• A First Step for Prison Reform

    A First Step for Prison Reform

    Recently, I attended the White House Prison Reform Summit.

    The fact that both the president and the vice president were at the event indicates the importance that the Trump administration ascribes to this issue.

    And statistics quoted by Vice President Mike Pence explain why our existing prison system should trouble us all.

    According to the vice president, “Every year, while 650,000 people leave America’s prisons, within three years two-thirds of them are arrested again. More than half will be convicted; 40 percent will find themselves back where they started, behind bars. It’s a cycle of criminality. It’s a cycle of failure.”

    The encouraging news is that we’re seeing a level of bipartisan cooperation on this issue that is rare in Washington these days.

  • Moving Embassy to Jerusalem Shows the US Is Unique. Just Like Israel.

    Moving Embassy to Jerusalem Shows the US Is Unique. Just Like Israel.

    I was privileged to attend the dedication of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14—an event of enormous import that will remain with me forever.

    I am deeply grateful to Ambassador David Friedman and his wife, Tammy, for inviting me to this historic event. The United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is important not just for the United States and Israel but also for the entire world.

    We might start thinking about this by considering the unique relationship between these two countries.

    Regardless of how some choose to think about the United States today, the country’s founding generation was largely Christian men and women.

  • Welfare With No End in Sight Is a Terrible Fate. Let's Help Americans Avoid It.

    Welfare With No End in Sight Is a Terrible Fate. Let’s Help Americans Avoid It.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is high on the Republican list of programs targeted for reform—and justifiably so.

    The program has gone from 17 million enrollees in 2000 to about 43 million today, with outlays up from about $25 billion to more than $70 billion.

    The Trump administration’s budget submitted last February includes major reforms to the program, designed to save $216 billion over the next decade. Now the House Agriculture Committee has put forth its own reforms as part of the bill reauthorizing the budget of the Department of Agriculture for the next five years.

    The problem with the food stamp program is similar to the problem of the other anti-poverty, welfare programs on which we spend almost 25 percent of the federal budget.

  • Trump Should Focus on Debt Crisis Rather Than Raising Tariffs

    Trump Should Focus on Debt Crisis Rather Than Raising Tariffs

    Donald Trump achieved the presidency telling the American people he would “Make America Great Again.”

    Given that during eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency there was not a single year in which national satisfaction, as measured by Gallup, averaged above 30 percent, tapping into Americans’ general dissatisfaction with the state of the nation was good campaign strategy.

    This February, national satisfaction reached the highest its been under Trump, 36 percent. However, in March it plunged back down to 28 percent. And this big drop was fueled by a big drop among Republicans. National satisfaction among Republicans dropped from 67 percent in February to 52 percent in March.

  • Pennsylvania’s Special Election Is a Wake-Up Call

    Pennsylvania’s Special Election Is a Wake-Up Call

    I’m perplexed why many in Republican circles are rationalizing and dismissing the gravity of the Democratic victory in the recent special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

    My sentiments are more with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is cautioning Republicans to view this as a wake-up call to a possible disaster in the fall elections in which the Congress could flip to Democrat control.

    Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District is a poster child of Trump voters. As widely noted, President Donald Trump won this district by 20 points in 2016.

    The district’s electorate is 94 percent white, compared with 70 percent nationwide.

  • The Crisis of Our Young Men

    The Crisis of Our Young Men

    Writing last week about the opioid crisis, I suggested that, as we consider policy options for dealing with the problem, we consider that at least some part of it may reflect a spiritual, moral crisis in the country.

    I noted that casualties from opioids show that they are disproportionately men, disproportionately divorced or never married, and disproportionately individuals with no more than a high school education.

    We can look beyond the opioid crisis and see a broad, disturbing picture pointing to a social and spiritual crisis among our young men.

    In 2016, Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., published a book called “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis.”

    He discusses what he calls a “flight from work” in which droves of our male population have disappeared from the work force.