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Young, who stands 6-foot, 206 pounds and hails from Richmond, Texas, ranks 105th nationally and 14th in the state, per the 247Sports composite. He sits 12th at the cornerback position going into his senior year.

MORE: Ranking the 10 best USC defensive backs ever

His Twitter activity could give some hope to Trojans fans who would like to snag another top recruit for the secondary.

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When LeBron James announced his decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Young noted the desirability of also picking LA as a destination.

Lebron gone be in LA….i might have to make that move

Lebron in LA then im in LA

He was also pictured wearing a USC jacket during The Opening Finals in Dallas.

cornerback target Erick Young, who was rocking a Trojan jacket today. He doesn’t just bait quarterbacks. Haha…

— Gerard Martinez (@gmartlive)

The player’s Twitter header also features a picture of him in a USC jersey from his recent official visit to the Trojans near the end of June.

Of course, none of that means Young will actually pick USC. Recruits have set up smoke screens for their actual commitments before. However, the dropping of Texas AM from his top schools does make the race seem much more wide open than it had been.

If the Trojans were to land Young, it would be yet another in a long line of major recruiting victories for Ronnie Bradford in the secondary.

Last year, USC brought in two of the Top 5 cornerbacks in the class of 2018, Olaijah Griffin and Isaac Taylor-Stuart, along with another four-star in Chase Williams. In 2017, four-star athlete Greg Johnson joined up with three-star Je’Quari Godfrey.

CHECK OUT: Tyler Vaughns among nation’s top WRs

Though Iman Marshall, Ajene Harris, Jonathan Lockett and Isaiah Langley are set to graduate this year and Jack Jones is no longer on the team, USC’s future at cornerback looks strong. The departures do mean depth could be an issue without some reinforcements coming down the line.

Three-star commit Trey Davis is the only cornerback currently in the class of 2019.

It’s now a waiting game until Young announces his choice. It won’t take long.

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Research Article
Pathological α-synuclein transmission initiated by binding lymphocyte-activation gene 3

Present address: Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

Present address: State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Department of Immunology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and School of Basic Medicine, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China.

Present address: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

Present address: Institute of Medical Biochemistry Leopoldo de Meis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

See all Hide authors and affiliations

30 Sep 2016: Vol. 353, Issue 6307, aah3374 DOI: 10.1126/science.aah3374
Xiaobo Mao
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Michael Tianhao Ou
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Senthilkumar S. Karuppagounder
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Tae-In Kam
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Xiling Yin
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Yulan Xiong
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Preston Ge
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
George Essien Umanah
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Saurav Brahmachari
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Joo-Ho Shin
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Division of Pharmacology, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Suwon 440-746, South Korea.
Ho Chul Kang
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Physiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 443–721, South Korea.
Jianmin Zhang
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Jinchong Xu
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Rong Chen
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Hyejin Park
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Shaida A. Andrabi
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Sung Ung Kang
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Rafaella Araújo Gonçalves
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Yu Liang
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Shu Zhang
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Chen Qi
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Xin Hua Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, China.
Sharon Lam
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
James A. Keiler
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Joel Tyson
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBio Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Donghoon Kim
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Nikhil Panicker
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Seung Pil Yun
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Creg J. Workman
Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.
Dario A. A. Vignali
Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. Tumor Microenvironment Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA.
Valina L. Dawson
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA. Department of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Han Seok Ko
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundation, New Orleans, LA 70130-2685, USA.
Ted M. Dawson
Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBio Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA. Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

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INTRODUCTION

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and leads to slowness of movement, tremor, rigidity, and, in the later stages of PD, cognitive impairment. Pathologically, PD is characterized by the accumulation of α-synuclein in Lewy bodies and neurites. There is degeneration of neurons throughout the nervous system, with the degeneration of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta leading to the major symptoms of PD.

RATIONALE

In the brains of PD patients, pathologic α-synuclein seems to spread from cell to cell via self-amplification, propagation, and transmission in a stereotypical and topographical pattern among neighboring cells and/or anatomically connected brain regions. The spread or transmission of pathologic α-synuclein is emerging as a potentially important driver of PD pathogenesis. The underlying mechanisms and molecular entities responsible for the transmission of pathologic α-synuclein from cell to cell are not known, but the entry of pathologic α-synuclein into neurons is thought to occur, in part, through an active clathrin-dependent endocytic process.

RESULTS

Using recombinant α-synuclein preformed fibrils (PFF) as a model system with which to study the transmission of misfolded α-synuclein from neuron to neuron, we screened a library encoding transmembrane proteins for α-synuclein-biotin PFF–binding candidates via detection with streptavidin-AP (alkaline phosphatase) staining. Three positive clones were identified that bind α-synuclein PFF and include lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3), neurexin 1β, and amyloid β precursor-like protein 1 (APLP1). Of these three transmembrane proteins, LAG3 demonstrated the highest ratio of selectivity for α-synuclein PFF over the α-synuclein monomer. α-Synuclein PFF bind to LAG3 in a saturable manner (dissociation constant = 77 nM), whereas the α-synuclein monomer does not bind to LAG3. Co-immunoprecipitation also suggests that pathological α-synuclein PFF specifically bind to LAG3. Tau PFF, β-amyloid oligomer, and β-amyloid PFF do not bind to LAG3, indicating that LAG3 is specific for α-synuclein PFF. The internalization of α-synuclein PFF involves LAG3 because deletion of LAG3 reduces the endocytosis of α-synuclein PFF. LAG3 colocalizes with the endosomal guanosine triphosphatases Rab5 and Rab7 and coendocytoses with pathologic α-synuclein. Neuron-to-neuron transmission of pathologic α-synuclein and the accompanying pathology and neurotoxicity is substantially attenuated by deletion of LAG3 or by antibodies to LAG3. The lack of LAG3 also substantially delayed α-synuclein PFF–induced loss of dopamine neurons, as well as biochemical and behavioral deficits in vivo.

We discovered that pathologic α-synuclein transmission and toxicity is initiated by binding to LAG3 and that neuron-to-neuron transmission of pathological α-synuclein involves the endocytosis of exogenous α-synuclein PFF by the engagement of LAG3 on neurons. Depletion of LAG3 or antibodies to LAG3 substantially reduces the pathology set in motion by the transmission of pathologic α-synuclein. The identification of LAG3 as an α-synuclein PFF–binding protein provides a new target for developing therapeutics designed to slow the progression of PD and related α-synucleinopathies.

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"Someone's got to be the starter, but I think to have a great running game, you have to have two or three guys," Joseph said. "I think also (important is) having a third-down back, a guy who can be great in protections, catch the ball out of the backfield and beat linebackers one on one."

Booker, for one, wouldn't mind sharing snaps.

"Running back by committee," Booker said. "If it happens like that, I'm all for it."

Here's a look at the running backs jockeying for carries in 2018:

DEVONTAE BOOKER : Coming off an injury-marred season, he was expecting to share snaps this season — with Anderson.

(Story continued below...)
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"It was crazy, because the first day we got back, that's when everything happened. I had just seen him. We were doing physicals and the next thing I know" he's been released, Booker said. "It was shocking to me, but at the end of the day it's a business. Best of luck to C.J."

DE'ANGELO HENDERSON : The speedster from Coastal Carolina escaped serious injury when a drunken driver totaled his Jeep last week.

"It definitely makes you appreciate everything more," Henderson said. "After I stopped, I was like, I'm lucky. I've got a newborn son, I got a fiancee. I've got a family that really cares about me and teammates that are counting on me this year."

ROYCE FREEMAN : Freeman's high football odometer — 947 rushes, 79 catches in college — didn't scare off the Broncos: "What it shows to us is he's durable," general manager John Elway said.

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Freeman agrees his college workload shouldn't be a concern.

"It is not often you get backs playing as many games or taking as many carries," Freeman said. "I feel like the fact that I was able to do so proves I am a durable running back."

DAVID WILLIAMS : He's embracing the crowded running back room, saying he enjoys competing for carries.

"It's actually a great situation," Williams said. "If it was me in college, I would go to this school, if this was a school, because the situation is good. I'm just blessed to be able to have the opportunity to be in this situation."

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PHILLIP LINDSAY : In all but one of the last 14 seasons, an undrafted college free agent has made the Broncos' 53-man roster, and this Denver native is a good bet to continue that trend.

He's out to wow the coaching staff as a rusher, receiver and returner.

"I'm just going to showcase everything," said the former Buffaloes standout known as the "Tasmanian Devil" for his relentless motor.

___

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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Comments

Ray Hsu

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The subtext of this piece seems to be that Americans are perhaps more fond of authoritarianism than they claim to be. If so, are we looking at a more "neo-reactionary" future?

So Much For Subtlety

2

Maybe the subtext is that Congress-critters are so good at polling and focus groups that they give their electorate exactly what they want, or something like it. So everyone is complacent about actually voting? Why bother if your local Congressman is doing exactly what he should?

dan1111

3

To the extent that people are paying attention, they are very unhappy. Congressional approval ratings are very, very low and have been for a long time. They have rarely exceeded 20% since 2009.

I think the lack of attention may be due to the opposite: despair about getting any desirable outcome from the legislature.

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Jan

4

But then why is approval of the job Congress is doing hovering near historical lows the past few years?

BC

5

Members care about their own individual popularity among their own constituents, not about the popularity of Congress as a whole among the population as a whole.

Jan

6

Of course more people are happy with their own representative, as their positions should to some degree reflect the electorate there.

But people's disapproval of their representative has also declined bigly. https://news.gallup.com/poll/167024/record-low-say-own-representative-deserves-election.aspx

OneGuy

7

The tax bill was not popular??? "the economy is doing fine anyway"??? Duh! The economy is doing fine thanks to the very popular tax bill. There is a segment where that bill is not popular; those people who do not pay taxes but live off taxes fdon't like it.

gab

9

If you personally borrow, say, a couple hundred grand, and go out to dinner, buy a BMW, buy your wife a diamond ring, your personal economy is going to "do fine."

Perhaps many Americans realize that this tax bill is just layering liabilities onto their children and their children's children and thus is not all that popular? Or perhaps they realize they got a 2 or 3 or 5% tax cut and corporations got a 40% tax cut? Perhaps the tax cut has been absorbed by higher gas prices. Or lower soybean prices. Or maybe, and this is most likely, they really don't know any of this and the tax cut is too small to really make much difference in their personal finances.

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BC

5

"Congress-critters are so good at polling and focus groups that they give their electorate exactly what they want"

Actually, their polling and focus groups probably tell them that different groups want different things and that angry voters are more likely to vote than complacent ones, so that the path to re-election is to anger as few voters as possible. To avoid angering voters with conflicting desires, they pass legislation that proclaims unobjectionable goals but designates all power and decisions about how to achieve those goals to executive agencies and/or the President, in turn creating the Imperial Presidency.

The Imperial Presidency leads to Bigger Government than one led by Congress because it is easier for one person to act than for 535 Congress persons to agree on something. When faced with Big Government, attention (properly) turns to the Judiciary to Limit it.

dan1111

6

If only the judiciary were mainly about limiting the power of the other branches...

BC

7

What would be an example of the Judiciary expanding Government's powers beyond what the President or Congress wanted? The President or Congress asserts a power first, and the Court can either allow it or block it. Without judicial review, the political branches' actions wouldn't be blocked anyways, so judicial review can only limit what the other branches do.

Court-ordered busing might be an exception. Even in that case, one could argue that the courts were limiting the ways in which government could assign students to government schools, not requiring that government establish schools, with busing, in the first place.

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Anonymous

7

"different groups want different things and that angry voters are more likely to vote than complacent ones"

This explains the strategy of trying to get people angry in just the right way.

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Respond

The Taxman Cometh and Goethe

15

The economy is improving BECAUSE of, not regardless of, the tax bill. It's like telling me that discrimination is down after the Civil Rights Act, so I guess we don't need it.

Chris

16

Well, that was exactly the logic Chief Justice Robets used to gut the Voting Rights Act in Shelby Co. [But back to Congress...]

Boonton

18

You don't see any break in the trends pre.v.post tax bill. Also I don't think you'd see any signs of economic hesitation like the stock market going down after the health bill failed...which if investors were counting on the tax bill to make the economy purr would give them pause that it might not pass.

Trump has continued to ride the Obama-boom and most likely will end up squandering it.

Respond
Respond

Jan

17

If you look at the long-term trends on major economic indicators you'll see that the tax bill didn't change anything. And if you look at the stock market in particular, it has gotten worse since the tax reform. So, there's good reason it's unpopular.

Jan

18

And obviously if you want to consider the fiscal impact (GOP doesn't), this adds trillions to the deficit in the long term, over $1 trillion in the next ten years alone.

byomtov

19

But, but...

Kudlow says the deficit is shrinking rapidly. He wouldn't lie, would he?

Respond
Respond
Respond

Anonymous

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Maybe we have to re-watch all of those Marginal Revolution University videos on the business cycle, but I don't recall who is President being a factor in any of them.

Respond
Respond

Foobarista

25

The problem is that as far as voters are concerned, there's no such thing as "Congress".

There's your district representative and the two Senators from your state. And most districts, especially in our geographically polarized time, are basically single-party districts where the "interesting" election is the party primary, not the general election.

Respond

Matthew Young

26

In the modern constitution there is no authority except a fairly elected, hopefully proportional, legislature. Badly written law is a nightmare.

Respond

y81

27

Isn't it really the elites who are fixated on the presidency and the Supreme Court? Those are the less democratic elements of our system of government, and therefore of more interest to elites, since it is through those parts of the system that they exercise their influence, while the masses elect the legislative branch.

Respond

BC

28

Agreed that focus on Congress would be better than focusing on the President. However, the important distinction is between the political branches (Congress and President) vs. the Court, not between Congress vs. the Court and President as TC frames it. Because the Court is limited to blocking laws and executive actions and cannot initiate any Government actions itself, focusing on the political branches encourages Big Government while focusing on the Court enforces Limited Government. (Court mandated busing might be an exception.) Blocking laws inherently limits Government because that which is not prohibited by law is allowed. Thus, focusing on the Court healthily turns attention to what the Government shouldn't do or be limited in doing: regulate speech, restrict gun rights, restrict abortion, restrict immigration, mass surveillance, infringe liberty of contract (Ha!), etc. The Court is unique among the three branches in that the more "activist" the Court, the more Limited the Government. The Court's only Power is to limit Congress's and the President's Powers.

Perhaps, the reason we focus so much on the Court is that Government has expanded its Powers so far beyond what our Framers envisioned 242 years ago (had to work in a Fourth of July reference). On this day most of all, we are right to focus on all the ways in which Congress and the President's Powers should be Limited.

msgkings

29

Not to quibble (ok to quibble) but the Framers did their envisioning 231 years ago...

Respond
Respond

rayward

30

I agree that many court battles are mostly symbolic, but I believe Cowen misunderstands why the Republicans who have controlled Congress have been so inept: it's a feature not a bug. At least that's true from their perspective if not from mine. This being the day we celebrate "freedom", the country will learn what it's like to be free of government as an offset to the power of private actors including corporations who spread propaganda, pollution, climate change, and excessive inequality. As Janis Joplin said, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".

Respond

chuck martel

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That's the interesting part of the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez primary win in NY. It's of zero importance to all but a handful of people in the country, almost all of whom are pundits needing raw material for a column or short television interview. Unless, of course, well-funded machinery is set up to push her to national prominence, as was the case with Obama.

Rich Berger

32

It’s happened once-

https://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/1/us-really-did-have-manchurian-candidate-white-hous/?__twitter_impression=true

God forbid it doesn’t happen again. Meanwhile Venezuela circles the drain and the pundits celebrate our little photogenic socialist.

TMC

34

I don't think Obama purposely did that much damage to America's foreign policy, it was more a general dislike of America's role in the world and mostly just being inept at it.

Putin? He's they guy we'd have more flexibility with after the 2012 election right?

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Boonton

35

The problem with Congress is for the most part tribalism has removed all real debate. Essentially Republicans will vote for the menu of Republican issues and Democrats for their issues and Republicans almost always win because they have the votes.

On occasion some useful stuff happens like a provision that bars Pruit from spending any more on his office ($50,000 'dome of silence' was enough for even some Republicans).

But what's missing is a moderate contingent in the center that will leverage their position by threatening to unite with the other side on occasion.

chuck martel

36

More tribalism b.s. There's effectively only one tribe in the US and that's members of law enforcement .

Republicans almost always win because they have the votes Isn't that what democracy is all about? Why would it be any other way?

Boonton

37

Well no. Consider the health bill. It was too far right, had tremendous opposition by the general public. It lost votes in the House because of that but then gained votes by becoming more right wing.

The normal state of affairs would be an extreme bill from either side would be moderated by members in the middle joining forces. Otherwise you actually limit the choices voters have, extreme right or left is all that's on the menu but nothing for the majority of voters who would rather see something in between.

byomtov

38

No Chuck, Republicans don't have the votes.

See 2016 Presidential election. Also 2000.

See also the Senate, where Democrats represent about 30% more people than Republicans.

What the Republicans have is a system whose structure very much favors them, and which they have further rigged through vote suppression, gerrymandering, and SCOTUS decisions.

Hmmm

39

This, x 1000.

America, its constitution, and its very existence is a late term Gosnell abortion; a giant mess of white supremacy, privilege, and cisgender patriarchy.

The slavery, excuse me, the electoral college was designed to protect the KKK and Jefferson Davis crowd. It is still protecting them, just in its latest iteration (Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Donald Trump)

Proof

The Senate exists for the exact same reason. To allow white supremacists to dominate over the brown and woke masses. Reason #5324 why America should not exist.

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Anonymous

40

This was a good essay, but I think many comments ignore the basic problem. This is the Republican's time. Controlling the government, this is when they are supposed to draft great laws - and make the country great again.

Their inability to do so is a failure of their own vision, and nothing else. The "repeal and replace" disaster was this in a thumbnail. Or Scott Pruitt as the best you can do at the EPA ..

"We can't actually run a government, let's just cut taxes, again."

So we end up with worse governance and higher debt at the same time.

But sure sure conservatives, treat this as an abstract problem and nothing you have to deal with in the concrete.

TMC

41

Well, the first year was marked by legislative creative destruction. Following a presidency like Obama's, the best bang for the buck is to dismantle the changes he put into place.

As for Pruitt, it's nice to have the agency back onto stuff it was designed to do.

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Anonymous

42

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more convinced I get. The Republicans have specialized in being spoilers since Newt Gingrich but they cranked it up in response to the election of Barack Obama:

Here’s John Boehner, the likely speaker if Republicans take the House, offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Since 2009 Republicans have freed themselves from responsibility and built a base built on anger and disruption. They lost all skills at lawmaking, and the critical feedback loop tying policy to performance. Trump inherited and amplified that. The Jeb Bushes of the party couldn't stuff it back in the bottle.

The Republican Congress has a unique problem right now, in that it can't agree among itself, and it is beholden to an angry base who have been trained to accept no compromise.

But sure sure conservatives, treat this as an abstract problem and nothing you have to deal with in the concrete.

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Teaching Spastics to Dance

45

Congress as currently structured is an awful institution staffed with incompetent mediocrities and accomplishes nothing. They cannot even put together a proper budget. Some of us might be more amused than dismayed if Trump played Oliver Cromwell to McConnell Co.'s Long Parliament.

One task of an Article V convention should be to restructure Congress, refine and streamline its procedures, and resort responsibilities between the branches, between Congress and the state legislatures, and between the lower and upper chambers. Of course, this will never happen. Some of what you read about the antics of Congress is so bloody familiar. What Lily Tomlin's Ernestine the Operator had to say is true in regard to whatever shenanigans they're engaged in. "Yes, the phone company is on strike. Everyone except the executives and me... I don't have time to talk to you...Just reprint the stories from the last strike and change the dates."

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Anonymous

46

I think most people here, hosts and visitors, still identify as Republican.

It is amazing the degree to which you let yourself off the hook and say "it's Congress, what can we do?"

It's a helluva mid-term election slogan, I'll give you that.

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James McNeill

47

Lost on many individual Americans and, apparently, the author is the influence of the reduction to corporate tax rates. As a tax professional for many years, I saw first-hand that the higher US corporate tax rate caused dislocation of American jobs. Many Asian countries (esp. Taiwan, Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong) were able to incentivize corporate manufacturers due to this disparity to relocate to their borders. Although labor rates were most influential, I was involved in many planning sessions of major corporations where this disparity was the tipping point in their decision to relocate American jobs. Say what you want about Congress and Trump, the fact that they made this single change eliminates or drastically reduces many complexities (transfer pricing, Subpart F (deferral of foreign earnings), international foreign tax credits, intellectual property transfers) that the average person doesn't see. Corporations will now either be incentivized to keep jobs and assets here or, at worst, indifferent. Now corporations can go about their business without the need to use tax rates as a tiebreaker in business decisions. The US can compete on a level playing field.

Logically, corporate income tax shouldn't even exist. It's just taxing individual shareholders and consumers indirectly, something that could be more efficiently handled with a VAT, individual income or sales tax which are more visible. But in the words of Russell Long (long-time Senate Finance Committee Chairman), "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that feller behind the tree". It's a hidden tax that politicians have managed to dupe voters into believing is a tax on "the feller behind the tree", namely, an incorporation document on a piece of paper registered with a state. This is also the reason you won't see much more simplification of the Tax Code since politicians love to tax the "feller behind the tree" instead of their favored constituents.

I generally agree that moving individual rates around was mostly just Congress and Trump handing out favors and attempting to create good optics (which seems to have failed according to the author). Moving the chairs on the deck of the ship, so to speak. But the overall reduction in individual taxes should be favorable to the economy, nonetheless. In any event, it puts more money out of the hands of corrupt politicians and in the hands of those who earned it. Getting these corrupt politicians to reduce spending is another matter altogether and one that is most important now.

Anonymous

48

Actually .. one reason to tax corporations is that you recognize profits annually there. Profits that may very likely disappear before an individual harvests them. Or pays individual income tax.

The investor buys shares at $10, stocks rise to $200, and a few years later fall to $5. No profit there for the tax man at all.

It is possible that a thorough VAT system could overcome this problem, but that's a long way off the political roadmap at the moment. What we got instead was a cut to corporates *and* cuts elsewhere, creating a trillion-odd dollar hole.

James McNeill

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The scenario you speak of is actually one of the best reasons not to tax corporations. If the stock rises to $200, "harvesting" tax would be one of the reasons the stock would fall to $5 and put real people out of work. Corporations are particularly vulnerable during the initial rise in stock price. On the other hand, a company like Apple or Microsoft will eventually distribute any excess earnings to shareholders as taxable dividends or grow, which is the best case scenario in terms of jobs for real people. Also, anyone who chooses to cash out of the stock at $200 would get taxed on the gain, but not if the stock falls to $5. In fact, the capital losses would reduce tax coffers. Taxing corporations during initial success is short-sighted. I'd much rather see the corporation flourish and then distribute those earnings in the form of dividends and capital gains at the individual level. The corporate income tax is a drag on jobs, production and a horrifically complex mess, particularly at the international level, that forces companies to spend wasted dollars on administrative effort and planning. Although I enjoyed my career, I can objectively say that I would have been better deployed fixing roads or performing some other public service other than planning to reduce tax that should never have existed in the first place.

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Anonymous

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"Moving the chairs on the deck of the ship, so to speak."

You could maybe argue that a revenue neutral plan was moving deck chairs ..

James McNeill

50

My point was that a large portion of the individual rate reductions was moving chairs for political purposes. I agreed that the overall reduction was a good thing and, of course, not simply moving the chairs. Overall, I was disappointed that there wasn't more simplification, but as I mentioned, complexity is a time-tested tool for politicians to grease the palms of their political allies and "tax that feller behind the tree".

gab

51

If you cut the corporate tax rate and don't offset that cut by reducing spending or increasing taxes elsewhere you have simply just moved the deck chairs to the future. IOW, we've borrowed a trillion dollars or so over the next however many years to hand to shareholders today.

We've reduced the disincentives and complexities you mention but have simply shifted the fiscal burden to tomorrow. And, one could argue, we did this at precisely the time that demands on the Federal government's resources were increasing due to the aging of the population.

TMC

52

Cutting corporate taxes is more like shifting the incidence of taxation to a more efficient place. Those recipients still get taxed on the additional revenue, but it does not have the same distortionary effects on corporate decision making.

Look back at Reagan's tax cuts. They did not affect revenue one bit. The deficit is a spending phenomenon.

gab

53

Reagan's tax cuts came from much higher levels. Not all tax cuts are created equal.

Let's do a mental exercise - cut tax rates to zero. Will that affect revenue? Of course. It all depends on where you start and what level you cut rates to.

The CBO as well as Congress assumed a deficit increase in the law. I give them the benefit of the doubt.

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James McNeill

53

Tax and spend is not a zero sum game. Reducing tax and removing disincentives should have the effect of increasing jobs, productivity and tax revenue in the long term. The CBO forecasts of the effect are always wrong because they use mostly a zero sum approach and forecasts have too many unknown variables.

On the other hand, I absolutely agree that spending should be reduced and shortfalls in tax revenue should be adjusted in the form of mostly individual income and to a lesser extent regressive sales tax or VAT that taxes at the source of consumption. The top 20% of earners pay over 87% of the individual income tax (as they should), so any future increase in tax will mostly fall on them anyway. Trying to increase the proportion of taxes paid by the top 20% has decreasing returns in terms of revenue when considering the effect on growth/ jobs. We want as many people as possible vying to enter that 20% group. The golden geese you might say.

This is a simpler, progressive and more honest form of tax than a regressive corporate income tax and forces politicians to address who will actually pay the tax. Our system of uncontrolled deficit spending is not sustainable, but I'm definitely in favor of using decreasing tax to promote growth/ jobs to increase revenue instead of increasing tax and decreasing growth/ jobs. If it fails, the upper 20% of earners will pick up the tab eventually, either directly or through loss of their net worth as the economy crashes. I'm just hoping lower taxes and reduced spending are adequate to improve the jobs outlook for the bottom 80% of earners who just need a job.

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byomtov

56

The benefits of the bill are not generally transparent,

The benefits to who? The benefits to high-income individuals and to corporations are very clear.

The benefits to the country at large are non-existent.

So I'd say the consequences are quite transparent.

TMC

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The bottom 50% of the population pays 2% of federal taxes. How could you even do any tax reform with 'benefiting the rich'?

James McNeill

58

You're right. It irritates me to no end when people talk about rich versus poor when it comes to individual income tax. The poor don't pay income tax, which is why I view it as the most fair and progressive form of tax. The top 50% and 20% of earners pay over 98% and 87% of income taxes, respectively. The top 1% pays almost 50%. So when someone talks about income tax, it's mostly a question of which rich group is going to pay what portion. This is another reason corporate income taxes are unfair. Corporate income taxes get reflected in the prices charged to consumers and are disproportionately shared by the poor.

The key from an economic perspective is to get the rich to keep laying the golden eggs and then give what's left away, like Buffett and Gates, to charitable foundations when they die. BTW, it's interesting to see how incredibly efficient the Gates Foundation is with its money. Gates and his family stewards that money more carefully than he does Microsoft's (which is why Buffett is giving the bulk of his estate to the Gates Foundation) and it has already put a big dent in major epidemics all over the globe. That's something the UN, WHO and all the governments of the world combined haven't been able or, more accurately, refused to do on anywhere close to a proportional basis. Nationalism and politics never enters the equation either. Just direct benefit to the poor people who need it most. Without comparing them to politicians (that wouldn't be fair), Gates and Buffett aren't perfect people, but they're infinitely better stewards than government and understand how money works. That's the big difference between private enterprise and socialism in my book. Efficiency.

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DanC

59

It is amazing how many once again miss Professors Cowen's point. Hint it is in the opening paragraph.

" the culture wars has meant a greater focus on the two branches of government where these often-symbolic battles are most fought and noticed"

" culture wars are about symbols and rights and responsibilities more than economic policies"

"as Congress is not dominated by a single person, a greater interest in Congress could bring about a greater interest in the substance of policy."

"has our political attention become so centered on a relatively small number of leaders, and so focused on symbolic rather than technocratic issues"

"reflects not America’s civic-mindedness but rather its unhealthy obsession with personalities, especially those on the court and in the White House. Our institutions might function better if we paid more attention to Congress."

Professor Cowen's point is rather simple but apparently beyond the grasp of many here. He would like substantive informed debates on economic policy. He thinks that Congress is less likely to seek "symbolic" victories and more likely to find solutions that are rational when it comes to trade, foreign relations, and immigration. He would like to see a simpler tax code with fewer distortions. I assume that means a tax code that seeks to generate revenue with less social engineering.

Professor Cowen may place too much faith in the Congress’s ability to generate informed debate. There are too many incentives to find solutions that help various blocks in Congress who trade policies whose net impact are negative on the greater economy. Look at the mandates, tax credits, market distortions, etc. around Ethanol.

His desire for substantive debates to replace the media’s desire for hot-button symbolic battles that drive ratings and in turn politicians into caricatures. Politicians, in turn, use those symbols to drive voters to turn elections.

Politicians are rational actors, for the most part. However, Congress is a swamp. The survival interest of Congress members only occasionally means doing what is in the best interest of the general population. Professor Cowen hopes that more light on Congress will encourage more informed debate. But looking at the members of Congress too many reflect the interests of constituencies that are too at odds to find much common ground. The best they seem able to achieve is some horse trading at the margins.

We are increasingly a nation divided. The way we perceive the world is falling into camps where common ground is harder to find. The drift is increasing.

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Bob

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The semi-wonky left has focused on congress for a while: They just understand that their ability to vote for a new congress is pretty low, as the way congressmen get elected is also undemocratic by western standards: Therefore, the conversation about congress is a conversation about gerrymandering.

Plenty of long standing establishment democrats are getting primaried, with varied degrees of success, but that's ultimately unimportant if Republicans hold congress. So, in practice, urbanites are stuck with a majority of votes and a minority of senators and congressmen. What are the options? Moving is outrageously expensive just to move one vote, and few think it's the time for guns yet.

Republicans, on the other hand, have already done the rotation to the right in congress a long time ago, and are happy with an ineffective congress that bends to the presidency. Having congressmen that focus on achievements that will be seen positively by the majority of the population (say, a DACA aggrement) is just not going to happen with this computer made districts. I'd argue that even the idea of districts is inherently unrepresentative in this day and age, and nobody in their right mind would do something like America does if they were designing a republic from scratch today. Unfortunately, there is no way in hell that major electoral reform is going to be considered, if just because it's hard to convince incumbents.

What is most depressing to me is how libertarians don't seem to talk about reform or gerrymandering, when I'd expect that an unrepresentative government is worse for liberty. I guess that it's just like Grover Norquist on taxes, preferring painful, hard to pay taxes than easy taxes at the same tax level?

As far as the Supreme Court though, I think it's incredibly important, but it also needs reform. If through some miracle the Democrats got control of all branches of government, it'd be dumb for them to not do some major court packing, given that norms are worth nothing anymore.

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alright

61

Liberals do not need Congress to pass whatever harebrained schemes they come up with.

You want single payer healthcare, do it at the state level. You just cannot use the printing press to fund it.

You want free college, do it at the state level. You just cannot use the printing press to fund it.

You want free universal pre-k, UBI, free housing, whatever....same answer.

The solution to this is not "reform" however it is defined.

The solution is federalism. The insanity is that we care at all who the president is or who controls congress.

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