Barack Obama

Cutting Long-Term Deficits Alone Won’t Fix the Economy

Washington is mesmerized these days with the two parties’ various stratagems to turn the deficit debate to their own advantage.   But all this political maneuvering may carry a big cost for Americans, as it sidelines any serious action on our larger, more immediate economic problems.   The U.S. expansion is in some danger today, but not from the deficit projections for 2015 and 2020.   The economy continues to grapple with structural problems that have led to a decade now of weak job creation and stagnating incomes.  Beyond that, we also face strong economic undercurrents coming from rising energy prices, the prospect of another financial shock from Europe’s growing sovereign debt difficulties, and the gathering economic aftershocks from Japan’s terrible disasters.  And while the two parties in Congress scheme and struggle over deficit plans, the party (and person) most likely to win next year will be the one that uses the debate over spending and taxes to credibly address jobs and incomes.  

A deficit debate designed to do that would look and sound very different from today’s charges and countercharges.   For example, it would certainly include steps of some kind to stem home foreclosures and stabilize housing prices, because those are key factors for rebooting consumer spending and business investment.  With the bottom 80 percent of Americans owning just 7 percent of the country’s financial assets, home equity has long been the only significant asset held by the most Americans – and the sharp decline in the value of most people’s home equity has left average Americans poorer on top of their long-stagnating incomes.  Until home values turn up again, most people will continue to hold back on family spending, which in turn will continue to dampen business investment.  And without strong business investments in technologies and other capital, most workers’ incomes can’t rise. 

The deficit debate already includes a ready but very wrongheaded response to housing, namely cutting back on the mortgage interest deduction.   Yes, it would raise some revenues; but it also would further depress housing values.  Instead, we should figure out the best way to help people keep their homes out of foreclosure – for example, a temporary, two-year program of bridge loans to people facing foreclosures.   And if we do it right, it could even help us out with the long-term deficit:  For example, Washington could make itself the priority lender for repayment if a homeowner loses the house anyway or, if a later sale produces capital gains, taxpayers could claim a small share of those gains.

The President’s deficit plan does include gestures towards the country’s larger economic challenges, in his insistence on modest funding increases for education, infrastructure, and research and development.  But those increases aren’t enough to move the needle on jobs and incomes, and so they’re also not enough to inspire broad support for smart public investment.  To have a shot at doing both, these initiatives have to touch most Americans.  For example, for less than a few hundred million dollars – almost chump changes these days – Congress could provide grants to community colleges to open their computer labs on the weekends to any adult who wants free training in computer and Internet skills.   We also could ensure that this investment would more than pay for itself.  For example, those who use the service could be required to return the favor to taxpayers, by paying an extra one or two percent income tax on increases in their incomes in the following two or three years.

The economy’s crying need to upgrade its infrastructure – from roads and highways, to city-wide wifi and a smart energy grid – also could be used to jumpstart job creation, and not just with temporary jobs at large construction companies.  Since new and young businesses are the strongest engines of job growth, we could set aside 20 percent of the funding for these projects for newly-formed businesses that would then provide hundreds of goods and services for the projects.  This kind of provision could stimulate the formation of thousands of new businesses, and the taxes on their profits and on the incomes of their new workers would go to the deficit. 

We also could stimulate job creation more directly while raising revenues at the same time.  Multinationals today keep overseas some $1 trillion in profits from their foreign operations, in order to avoid high U.S. corporate taxes.  We could let them bring back those funds at a lower tax rate, if they expand their U.S. workforces.  For example, any multinational that increases its U.S. workforce by 5 percent could bring back 50 percent of their foreign earnings at the preferential rate – or bring back 60 percent of those earnings in exchange for a 6 percent increase in their U.S. employees.  And, yes, it should ease the deficit since otherwise, most of those earnings will remain abroad indefinitely, and so untaxed here.  And on top of that, the new jobs generate income that also will produce additional revenues.  

Whether or not you like these particular approaches, they provide a glimpse into how far off-target the current deficit debate has veered.  The only economic justification for reducing any deficit is that doing so will in some way produce better times; and in this time, that especially means more jobs and higher incomes.  Unhappily, any current debate about how to produce those better times has been hijacked by Paul Ryan’s radical plan to cut every program that Republicans have ever disliked, and by the tempting target it offers Democrats.  

Yes, huge, long-term deficits do matter economically.  If history is any guide – as it usually is in economics – we have two to three years to enact a credible glide path to more sustainable levels of federal borrowing for the following decade.  That’s what Washington did in the 1980s and again in the 1990s, and it helped create tens of millions of jobs and, especially in the 1990s, healthy income gains.  The task is harder today, because the economy in this period doesn’t deliver jobs and rising incomes the way it used to.  That calls for two steps.  First, protect existing jobs and incomes while the economy remains fragile and vulnerable to the outside shocks, by foregoing more cuts in this year’s deficit.  And second, use the deficit debate to advance initiatives that address what Americans truly and properly care about, namely their jobs and incomes. 

President Obama Wins the First Round with Paul Ryan

Yesterday’s presidential address on fiscal policy was a very striking scene.  The venue was a small auditorium at George Washington University.  Invitations went out just two days earlier; and with so little notice, GWU students made up more than half of the audience.  Another row was filled up by former Democratic economic policy officials – myself and perhaps 10 others – directors of Democratic-allied policy shops (led by our Simon Rosenberg), and a smattering of CEOs and senior Senate staffers.  Just before the President took the stage, his economic team filed in – Bill Daley, Tim Geithner, Gene Sperling, Jack Lew -- along with Vice President Biden and his new chief-of-staff, fresh from directing the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission.  Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles were there too, along with other Commission members – and here’s what added drama to the scene – including Representative Paul Ryan, this year’s Republican guru on the budget sitting uncomfortably in the first row.  The moment the President finished – without exaggeration – Ryan bolted for the exit.  Perhaps he suspected, like the rest of us, that the President’s plan is smarter, fairer, more balanced and more credible than his own. 

Both blueprints would reduce deficits by $4 trillion over the next 10 (Ryan) or 12 (Obama) years, but the real difference lies in revenues.  The Congressman would give away another $1 trillion in new tax cuts to high-income Americans and business, while the President would collect an additional $1 trillion in revenues.  The consequent $2 trillion difference explains how the President, unlike Ryan, can stabilize federal debt as a share of GDP while preserving the basic guarantees of Medicare and Medicaid.  And there was one telling moment during the speech which demonstrated how new revenues change the choices that Americans now face with the debt: The President was interrupted by applause only once, when he said, “They [Republicans under Ryan’s plan] want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that's paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs. That's not right. And it's not going to happen as long as I'm President.”  

Obama’s plan, then, recasts the issue from the GOP choice between spiraling debt and drastic cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and all domestic spending, to a new choice between higher taxes on the top one or two percent of Americans and preserving health care coverage for elderly and low-income people while also controlling the debt.  That choice can be cast even more starkly: Control the debt by forcing seniors to pick up two-thirds of their own health care costs by 2030 (CBO’s estimate of the impact of Ryan’s plan) or deny wealthy Americans their most recent and future tax cuts.  If you believe the polls, Americans today overwhelming favor President Obama’s priorities over Representative Ryan’s. 

With his additional revenues, the President still has to find $3 trillion in spending reductions.  One big chunk of cash would come from broadening and strengthening the cost-control measures in his signature health care reforms, including reimbursing hospitals and doctors based on results rather than volume and authorizing a new federal board to mandate rather than merely recommend the use of proven, cost-saving approaches to treating Medicare patients. He also calls for a new version of an old budget mechanism from the late-1980s, which would trigger automatic, across-the-board cuts in domestic spending whenever the deficit exceeds a certain level.  In the end, OMB number crunchers believe that these and other measures would shave $2 trillion from spending over 12 years, and the lower deficits would save another $1 trillion in interest payments on the debt.  

President Obama’s approach also allows him to preserve the substantial new public investments in education, infrastructure, clean energy and basic R&D which he called for in his latest budget.  By putting together a plan to control deficits while increasing public investments – the “cut-and-invest” approach championed by Bill Clinton in the 1990s – he assumes an optimistic, can-do attitude that recalls Ronald Reagan.  And the implicit contrast with the Republican “the sky is falling” recipe of large sacrifices may serve his reelection nearly as well as it did Reagan’s.  

These choices will not be resolved anytime soon.  GOP leaders immediately rejected the President’s blueprint.  Yet, they and their Democratic counterparts know full well that any resolution will require real compromises that include both additional revenues and some paring of entitlements.  Based on the deficit struggles of the 1980s and 1990s, they also know that it will likely take several years for both sides to find and comfortably claim some common ground.   Even so, the President’s speech will have more immediate consequences, because it may well make the GOP’s position on the debt limit politically untenable.  They no longer can argue credibly that they have to hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage in order to force the President to get serious about the debt.  The country now has a choice, and the Republicans can no longer say, our way or no way, when it would risk pushing up U.S. interest rates and possibly shaking the global economy.  The current impasse over the debt limit will be resolved with some face-saving commitment by both sides to begin negotiating in good faith. 

LA TIMES: More Can Be Done To Curb American Guns Going Across Border

NDN has written about how the increase in violence on the Mexican side of the border has correlated directly to the increase in the flow of American guns across said border.

The Los Angeles Times recently wrote an editorial that contextualizes just how impactful the flow of guns into Mexico is in the Drug war that is enveloping that country. The editorial correctly points out that Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the western hemisphere and their is no reason that the United States not require stricter restrictions on border state gun dealers who sell more then three high powered assault rifles:

“Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the hemisphere. Citizens are permitted to buy low-caliber firearms for self-protection or hunting, but only after a background check and approval by the defense ministry; they must also purchase the guns directly from the ministry. The goal of this parsimonious approach to allotting firearms is a society free from gun violence. Unfortunately for Mexico, however, its weapons management strategy is sabotaged by an accident of location — its residence next door to the gun capital of the world.”

The conceptualization of the United States as the gun capitol of the world is an important one when contextualizing just how relatively easy it is to get guns here as opposed to the difficulty Latin American countries face in their states:

“The United States is awash in guns. Americans own an estimated 283 million guns, and 4.5 million new ones, including 2 million handguns, are sold each year, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Nor are these weapons confined to U.S. borders and households. Officials say that they are pouring south into Mexico, into the hands of violent drug cartels.”

According to the editorial the ATF has asked President Obama for permission to require states along the border to require gun dealerships to report purchases of multiple high powered rifles.

This is a pretty common sense approach to limiting the flow of guns across the border or at the very least tracking the movement of guns from the United States to DRUG DEALERS…. This is the sort of practical application of federal and state laws that people concerned about border security should advocate for, or as the editorial puts in starker terms.

“The regulation would not prohibit sales, purchases or ownership. Also, tracing is conducted only after a crime has been committed, not before. One objection that cannot be dismissed is that the new rule would create more paperwork for some border-adjacent gun retailers. No business likes new red tape from Washington, but with the national security of two countries involved, the trade-off is worth the inconvenience.”

Why It Doesn’t Matter Much that Obama’s Jobs Record is Better than Bush’s


The great partisan squabble of 2011 over the economy begins this week with the new Congress.  Even if some of the rhetoric seems fresh, the core issues likely to become the stuff of real political fights – the terms of entitlement spending, the shape of the tax code, and the value of public investment -- are all familiar from battles during the previous two administrations.  There is one important difference, however, which will startle both sides.  When we probe the economics and politics, it appears that the real issue for most Americans isn’t jobs and unemployment, but incomes and wealth. 

The first clue lies in public data which have been almost universally ignored:  George W. Bush’s record on jobs was much worse than Barack Obama’s.  Both men took office during recessions which had taken shape under their predecessors, but with quite different effects.  So far, we have 21 months of jobs data under Obama, from February 2009 to November 2010:  Over that period, as the administration took numerous steps to support the economy, American businesses shed a net of 1,975,000 jobs.  George W. Bush’s approach was much simpler, relying almost entirely on large tax cuts.  Yet, even though the 2001 downturn was barely a blip compared to what Obama would face eight years later, Bush saw 2,852,000 private-sector jobs disappear in his first 21 months.  The job losses in Bush’s first two years, then, were nearly 1 million larger than during Obama’s first two years.  Set aside the first six months of each president’s term, before their policies could take effect, and the comparison grows even starker.  In those subsequent 15-month periods, American business under Bush shed 1,772,000 jobs, compared to job gains of 715,000 under Obama’s program. That doesn’t include the most recent developments, including a report today from ADP Employer Services estimating that private employment jumped by 297,000 in December.  By any economic measure, then, the Obama approach has been much more successful with regard to jobs than the Bush program which congressional Republicans now want to repeat.  

But the Bush program was much more successful politically, judging by the 2002 and 2010 midterm elections.  To be sure, the Bush White House managed to change the subject from its dismal jobs record to terrorism and Saddam Hussein, which helped a lot.  But the huge Democratic losses last November, despite Obama’s much better record on jobs, tell us that the main issue for most voters – at least those with jobs -- probably wasn’t unemployment at all, but rather their overall economic condition.  In this regard, Bush was as lucky as a Rockefeller:  He inherited an economy which under Clinton had produced large income and wealth gains for most Americans, giving them a critical cushion to muddle through the 2001 recession without having to cut back much.  Obama, on the other hand, had the misfortune of inheriting a much weaker economy from Bush, one which had left most Americans treading water even before the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2007-2009 eroded their assets.   

Let’s retrace the real conditions.  Throughout the Bush expansion, most Americans experienced no income gains, although their wealth appeared to increase.  Here, the stock market isn’t very important.  The Federal Reserve reports that the top 20 percent of Americans control 93 percent of the value of all financial assets, including pension and retirement accounts.  With 80 percent of the country holding only 7 percent of the nation’s financial assets, the falling stock markets of 2000-2001 and 2007-2009 had little direct effect on most people economic condition.  But one asset is widely held by Americans: Nearly 70 percent of the country owns their own homes.  Bush’s legacy to Obama, then, included not only a half decade of stagnating incomes, but also wealth losses for most people amounting to between 25 and 30 percent of the value of their homes.  Layer a deep recession on top of all that, and voters grow very cranky.

The truth is, most people are prepared to live with large job losses that affect others, so long as their own economic conditions remain decent.  But wipe out a good slice of their assets, so that most of them have to cut back, and whoever is in office will pay a big political price.

Where does Washington go from here?  The GOP wants to replay the Bush program, which is no more likely today to lead to sustained income progress and wealth gains than it was in the last decade.  This time around, they also want to layer on deep cuts in public spending, an approach likely to cut the legs off of the fragile expansion which just now is beginning to take hold.

The administration’s alternative looks a lot like Bill Clinton’s program, which did help promote broad income gains.  In his State of the Union address and budget proposal, President Obama will likely call for targeted, new public investments in infrastructure, R&D and education, additional steps to expand foreign markets starting with the free trade agreement with Korea, and measures to bring down the deficit very gradually by restraining defense, Medicare and overall discretionary spending.   This agenda may not usher in another historic boom, but it would provide a more solid foundation for long-term income progress.

It’s also time to help Americans rebuild their assets through new public steps to finally stabilize housing values.  The best way to do that is to provide direct loan assistance to those facing home foreclosures, since high foreclosures are the most powerful force still driving down housing prices in most places.  Otherwise, the voters may prove to be quite cranky again in 2012, endangering second terms for scores of congressional Republicans and perhaps even President Obama.

Employment increased by 297,000, exceeding the highest projection in a Bloomberg News survey, after a revised 92,000 rise in November, according to figures from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate in the Bloomberg survey called for a 100,000 gain last month.


Taxes and the Art of the Possible

Barack Obama exhibited this week what Machiavelli called the essential quality of a successful statesman, “virtu,” or the capacity to advance a society’s vital interests while respecting the constraints of conditions beyond his control.   The vital interest at stake here is a decent economic expansion that improves the circumstances of the vast majority of Americans, and the critical condition beyond the President’s control was the Republicans’ ability to block any tax increase for a very small minority of high-income households.  While this week’s tax deal isn’t nearly enough to drive a robust recovery, it should be good economic news for most Americans. 

Yes, the President agreed to two more years of the Bush tax cuts for very well-to-do people, covering their overall incomes, dividends and capital gains, and sheltering all but the very richest estates from inheritance taxes for two years.  But those were concessions to conditions beyond his control, since without them, there would have no action at all. Moreover, in return the President won the GOP leaders’ acquiescence to some significant help for nearly everyone else.  Beyond two more years of lower tax rates for average Americans, he secured expanded tax credits for parents putting their children through college, a one-year payroll tax reduction for working people, an expanded Earned income Tax Credit for working poor families, and an additional year of unemployment benefits for millions of out-of-work Americans.  

To be sure, that won’t be enough to drive a strong expansion.  That still requires difficult measures to correct the distortions that brought on the original financial crisis and still continue to dampen the expansion.  A strong revival of consumer spending, of the sort that powers most early expansions, still depends on steps to stabilize housing prices.  And while this week’s deal includes another dose of tax breaks for business investment, a surge in business spending will have to wait for consumers to begin spending freely again and for lenders to clear their books of billions of dollars in real estate-related investments that continue to deteriorate.  Nevertheless, the deal passes the basic test of sound economic policy by moving the economy in the right direction, and should help nudge the jobless rate down a bit.  

The temporary nature of these measures also provides intriguing opportunities for Democrats.  The payroll tax reduction would expire one year from now, just as the 2012 campaigns get going.  Ultimately, neither party would let that happen, but the President could use its prospect to drive progressive social security reforms.  For example, the 2 percent cut in the payroll tax rate for employees could be phased out very gradually, and the lost revenues could be offset by raising the cap on the wages subject to the tax.  The 1983 social security reforms set the cap to cover 90 percent of all wages, rising each year at the same rate as average wages.  But since the wages of those at the top have grown much faster than the average, today the cap covers only 85 percent of wages.  Push it back to 90 percent, as the Bowles-Simpson Commission has proposed, and we could phase out the “temporary” tax rate reduction over a decade’s time and take a big step towards guaranteeing the system’s long-term solvency.

Moreover, the tax cuts for high-income Americans could be more vulnerable politically two years from than they are today.  It’s safe to say that the deficit will be a hot-button issue in 2012, and with the Bush tax cuts now set to expire in January 2013, the election-year deficit debate will include heated arguments over who should have to pay higher taxes.  According to current polls, at least, the public’s answer is those high-income folks.  

While the loudest complaints about the deal have come from progressive Democrats, the real question is why the Republicans agreed to it.  For all of the GOP’s talk about jobs and deficits, the deal exposes their real bottom line: Preserve at almost any cost lower taxes on the incomes of the top 2 percent of Americans and on the estates of the top 0.5 percent.  The deal equally highlights the President’s priorities – tax relief for the middle class, and help for the unemployed and the poor.  And if the economy finally begins to gather steam by 2012, the contrast embedded in this week’s deal might well boost the President’s prospects.

The Quiet Role of Class in the Coming Budget Battle

The political struggle over how the federal budget will shape American government is now in full swing and likely to dominate Washington for the next two years.  This week, the President joined the battle by proposing a two-year freeze on federal pay, his symbolic version of Bill Clinton’s maxim that “the era of big government is over.”  In doing so, he aligns himself with growing public skepticism about the value of much of what Washington does.  Yet, the anger driving the public debate isn’t really about federal spending much less federal pay.  It’s about continuing high unemployment and stagnating incomes, because if Washington can’t get that right, what credibility does it have to manage everything else the public pays for?  

There’s another, more subliminal factor feeding the public’s anger about taxes and spending, and the only accurate term for it is economic class.  Most Americans are fine with rich people getting richer, even when they get richer faster than everyone else -- so long as the rest of us make progress too.  But that’s clearly and painfully not the case today – the stock market and corporate profits are way up and multi-million-dollar Wall Street bonuses are back, while high unemployment won’t budge, wages are down, and the value of most people’s homes keep falling.  On top of that, it was middle-class Americans who financed a recovery, through taxpayer bailouts and emergency spending, which so far seems to benefit only the wealthy.  These factors alone should give Republicans pause as they prepare to block the extension of unemployment benefits and hold tax cuts for the middle-class hostage to preserving the tax cuts for the well-to-do. 

The bigger political question is how most Americans would feel about the GOP’s hard-line positions, if they realized how much the economy in recent years has tilted to favor the wealthy.  Recent data from the Federal Reserve document this tilt.  In 2007, for example, the top one percent of Americans owned about 35 percent of all of this country’s assets or wealth – including houses, stocks, bonds, businesses, and so on – and the top 10 percent owned 70 percent of those assets.  The distribution of financial assets is even more skewed:  In 2007, the top one percent owned 43 percent of the total value of all bank accounts, stocks and bonds, business equity, mutual funds, pensions, and retirement savings; and the top 20 percent of Americans owned an astonishing 93 percent.  Ownership of only one type of asset is still spread around fairly broadly: With 70 percent of Americans being homeowners, the bottom 90 percent owned 40 percent of the total value of all residential real estate in 2007.  But that fact is no longer evidence for the conservative trope that good times for the wealthy presage good news for everyone else:  Since 2007, the housing bust has destroyed about 30 percent of the value of American homes, and it was triggered by Wall Street geniuses who took the taxpayer bailouts and now are pocketing multi-million dollar bonuses.  

The tilt towards the wealthy is also much less steep in most other societies.  While the top 10 percent of Americans own 70 percent of this country’s wealth and assets, the top 10 percent of Britons own only 56 percent of the wealth of their nation, the top 10 percent of Canadians own just 53 percent of their country’s assets, and the top 10 percent of Germans hold but 44 percent of the assets of their nation.   

The gap in incomes also has grown substantially over the last generation, and that suggests that the wealth disparities will only continue to increase.  From 1982 to 2006, for example, the share of all annual income claimed by the top one percent of Americans increased from 13 percent to more than 21 percent; and the top 20 percent of us took home more than 61 percent of all the income earned here in 2006.  Put another way, 80 percent of Americans have to divvy up about 38 percent of all the income generated in our economy.  To be sure, a modestly progressive tax system ensures that the top one percent and the top 20 percent both contribute slightly larger shares of all federal revenues than they collect as income.  But their share of federal revenues is also much smaller than their fast-growing share of the nation’s wealth.  

 These disparities have grown not from our politics, but from the way the economy is evolving.  For example, our economy is increasingly capital-intensive – just consider, for example, how much more technology-dense most offices and workplaces are today, compared to just 20 years ago.  Since capital is the source of more wealth creation than before, the wealth of those who own most of it has been growing faster.  Incomes also are linked closely to the ability to work with all of that capital, increasing the income share of the top 20 percent of Americans with the most advanced skills and education.  It is certainly not the burden or responsibility of government to alter the economy’s natural course.  But when that course precludes meaningful economic progress for most people and creates profoundly undemocratic disparities in wealth and incomes, it surely becomes the government’s responsibility to ensure that the majority can genuinely thrive in that economy. 

That’s a budget battle that President Obama could champion with confidence.  For example, a good handful of subsidies for various industries would pay for low-cost access to college and graduate training for any young American with the drive and ability to see it through – as Britain, Germany and other countries, all with much smaller disparities of wealth and incomes, do.  A small tax on financial transactions could float a new program of low-cost loans for homeowners with troubled mortgages, and so help stabilize the housing values that comprise the only asset of most Americans.  Even a modest reform of the “carried interest” tax preference for hedge funds and private equity funds could more than pay for grants to community colleges to provide free computer training for any working person who wants it.  And surely it’s time for the new realities of wealth and incomes in the United States to provide part of the framework for reforming our taxes and entitlements.  


Simon on Fox News: Obama and the BP Fallout

Earlier this afternoon, Simon went on Fox News to talk about the Obama administration's response to the Gulf oil spill. Check out the clip:


Tomorrow's Event w/ Mike Hais and Morley Winograd on the Changing Coalitions of 21st Century America

Tomorrow at noon at NDN , we'll be revealing the findings of a 2,500 person sample market-research study on the new political coalitions of 21st Century America.  This study is the second in a three-part series.  If you missed the first study, released back in March, be sure to read it here.  Many of the most interesting findings (I've had a sneak-peak!) are even more interesting in the context of the continuum from the last release.  Also be sure to read Simon's last blog post - it really sets the stage for what's to come.

Presenting the findings and offering analysis are our NDN Fellows and acclaimed authors of Millennial Makeover, Mike Hais and Morley Winograd.  For those of you who follow Mike's blog Data Matters, or Mike and Morley's joint blog, Millennial Makeover, this is an excellent opportunity to meet them in person and watch them talk through the refreshing, prescient analysis they've become known for.  There will also be an opportunity for Q&A so be sure to RSVP

As a member of the 21st Century America Project team, I am thrilled by the amount we've been able to do in such a short time.  Building on NDN's legacy of conducting and sharing excellent public opinion and demographic research, in the last few months we've taken a look at the changing Latino demographic landscape and the changing political landscape. And along the way, opinion-makers have been taking notice.

I hope you'll join us tomorrow. 

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