All posts by Jason Russell

Can the next president really kill Common Core?

Republican presidential candidates have not shied away from bashing the Common Core education standards on the campaign trail. Donald Trump promises to “kill Common Core.” Ted Cruz has said, “We should repeal every word of Common Core.” Marco Rubio promises to “stop the federal government from pushing Common Core on states.”

But can the federal government really kill Common Core?

“They can’t actually get rid of Common Core,” Neal McCluskey, who directs the Center for Educational Freedom at the libertarian Cato Institute, said Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “The president can’t say we’re going to eliminate Common Core.” It’s mostly a state and local issue, not a federal one, although federal overreach led to its adoption.

Read the rest on The Washington Examiner, here.

Trump spews nonsense on Social Security

See if you can make any sense of the following Trump quote: “If you listen to the Democrats, they want to do many things to Social Security and I want to do them on its own merit. You listen to them, what they want to do to Social Security, none of these folks are getting elected, OK, whether they can do it or not. I’m going to save Social Security. I’m going to bring jobs back from China.” After the rest of his unrelated response, the moderator wisely followed up and asked how he would actually save Social Security. Trump talked about cutting “tremendous waste, fraud and abuse” in the system.

There is fraud in Social Security, but ending that fraud isn’t nearly enough to save the system. The deficit in the retirement trust fund will exceed $60 billion by 2021, with no improvement in sight. Most of that deficit isn’t abuse — it’s structural. There are too many retired beneficiaries depending on too few workers. Trump wants to stick with Social Security’s status quo, but the system needs reforms like a gradual increase in the retirement age or the option to put benefits in a personalized account.

Read the rest on The Washington Examiner, here.

Debates won’t help Clinton sway young voters

If Clinton agreed to four additional primary debates because she felt it would help her reach young voters, she’s mistaken. People aged 18-34 make up 24 percent of the population, but only 11 percent of debate viewers, according to FiveThirtyEight. She’ll need to find other avenues to win them over, because whatever she’s doing now isn’t working.

Read the rest on The Washington Examiner, here.