Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, are fighting a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, coal, when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time. Period. The thing is …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports What qualifications are needed to manage (and possibly reform?) the Indian health system? It’s Indian Country’s largest employer with more than 15,000 on the payroll and many, many more people who work in health care for tribes, non-profits and other related agencies. The IHS budget is $6.1 billion. Yet it’s …

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Correction: The chart I originally published was misleading. The CBO score for the tax bill (and most of the other measures) looks at the cost over ten years. Appropriations are made in a single year. So that made the tax bill appear more costly in visual form. I am working on a new version now, …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The first year of the Trump era has been challenging: The administration and the Congress sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act and radically redesign one of the nation’s best public health insurance programs, Medicaid. That plan failed.  And I’ll come back to that point shortly. But first: Congress …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Turns out we’ve been worried about the wrong, Andrew. The Republican tax plan, President Donald J. Trump’s signature legislation, would make Andrew Mellon proud. Andrew Mellon was a wealthy industrialist who served in government as the Secretary of Treasury. Here’s what Trump’s own Treasury Department says about Mellon: “As the Nation …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports How does the national press cover Indian Country? That’s often an easy question to answer because it’s so rare for the media to weigh in on events that matter. And when they do? Damn. The White House ceremony to honor code talkers turned into a frenzy. As ABC News reported, …

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Why Indian Country should have a voice in this debate Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is no better way for any legislature — be it a tribal council, a state assembly, or a Congress — to telegraph what’s most important to a society than through tax policy. How a government collects revenue says what …

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Updated. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Here we go again. The Congress is hell bent on wrecking the Affordable Care Act. This time the mechanism is the so-called tax reform bill that will be voted in the U.S. Senate. The logic is rich (and, yes, “rich” is absolutely the right word and sentiment) because this …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Three lessons from  last week’s election results. First: Gerrymandering can be defeated. The election districts in Virginia were designed to support incumbents, and especially Republicans. The Atlantic described the “well-documented” Republican operation to gain “control of the mapmaking process in 2010 (and) saw their share of legislative seats steadily grow, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Two serious debates in Washington right now: Climate change and taxes. These are connected. And the decisions made over the next few days and weeks will impact you and your children’s future. The federal government is required by law to publish a climate assessment. The report is out and it’s …

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