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THE LATEST FROM PPI

NEW REPORT: THE FINE ART OF CABINET-MAKING. Quick--Name all 23 members of the Cabinet. Can't do it? You're not alone. The modern presidential cabinet is a far cry from President Lincoln's high-profile "team of rivals," and today's low-key cabinet might have distinct disadvantages for our country's government. In a new policy memo, Columbia University political science professor and PPI contributor Ray Smith argues the benefits of strengthening the cabinet and offers five ways to rebuild its power and profile. Among his ideas: announce potential cabinet members at the party conventions. Read more HERE

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ZUCKMENTUM! WHY THE SILICON VALLEY APP BOOM COULD SINK ROMNEY. PPI Chief Economic Strategist Michael Mandel writes in The Atlantic this week about a potential "app surprise" in the coming months. With Facebook's upcoming IPO, a "sudden acceleration of growth and job creation fueled by the smartphone/communications boom" might await. As Michael writes, this could also mean great news for President Obama and bad news for Mitt Romney. Read HERE.

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CAN CITIZENS SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY?  Social Security's trustees recently released their annual report projecting that the trust fund will go bust even sooner than they had thought last year. Congress's likely response this year: nothing. PPI offers up one small solution in the meantime--let well-to-do seniors decide if they really need their full Social Security benefits. We propose a "partial benefit" option for benefits that lets seniors take some small measure of control over the deficit into their own hands. Read HERE.

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TEXAS, IDAHO AND OKLAHOMA TOPS FOR SMALL BIZ; VERMONT AND HAWAII? NOT SO MUCH. Based on a survey of more than 6600 small businesses, Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation released a new study this week ranking states on their friendliness to small businesses. As PPI economist Diana Carew writes, the regulatory landscape was a big factor in determining how entrepreneurs feel about a state's business environment. Read HERE.

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OBAMA MAKES HISTORY--AGAIN. In this week's Election Watch, senior fellow Ed Kilgore gives his take on the president's historic announcement on marriage equality.

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