If he’s given a second term, should President Obama start by reforming the tax code?

"Concerns about income inequality and fairness have become such a mainstay of our politics that they can even be felt pulsating through the Republican presidential primaries…He should thus take it as a mandate to pursue a middle-class agenda that reduces inequality and increases opportunity. And the best way to do this is to reform the tax code."

"To be sure, reforming the tax code is not enough. Strengthening the middle class will also require a positive set of policies that create more jobs with decent pay. That means supporting infrastructure by fixing our decaying roads and bridges, building faster high speed rail, and renovating and modernizing crumbling and inadequate schools. It also means hiring back thousands of teachers; ballooning class sizes because of teacher layoffs are not only hurting our economy right now, they are hurting our future competitiveness because our education system is suffering."

— Neera Tanden, "A TNR Symposium on Obama’s Second Term: Fix the Tax Code!"

Photo courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor.

Is an intervention in Syria morally justified?

"The ‘responsibility to protect,’ unanimously adopted at the U.N. in 2005, stipulates that when states fail to protect their own citizens from mass atrocities, other states have an affirmative responsibility to act. Only a gross cynic—say, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov—could argue that Assad has not triggered this international obligation. An intervention would be morally justified, just as it was in Libya. … But this is not a classroom; and calls for action have to clear both a prudential hurdle and a practical one."

—James Traub, “Intervention in Syria is Morally Justified—and Completely Impractical.

This is article is part of A TNR Symposium on Syria. Visit TNR.com for more coverage.