Spending on our crumbling infrastructure | Brookings Institution


Infrastructure spending, highways in particular, used to be popular with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. But, as the flap over the Highway Trust Fund and the gasoline tax indicate, any infrastructure spending bill is trapped by partisan gridlock and distrust. That accounts for at least some of the increasing appetite at the state and local levels for public-private partnerships.

Map: The salary you need to buy a home in 27 U.S. cities – The Washington Post


On a national scale, a buyer who puts 20 percent down would need to earn a salary of $48,604 to afford the median-priced home in America. But that total varies a lot from city to city. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis and Cincinnati rank as the most affordable metros in which to buy a new home – HSH.com estimates that you can buy the median home while making less than $34,000 – while New York, Los Angeles and San Diego are at the high end, requiring salaries of nearly $90,000 or more. But the most expensive city by far is San Francisco, where the site estimates you would need to make $142,448 to buy the median home in the area.

The Stafford Act plays a key role in House of Cards. Here’s how that law works. – Vox


The Stafford Act is having its Hollywood moment.

Passed in 1988, near the end of the Reagan administration, the act was meant to organize federal responses to national disasters and emergencies. Three decades later, it’s now playing a central role in the new season of House of Cards.

Americans are making a big mistake about health care – Vox


The way people in the policy community see it, this is totally backwards. Almost everyone who has health insurance in the United States gets help from the government to afford it. For the elderly, that’s Medicare. For the disabled and the poor, that’s Medicaid. For full-time workers it’s the tax subsidy for employer-provided health insurance.

Some of what you see in this poll is a simple misunderstanding — older Americans either don’t know what Medicare is or mistakenly believe they have "paid for" their benefits with earlier taxes.

But Americans who get insurance from their jobs are also benefitting from a massive government program. A program whose existence is hidden from sight but is nonetheless quite real and substantial.