Obama’s Still Shopping for a Grand Bargain

obama boehner saint paddy's

Shamus Cooke: At the end of the day a so-called progressive Democrat is still a Democrat, and the Democratic Party has re-made its image to reflect the interests of its new big donors from Wall Street, who now feel as comfortable buying Democrats as they do purchasing a Republican politician.

The Paul Ryan Magical Mystery Chop, Dice, and Slice Budget

ryan lessons

Walter Brasch: The American people broadly rejected Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 2010. They need to now reject Ryan’s so-called new budget that proves the Republicans are nothing more than the lackeys of corporate greed at the expense of the rest of us.

Fixing the Economy’s Real Problem

obama shaking hands

Robert Reich: The President needs to deliver the same message to the public, loudly and clearly. The biggest problems we face are unemployment, stagnant wages, slow growth, and widening inequality — not deficits. The major goal must be to get jobs and wages back, not balance the budget.

A Conspiracy Fact

consoling company

Tina Dupuy: The real middle-class—the actual human beings—are not getting help from the politicians they voted for. Instead, the politicians they voted for are helping the companies that the middle-class, in turn, is forced to subsidize. It’s not a theory, it’s a conspiracy fact.

Sequester: Holding the American People Hostage

boehner cuts off nose

Walter Brasch: The Congressional Budget Office says the sequester could cut more than 750,000 federal jobs. Republicans like that idea, especially since most federal employees are also members of unions. But, those jobs include public health officials, social service workers, teachers, air traffic controllers, and others in critical jobs.

Will Elizabeth Warren Ever Understand How Washington Works?


RJ Eskow: Politicians and regulators serve criminal banks for the very same reason that Willie Sutton robbed them: That’s where the money is. If these senators don’t figure that out pretty soon, they’re going to have to go to the people to raise money.

Ryan’s Regressiveness Redux

paul ryan

Robert Reich: Austerity economics — of which Ryan’s upcoming budget is the most extreme version — is a cruel hoax. Cruel because it hurts most those who are already hurting; a hoax because it doesn’t work.

How Corporate Welfare Works in Maryland


Lawrence Wittner: At this time of severe cutbacks in government funding for food stamps, early childhood education, and meals on wheels, some Maryland legislators are hard at work looking out for the welfare of one of the world’s wealthiest corporations.

Qualitative Easing for the People: Comedian Grillo’s Populist Plan for Italy

beppe grillo

Ellen Brown: Default on the public debt, nationalization of the banks, and a citizen dividend could actually save the Italian economy.

Obama Must Lead


Brent Budowsky: There was no excuse for the president to shout from the rooftops about the dangers of sequester while not doing a thing to prevent it. Americans need jobs, not spin, and leaders, not photo ops.

U Can’t Cut This

you can't cut this

Lauren Windsor: Rapper 50 Billion of The Billionaires is joined by several of The Young Turks in this satirical music video parody I wrote and produced. “U Can’t Cut This” is an ode to the notorious sequester, a product of our utterly corrupt American political system.

Sequester: Please Pass the Humble Pie


Berry Craig: Polls show the Republicans are about as popular as a wet dog at a wedding in most parts of the country. Even so, count me not among lefties who think the sequester snafu is the last nail in the GOP coffin.

If Obama Wants America to Be Like Germany, What Does That Mean?

merkel obama

Steven Hill: Want a smarter workforce? A stronger manufacturing sector? Germany seems to offer a blueprint for Obama’s middle-out economic agenda — if we take away the right lessons

Is Health Care Too Expensive?

nursing care

Steve Hochstadt: If the public had perfect understanding of the elements that we examined, the proportion of Americans who favor “Obamacare” might increase from the current level of 32% to 70%.

Taxing Times for GOP

sequestration immolation

Karen Finney: Now that they have an opportunity to demonstrate concern for the middle class, Congressional Republicans seem willing to go to the mattresses to oppose Obama and defend economic policies designed to protect the extensive tax loopholes and breaks enjoyed by the top 1 percent and multinational corporations.

How the Fed Could Fix the Economy—and Why It Hasn’t


Ellen Brown: Quantitative easing (QE) is supposed to stimulate the economy by adding money to the money supply, increasing demand. But so far, it hasn’t been working. Why not? Because as practiced for the last two decades, QE does not actually increase the circulating money supply. It merely cleans up the toxic balance sheets of banks.

Raising the Minimum Wage Is Good for Business (But the Corporate Lobby Doesn’t Think So)

boehner state of the union

Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen: Raising the minimum wage is good for business and the overall economy. Why? Because when poor workers have more money to spend, they spend it, almost entirely in the local community, on basic necessities like housing, food, clothing and transportation.

Showdown Fatigue


Robert Reich: So where’s the outcry? Why aren’t more people up in arms? Why aren’t big businesses (including major military contractors) and Wall Street screaming into the ears of the GOP? Where’s the outrage from Main Street?

Foreclosure Crisis: Biggest Scandal of All

bank foreclosures

JP Sotille: The foreclosure scandal did not happen organically, nor was it just a matter of circumstance or the business cycle. It was a well-played game of slick mortgage salesmanship, cheap money lent, bad debt sold, insurance bets hedged and the whole system played like a golden harp.

Governor Jerry Brown’s Troubling View of Affordable Housing

jerry brown

Randy Shaw: Brown’s argument that the affordable housing crisis is actually one of distribution rather than supply–there is a shortage in the Bay Area and other places where jobs exist but there are plenty of vacant affordable rental units in the high-unemployment Central Valley–is not unique.

Congress Can Fix Budget Woes

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Ellen Brown: The government can pay for all the services its people need and eliminate budget crises permanently, simply by issuing the dollars to pay for them, debt-free and interest-free.

Austerity: Kind of a Drag

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Sylvia Allegretto: It simply never made any sense to make an already weak economy weaker by slashing government spending before having a sustained and robust recovery. Sylvia Allegretto:It simply never made any sense to make an already weak economy weaker by slashing government spending before having a sustained and robust recovery.

6 Things You Can’t Talk About in Washington

shut thegovernment down

Richard “RJ” Eskow: There’s no quicker way to become completely untethered than to read economic reports, including the latest one from the Congressional Budget Office, and then watch the political debate go on as if reality didn’t even exist.

Obama’s Speech Should Focus on Jobs, Falling Wages, and Economic Inequality

obama praying

f you’re sitting in the well of the House when a president gives a State of Union address (as I’ve had the privilege of doing five times), the hardest part is on the knees. You’re required to stand and applaud every applause line, which means, if you’re in the cabinet or an elected official of [...]

Retirement: The Last Entitlement


John Peeler: Since we glorify competition as good for both individuals and society at large, why not treat retirement as a job for which you apply? Then we could be sure that only the fittest, those most qualified, would get to retire.

Walmart’s Philanthropy Model: Charity and Poverty


Allison Mannos: Charity should not be a bribe to facilitate expansion at any cost. Walmart’s company values are reflected in the fact that a corporation whose net sales exceed the GDP of Norway would rather give charity to the poor than end the poverty it creates.

On Economic Justice, Will We Lead Or Be Lulled By Obama’s Speech?

obama inaugruation

RJ Eskow: If great speeches could heal our economic wounds, if they could repair the ever-increasing gap between the rich and the rest of us, we’d be living in a different country today.

America’s Growing National Debt

golden egg

Steve Hochstadt: The total debt that American consumers have signed up for was about $11.3 trillion at end of 2012. About three-quarters of that comes from mortgages, with the rest on credit cards, from student loans, or as home equity loans.

The Trillion Dollar Coin: Joke or Game-Changer?

reagan coin

Ellen Brown: The trillion dollar coin actually represents one of the most important principles of popular prosperity ever conceived: the creation of money by sovereign governments, debt-free.

GOP Too Nuts for Obama’s Debt Ceiling Gambit

obama and senior staff

Robert Reich: So it must be that he’s counting on public pressure — especially from the GOP’s patrons on Wall Street and big business — to force Republicans into submission.

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