The Republican Strategy

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Robert Reich: The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

The Big Lie

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Robert Reich: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

What’s at Stake in Tax-Cut Deal

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Norman Solomon: More than two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his decision to make a tax-cut deal with Republican leaders, the shock waves continue to buffet many Democrats and others who are stunned by the grim implications.

The Tea Party Conservative Strategy for 2011

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Robert Reich: Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What are they going to do about government spending? Knowing they don’t stand a chance of getting a direct repeal of the healthcare mandate, they’ll try to strip the federal budget appropriation of money needed to put the healthcare mandate into effect. This could lead to a standoff with the White House over government funding in general, and a possible government shutdown.

The Attack on American Education

Robert Reich: Over the long term, the only way we’re going to raise wages, grow the economy, and improve American competitiveness is by investing in our people — especially their educations.

The Winter of Labor’s Discontent

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Berry Craig: But it’s getting harder for me to defend Obama when my union brothers and sisters — who also voted and worked for him — say he’s all but surrendered to the GOP. I’m disappointed in the president. They’re downright mad.

Reaganomics Redux

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Robert Reich: The only practical effect of adding $858 billion to the deficit will be to put more pressure on Democrats to reduce non-defense spending of all sorts, including Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and infrastructure.

Why the Tax Deal Is an Abomination

Robert Reich: The deal the President struck with Republican leaders is an abomination. It’s larger than the bailout of Wall Street, GM, and Chrysler put together, larger than the stimulus package, larger than anything that’s come out of Washington in years. The president needs new advisors.

A Hollow Bomber Jacket

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Norman Solomon: Evidence of the Obama administration’s “moral collapse” is profuse; the pattern is clear, the consequences already terrible. During the weeks and months ahead, progressives will need to engage in fresh strategic discussions. Public candor may be insufficient, but it is necessary.

The Showdown On Tax Cuts for the Rich

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Robert Reich: In political terms, a strong stand enables the President to clearly demonstrate who’s side he’s on (the working and middle class that’s still bearing the brunt of this lousy economy) and who’s side the Republicans are on (the powerful and privileged who brought much of this on, and who are now doing just fine).

National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week

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Robert Reich: The best outcome would be an agreement to extend the tax cuts for the bottom 99 percent, for two years. This would stimulate the economy in the short term when it most needs it, and reduce the long-term deficit.

Obama Wooing Economic Royalists

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Norman Solomon: The best way to defeat right-wing xenophobic “populism” is to build genuine progressive populism. In the process, we can draw on the spirit of the New Deal.

Looking Forward

Norman Solomon: Deficit commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are pushing scenarios that would undermine Social Security, while all sorts of contorted rationales are in the air for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

Deficit Commission: Keynesian by Default

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John Peeler: The fact is, neither liberals nor conservatives, neither Republicans nor Democrats, have the stomach for the major sacrifices that Simpson and Bowles are calling for, and it’s not at all clear that the public in general is ready either.

Obama’s First Stand

Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.

Lemon Pledge

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Tom Degan: And of course, just like their silly “Contract with America” sixteen years ago, the voters will more-than-likely hand the congressional majority back to these corrupt dingbats on Election Day. And when the 112th Congress is sworn in this January, their so-called “pledge” (just like the contract of yore) will be rendered merely as dust in the wind.

Republican Economics as Social Darwinism

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Robert Reich: John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.”

The Politics of Taxes

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Tracy Emblem: Bush Tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households – those least in need of additional resources – at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

The Tortoise Economy

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Robert Reich: The rich don’t spend nearly as much of their incomes as everyone else, and the $36 billion windfall they’d otherwise get could be better spent saving the jobs of teachers, fire fighters, and police officers who do spend almost all their incomes.