Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author/historian of science, tech, & The New Deal. Read my blog The Economy Hub mhiltzik@latimes.com

Five years after Citizens United ruling, big money reigns

latimes.com — If you're wondering why issues favored by a majority of Americans such as raising the minimum wage, gun control and net neutrality get scarcely any attention in the halls of Congress, the Citizens United case is the reason. The Supreme Court's 2010 decision in the infamous campaign finance case marked its fifth anniversary last week.

Sen. Joni Ernst learned to 'live within her means'--on the taxpayer's dime

latimes.com — It has almost become a cliche that the politicians who bray most loudly about cutting government waste and slashing "entitlements" turn out to have learned what they know about the government trough from the inside. The latest example is Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who rode her tea-party small-government platform to victory in the 2014 election.

Intuit moves to mollify outraged TurboTax customers--but is it enough?

latimes.com — Intuit, which is reeling from customer outrage over a surreptitious price hike this year in its market-leading TurboTax tax preparation software, has moved to quell the anger. But it may not have done enough.

Disneyland measles crisis should wake up the anti-vaccination crowd

latimes.com — The rise of the anti-vaccination movement has shown that even affluent and well-educated parents can be dolts, and that school and public health officials can be inexcusably complacent. The Disneyland measles outbreak may finally give all these parties a much-needed jolt of reality.

Book publishing shocker: That boy didn't actually come back from heaven!

latimes.com — The secular world is having a good guffaw over the embarrassment of Tyndale House, a Christian book publisher that announced last week it was withdrawing from print its bestseller "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven." The reason: the book's co-author Alex Malarkey, the "boy" of the title, has admitted that he did not die or go and come back from heaven.

Here's Obama's best applause line (it wasn't the one about his campaigns)

latimes.com — President Obama packed so many proposals into his State of the Union address Tuesday night that it was hard to grab hold of each one before he careened on to the next. And that's not counting the occasional zingers, including his reference to his two Presidential election victories in response to a brief outburst of grade-school hooliganism from the Republicans in the House chamber.

Is this Social Security trustee trying to undermine Social Security?

latimes.com — In these parlous times when conservatives are sharpening their knives to slash Social Security benefits, the last thing its nearly 60 million beneficiaries need is someone working to erode the program from the inside.

Here's how Obama's capital gains tax plan hits the 1% where they live

latimes.com — With President Obama placing tax reform on the table in his State of the Union address , scheduled for delivery to Congress on Tuesday, we can expect weeks or months of Washington debate about the vices and virtues of the tax breaks held dear by many segments of the taxpaying public.

Intuit changed TurboTax this year, triggering an enormous customer uproar

latimes.com — Intuit's TurboTax software program long has been the king of do-it-yourself tax preparation, with nearly 30 million customers and a market share of 60-65%. But you probably won't lose money betting that these figures will come down next year.

Rand Paul steps up the GOP attack on Social Security

latimes.com — Travel obligations kept me from addressing until now the attack on Social Security disability recipients made last week by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., but it was too outstandingly ignorant and cynical to go unanswered.
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Jan 25, 2015

Astonishing WP op-ed: If Obamacare is overturned and people die, that's "okay." What are they thinking over there? washingtonpost.com/opinions/end-o…

Jan 25, 2015

RT @sethmnookin: People wanting a primer on @jennymccarthy, I reprinted my chapter from Panic Virus on her here: blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/… (that's pt 1 of 3)

Jan 25, 2015

RT @VUGymRat: @sethmnookin @keithkloor @deborahblum 92-94% vaccination rate required for measles herd immunity / very susceptible to anti-vax movements

Jan 25, 2015

RT @espinsegall: Had a nightmare 10 million folks lost health insurance and markets crumbled b/c 2 guys convinced 5 political judges of an outright falsehood

Jan 25, 2015

Five years after Citizens United ruling, big money reigns--and political morality is on the run: fw.to/etLjmnG

Jan 25, 2015

RT @yayayarndiva: Oprah has done more to promote the careers of those shilling snake oil - Jenny McCarthy, Tom Cruise, Dr. Phil and of course Dr. OZ

Jan 25, 2015

In 1874, Supreme Court said big-money corporate lobbying would "open the door to fraud and falsehood." Prophetic: latimes.com/business/hiltz…

Jan 25, 2015

After 5 yrs, Citizens United's impact is different from what you expected, but worse than you could have imagined: fw.to/etLjmnG

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