Must Read Op-Eds for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Updated
THE LOST DECADE? BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES

The prognosis for the next few years is bad with a chance of worse. And the economic conditions are not even the scary part. The scary part is the political class’s inability to think about the economy in a realistic way. This crisis has many currents, which merge and feed off each other… No single one of these currents prolongs the crisis. It is the product of the complex interplay between them… Yet the ideologues who dominate the political conversation are unable to think in holistic, emergent ways. They pick out the one factor that best conforms to their preformed prejudices and, like blind men grabbing a piece of the elephant, they persuade themselves they understand the whole thing.

A BETTER WAY TO FIX NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND BY LAMAR ALEXANDER
NEW YORK TIMES

Almost a decade later, however, it is likely that nearly 80 percent of American schools will soon fail to meet the adequate yearly progress standards. My colleagues and I agree with the Obama administration that after a decade of federal rules, more responsibility needs to go back to the states. No Child Left Behind has made one thing clear: when it comes to education reform, the states are both highly capable and highly motivated. Since 2002, 44 states and territories have adopted common core academic standards, two groups of states are developing common tests for those standards and 44 states are collaborating on common principles for holding schools accountable for student achievement.

FACTORY FIELD TRIP BY JOE NOCERA
NEW YORK TIMES

Manufacturing is terribly important. “More than any other sector, manufacturing creates additional jobs in the supply chain,” says Andrew Liveris, the chief executive of Dow Chemical, who has been pushing for a national manufacturing strategy. It’s encouraging, for sure, that manufacturers again see America as a place where they can build things profitably. But my day in North Carolina suggests that the road back to true manufacturing prosperity is going to be a long one indeed.

THE LOVEABLE RICK PERRY BY RICHARD COHEN
WASHINGTON POST

Then came the Florida straw poll and Perry lost to . . . Herman Cain. He almost got beat by Romney. He was being mocked by the pundits, scorned by party activists (who had booed a gay soldier) — and held responsible for taking some principled positions. He was right about the HPV inoculation and he was right about the kids of illegal immigrants, and he was being attacked for the sheer decency of his positions. I felt sorry for him. The big lug may not have much of a brain, but he sure has a heart.

ON THE PROWL BY EUGENE ROBINSON
WASHINGTON POST

At this point, you have to wonder if the GOP will fall in love with anybody. I’m trying to imagine the candidate who can maintain credibility with the party’s establishment and Tea Party wings. If the ultra-flexible Romney isn’t enough of a political contortionist to do it, who is? Given the state of the economy, Obama’s going to have a tough reelection fight no matter what. But while the president flies around the country knitting the Democratic Party’s various constituencies back together, Republicans are still waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right to ride over the horizon. I don’t know if Christie can ride a horse, but this movie’s not over yet.

TEXAS’S IMMIGRATION CHOICES EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

State tax officials estimated that increased college enrollment by illegal immigrants would be budget neutral. … These columns have long supported a policy of generous immigration but without welfare benefits, and one reason the politics of immigration is less contentious in Texas than in California is because it has long practiced something close to that policy. Coming from a Governor who signed the precursor to ObamaCare, Mr. Romney’s criticism of Texas for modest tuition subsidies is especially rich. Mr. Perry’s immigration positions reflect a Texas political consensus that makes far more sense than his opponents’ demagoguery.

MR. BUFFETT’S TAX SECRETS EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

To our knowledge Mr. Buffett hasn’t publicly disclosed his own return beyond offering a peek to talk-show host Charlie Rose. If Mr. Buffett’s anecdote is going to be the main political basis for rewriting the U.S. tax code, Americans have every right to know the basis for the anecdote. We called Berkshire Hathaway last week to see if Mr. Buffett would release his 2010 return, but we haven’t heard back.

Morning Joe Must-Read Op-Eds and Morning Joe Must-Read Op-Eds

Must Read Op-Eds for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Updated