Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Between Pragmatism and Purity: Virginia Democrats Try to Come Together

Progressive and establishment Democrats in Virginia look to ride anti-Trump fervor to Election Day victories. But will that be enough to bridge the party's divisions?

AP Photo/Steve Helber People cheer during a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam in Richmond T ime was short, and the activists knew it. Crowded into a small living room, they listened intently as an organizer explained which doors to knock on and what words to say. The three-story home, located in Virginia’s wealthy Stafford County, a Washington suburb, had been converted into a de facto headquarters for Democratic volunteers in the area, hosting canvass launches for various candidates. They would be spending the day going after likely Democratic voters, attempting to turn out the party’s base. “We all know what happens when Democrats don’t vote,” Jennifer Carroll Foy, a candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates, told the volunteers. “We cannot feel those same feelings that we felt on November 9, last year: horror, frustration, hopelessness.” Alarmed by Donald Trump’s surprise victory, a wave of first-time candidates, eager volunteers and...

Magic Corporate Tax Cuts and Other Fables

Trump and Republicans peddle the myth that money for corporations will trickle down to workers.

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File Council of Economic Advisors Chair Kevin Hassett trickle-downers_35.jpg O ne of the biggest obstacles standing between Donald Trump and his plan to drastically cut corporate taxes is the opinion of the American public. Corporate tax cuts, though a key part of the administration’s proposed tax reform package, also happen to be a particularly controversial one. And with recent surveys showing that a majority of Americans remains skeptical of lowering taxes on corporations, hawking big corporate tax cuts to the public presents the GOP with a challenge. The White House’s Council of Economic Advisors stepped up to the plate on Monday, releasing a report that claimed that cutting the corporate tax from 35 to 20 percent could give American workers a pay raise as high as $9,000, once the economy has fully adapted to the change. Corporate tax cuts mean higher after-tax profits. In theory, these profits could be used to fund new investments, which would presumably...

Mnuchin Fails The ‘Mnuchin Test’

The Treasury secretary trips himself up trying to justify a tax cut that cannot possibly benefit the working class.

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP Images
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP Images Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks at a press briefing at the Hilton Midtown hotel during the United Nations General Assembly. trickle-downers_35.jpg A fter the populist surge that put Donald Trump in the White House, Steve Mnuchin tried to rebrand himself as a man of the people. He promised that as treasury secretary that he would unburden the working class and that the rich shouldn’t expect any sort of preferential treatment. Many observers were very skeptical of these promises—and for good reason. Appearing on Meet the Press this week, Mnuchin had been tasked with defending the Republicans’ new tax framework . But he couldn’t really explain it. Mnuchin repeated like a mantra that the “objective” of the tax plan was a “middle-income tax cut” and not a tax cut for the wealthy. Given that he had few real details to offer, Mnuchin could avoid both making promises and giving straight answers, while doubling down on his own dubious...

States Take on Student Debt Abuses as the Trump Administration Defaults

While the administration rolls back the weak protections that exist, more than a dozen states have proposed reforming the largely unregulated student loan industry.

Chris Radburn/Press Association via AP Images
Chris Radburn/Press Association via AP Images S tudent loan-servicing companies are an underappreciated part of a debt-for-diploma system that has badly failed college students and graduates. The loans themselves are a mix of direct federal loans, state loans, and private ones guaranteed by the government, but virtually all payments are collected by loan servicers. These companies, as for-profit middlemen, can pile on unnecessary costs to indebted students and steer them to act against their own self-interest. The Obama administration sought to rein in abuses, issuing policy guidelines for loan servicers and allowing relief for students who were misled by for-profit colleges—but stopped short of formally regulating the loan-servicing industry. Earlier this year, the largest of the nine loan-servicing companies, Navient Corp, formerly part of lender Sallie Mae, became the target of lawsuits from consumers, state attorneys general, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)...

Silk Roadblock

Yo-Yo Ma's celebrated project for global understanding through music runs into Donald Trump's sour note.

Max Whittaker/Silk Road
Max Whittaker/Silk Road Silk Road musicians like Kinan Azmeh, performing here with Cristina Pato, have had their ability to travel freely impeded by American and British immigration authroities. This article appears in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . I n 2000, the revered cellist Yo-Yo Ma embarked on a project that would today seem quixotic: uniting a group of musicians from every corner of the globe, with the goal of using music to transcend national and cultural boundaries. He couldn’t have imagined then how radical a statement the simple existence of the Silk Road Ensemble would soon become. Silk Road joined together virtuoso musicians on instruments from different cultures that had never before been played together. These include the pipa and sheng from China, the Galician bagpipes, the oud from the Middle East, and more than a dozen others. Artistically, the result is astonishing. Culturally, the message is that appreciating “the music of...

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