The Dispatch and a CNN commentator (and, prior to that, an aide to Jeff Sessions, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina), discusses what life after Donald Trump might look like for the GOP.