Steve Chapman

Posted December 21, 2014

For a long time, the U.S. ostracism of Cuba has been like the vintage American cars on the streets of Havana: obsolete but imperishable. It didn't topple the Castro government, didn't force human rights progress and didn't unite the world behind us. Yet failure was no enemy of longevity.

Posted December 18, 2014

The 1994 federal law banning "assault weapons" was a high point of the gun control movement and Bill Clinton's presidency. Signing the bill, he said it was the beginning of "our effort to restore safety and security to the people of this country." But something happened that he and his allies had not predicted: nothing.

Posted December 16, 2014

Anyone skeptical about entrusting ambitious tasks to the government was not stunned by the dismal rollout of the Affordable Care Act. It featured technical snafus, cost overruns and false advertising ("If you like your plan, you'll be able to keep it."). Things got so bad that President Barack Obama apologized and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned.

Posted December 14, 2014

Between 2005, near the peak of the housing boom, and 2010, the default rate on home mortgages rose eightfold, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. Even today, it's five times higher than it was in 2005. The crash caused $6 trillion of household wealth to go up in smoke. It also set off the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Posted December 11, 2014

Anyone skeptical about entrusting ambitious tasks to the government was not stunned by the dismal rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Posted December 07, 2014

When a white cop kills an unarmed black man, many blacks see a pattern of prejudice that generates official suspicion, hostility and abuse based on skin color. Many whites, however, say it's the fault of blacks. If they didn't commit so much crime, they wouldn't get so much attention from police.

Posted December 04, 2014

President Barack Obama is a champion of using video cameras to prevent and expose misconduct by uniformed people with guns. He is also a great believer in banning the use of torture on detainees in the war on terror. It may come as a surprise, then, to find that he doesn't want to release videos of Guantanamo inmates being force-fed.

Posted November 30, 2014

On Thursday, hundreds of millions of Americans risked obesity, heart disease and indigestion by eating large quantities of food with no precise knowledge of the caloric content. If many of them felt regret on Friday, it was not because they were duped into overeating by the absence of nutritional data.

Posted November 27, 2014

What the trooper didn't mention is that from a distance, because of his dark hair and complexion, my son might be taken for Hispanic. In any event, he let him leave -- again, with no citation.

Posted November 23, 2014

If you're a foreigner in this country without authorization, you may be a hardworking, upright and taxpaying person, but you live in daily terror of making a fatal misstep. Overlooking a broken taillight, being a witness to a crime, getting hit by a car while crossing the street -- minor misfortunes that attract the attention of police can bring exile, family breakup and misery.

Posted November 20, 2014

Are there good reasons to vote against Hillary Clinton? If you gave me some time -- like two seconds -- I could come up with some.

Posted November 16, 2014

Americans like to keep the world simple, dividing important countries into two groups: valued allies and hateful enemies. That approach suffices when we're talking about South Korea and North Korea. But it doesn't work well when it comes to China.

Posted November 06, 2014

War, it's been said, is God's way of teaching Americans geography. Maybe we do learn how to locate the countries we invade or bomb on a map. But recent experience indicates how much we don't know about those societies and how slow we are at learning.

Posted November 02, 2014

I am a faithful and loving husband to a wonderful woman, and I do not make a practice of hugging women I don't know. But if I had the chance, I wouldn't hesitate to embrace Kaci Hickox.

Posted October 30, 2014

In responding to the Ebola crisis, President Barack Obama is being his usual self: passive, detached, unable or unwilling to lead. So say his critics, who accuse him of being an idle observer of his own presidency.

Posted October 29, 2014

In responding to the Ebola crisis, President Barack Obama is being his usual self: passive, detached, unable or unwilling to lead. So say his critics, who accuse him of being an idle observer of his own presidency.

Posted October 26, 2014

With Halloween approaching, the way to scare small children is to conjure up specters of witches and ghosts. Terrifying economists is easier: Just say, "Illinois."

Posted October 23, 2014

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz doesn't trust Barack Obama to protect Americans against Ebola, defeat the Islamic State, oversee the IRS or revamp the health insurance system. He decries the expansion of federal power Obama has brought about. But Cruz wants to give him another power by letting him decide that some Americans will no longer be Americans.

Posted October 19, 2014

By "him," of course, I mean Bill Clinton. What? You thought I was talking about Barack Obama?

Posted October 16, 2014

Americans are living under a dire threat that could quickly escalate into a national emergency. No, not Ebola or the Islamic State but the hugely overhyped fear of them. The public resembles one of those cartoon elephants perched on a chair in trembling terror of a mouse.