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The Republican Meltdown Continues

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks from the bed of a truck at a rally Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Pahrump, Nev.Photograph by John Locher — AP

Republicans looking for the alternative to Donald Trump found it over the weekend, as Ted Cruz won caucuses in Kansas and Maine, while the Rubio and Kasich campaigns continued to wilt. Cruz is the one candidate that business representatives in Washington say would be worse for business than Trump. His obstructionist tactics have helped keep the Capitol at a standstill in recent years, and earned him the enmity of virtually all his colleagues. At Saturday’s Gridiron Dinner, Vice President Biden joked that if President Obama really wanted to remake the Supreme Court, he should name Cruz. “Before you know it you’ll have eight vacancies.”

The lively Democratic contest continues to drive Hillary Clinton deeper into populist territory. Her fiery anti-business rhetoric was on full display in last night’s debate, as she promised to “claw back tax benefits” from companies that move jobs overseas, like Nabisco and Johnson Controls. Clinton’s TV ads are also becoming increasingly strident.

A number of readers wrote last week in response to Jeff Garten’s piece calling for a business “grand strategy” to rebuild public support. “We are going through an existential crisis whipped up by the political classes,” said Martin Whittaker, CEO of Just Capital. “The truth is that the story of the American people is the story of American business, and we have to connect them together more effectively.”

Meantime, central banking is going through its own existential crisis, as the “Phillips curve” relationship between unemployment and inflation that underlies much of modern monetary policy has broken down. Read Larry Summers’ latest on the problem here.

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