In the Spotlight

Delivering his next to last State of the Union Address, President Obama touted economic and global accomplishments, promised to defend his landmark reforms, and called for bold new steps to boost the middle class. SSN scholars assess Obama’s initiatives and explain how he is securing his legacy and setting agendas for the future. 

The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 planned to deny tax subsidies to people in states that use federally supported rather than state-run exchanges. But Theda Skocpol chronicled analyses from the Congressional Budget Office and found that both parties assumed the subsidies would be available nationwide through all sorts of exchanges.

Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall
Professor of Educational Policy & Sociology and Associate Professor of Education Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

President Obama has proposed two years of free community college for up to nine million students across the nation each year, building on recommendations for a national program devised by SSNers Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall.

Lawrence H. Summers
Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Economics and President Emeritus, Harvard University

Plunging oil prices create an opening for a new U.S. carbon tax to limit global warming and fund infrastructure investments and tax benefits for workers. One of America’s leading economists explains how this tax could work and why it could enjoy broad support.

Speaking recently at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, Ellen Fitzpatrick, Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, explores the challenges faced by historians who must spread knowledge of the past and address contemporary concerns while refusing to pander to an “impatient and ahistorical age.”

Christopher Uggen
Distinguished McKnight Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota

Drawing on his wide-ranging research, a leading SSN sociologist argues that now is the time to revamp America’s troubled criminal justice system. 

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