Jordan Weissmann
Jordan Weissmann
Rootless cosmopolitan writing about economics and public policy for Slate. Atrocious grammar. Typo prone. Emails welcome: jordan.weissmann@slate.comSource
Washington, DC
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Bill Gates Was Right. Sort Of.

Bill Gates Was Right. Sort Of.

Bill Gates became the latest billionaire to get into a dust-up with Elizabeth Warren this week, after making some jokey comments onstage about his concerns over her wealth tax proposal, and what it might cost him personally. “I’ve paid more than $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” he told financial journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, earning some laughs from the crowd. “But I’m glad to have. If I’d had to have paid $20 billion, it’s fine. But when you say I should pay $100 billion, OK, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over. Sorry. I’m just...

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Jordan Weissmann
Nov 15, 2019
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Biden’s COVID Bill Is His First Step Toward an FDR-Style Presidency

Biden’s COVID Bill Is His First Step Toward an FDR-Style Presidency

AdvertisementAdvertisementPresident Joe Biden and Democratic legislative leaders were extremely clear about how they hoped to govern when they won full control of Washington for the first time in more than a decade. Their mantra? Be more like Franklin Roosevelt and the Congress of 1933, and less like Barack Obama and the Congress of 2009.Well before winning the White House, Biden had begun to murmur about his desire for an , sensing that, just like the Great Depression, the coronavirus crisis not only demanded a massive government response but created an opportunity to build a different and...

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Jordan Weissmann
Mar 9
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Steve Mnuchin Is Doing His Part to Sabotage the Biden Administration on His Way out the Door

Steve Mnuchin Is Doing His Part to Sabotage the Biden Administration on His Way out the Door

We can now add Steve Mnuchin to the list of Trump officials who are doing their part to undercut the next administration before moseying out the door. On Thursday evening, the Treasury secretary announced that agree to renew a series of lending efforts that the Federal Reserve began earlier this year in response to the coronavirus crisis, a move that could hamstring the central bank’s ability to stabilize the economy and financial markets if things get choppy again once president-elect Joe Biden is in office.Suffice to say, none of the explanations Mnuchin has offered for the decision makes...

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Jordan Weissmann
Nov 20
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Everything You Need to Know About Reconciliation, the Tool Democrats Need to Govern

Everything You Need to Know About Reconciliation, the Tool Democrats Need to Govern

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementDemocrats aren’t ready to nuke the filibuster. Not now. And possibly not ever, depending how serious you think Sens. and were when they announced this week that they would oppose any effort to blow up their chamber’s antiquated, obviously destructive 60-vote threshold.Practically speaking, this means that if Democrats want to enact most of their agenda, they will have to rely on the somewhat byzantine and widely misunderstood process known as , which prevents filibusters on certain kinds of legislation. Party leaders have that to move President Joe...

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Jordan Weissmann
Jan 27
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The GOP Is Complaining That Joe Biden Is Being “Divisive” by Governing Like a Democrat

The GOP Is Complaining That Joe Biden Is Being “Divisive” by Governing Like a Democrat

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementJoe Biden used his inaugural address this week to call for a new era of national unity, promising to put his “whole soul” into bringing the country together after the vitriol, violence, and collective trauma of the Trump years. And how are Republicans responding? Largely by trying to club the president with his own words, accusing him of being “divisive” every time he opens his mouth or signs a sheet of paper.The effort to, as Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer put it, Biden’s rhetoric against him is proceeding down two parallel tracks. Some conservatives...

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Jordan Weissmann
Jan 22
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Facebook Kowtowed to Conservatives and Got Nothing in Return

Facebook Kowtowed to Conservatives and Got Nothing in Return

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementFacebook has spent much of the past four years kowtowing to conservatives, treating right-wing news outlets with kid gloves even as they flouted its rules and spread disinformation, while bending over backward to avoid offending the Trump administration. By almost , the company hoped that playing nice would stave off any kind of serious regulatory crackdown on its business, or at least spare it some angry presidential tweets (while, of course, keeping Republican eyeballs glued to its news feed).AdvertisementThis strategy seems to have failed rather...

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Jordan Weissmann
Dec 12
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Larry Summers Has Some Weird Fears About the Biden Relief Plan

Larry Summers Has Some Weird Fears About the Biden Relief Plan

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementFormer Treasury Larry Summers has concerns about President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan, which he broadcast in a Washington Post . Specifically, he thinks it might be too big. Too much. Just, you know, a bit extra. “While the arguments for providing relief to those hurt by the economic fallout of the pandemic, investing in controlling the virus and supporting consumer demand are compelling, much of the policy discussion has not fully reckoned with the magnitude of what is being debated.”AdvertisementI’ve already too seriously. But I want to...

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Jordan Weissmann
Feb 5
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Goodbye, Steve Mnuchin

Goodbye, Steve Mnuchin

If you had asked me back in 2017 to guess who would turn out to be the most important force for good within the Trump administration, there was no way I’d have answered Steve Mnuchin. The best thing you could say about the treasury secretary was that he didn’t appear to be a lunatic, just a slightly more-heartless-than-average Wall Street type who’d been born rich and didn’t seem to have especially strong political views.Certainly, nothing in Mnuchin’s résumé suggested the potential for greatness, or that he was even particularly qualified for the job. Over the course of his peripatetic,...

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Jordan Weissmann
Nov 8
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Trump Admits He’s Blocking Funding for the Postal Service in Order to Stop Mail-In Voting

Trump Admits He’s Blocking Funding for the Postal Service in Order to Stop Mail-In Voting

I guess we can all stop whether Donald Trump is blocking money for the U.S. Postal Service specifically in order to stop Americans from voting by mail, because he just came out and said it. On Thursday morning, the president Maria Bartiromo that coronavirus relief talks with Democrats had broken down partly over their demand for Postal Service and election funding.“They want $3.5 billion for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion—billion—for the post office. Now they need that money in order to have post office work so it can take all of these millions and...

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Jordan Weissmann
Aug 13
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The White House Is Canning Staffers Because They Smoked Pot. Are They High?

The White House Is Canning Staffers Because They Smoked Pot. Are They High?

Folks, there is some high-grade malarkey wafting up from Pennsylvania Avenue this morning. The Daily Beast reports that “dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use.” The pot-smoker purge is happening despite the fact that, just last month, Biden’s team announced new personnel guidelines suggesting that individuals who had used cannabis recreationally wouldn’t necessarily be blocked from jobs. According to the Beast, staffers have been penalized even if they only partook in states where marijuana is...

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Jordan Weissmann
Mar 19
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