Off Center

Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy: Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson By the slimmest of margins, the House of Representatives approved a budget plan today that will cut $50 billion dollars in spending for poverty, education, and farm programs over the next five years. Included are broad cuts to Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, and student loans. The plan passed the House by only 2 votes, 217 to 215, with 14 moderate Republicans joining every single House Democrat in opposition. Read more about this vote in today’s Washington Post.

How is it that by such razor-thin margins, such sweeping changes with such far-reaching consequences can be made often against the wishes of a broad majority of Americans? In their book, Off Center, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson explore this question in depth and examine how and why this state of affairs must change.

With the indictment of Tom DeLay, mounting criticism of the Iraq war, and approval ratings for President Bush plummeting to all-time lows, Hacker and Pierson have been very busy making the media rounds. Listen to an interview with Paul Pierson on KCRW Los Angeles’ To the Point, which aired last Thursday, and read a review of Off Center by Bill McKibben in this month’s Christian Century.

Visit the authors’ own blog at

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