Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.

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Robert Reich: S&P’s intrusion into American politics is also ironic because, as I pointed out recently, much of our current debt is directly or indirectly due to S&P’s failures (along with the failures of the two other major credit-rating agencies — Fitch and Moody’s) to do their jobs before the financial meltdown.

As Food Stamp Numbers Hit Record Highs, Luxury Sales Boom

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Randy Shaw: While Democrats are not nearly as zealous or extreme in their policy proposals, there is now a bipartisan consensus that budget deficits – not unemployment or poverty – are the nation’s top problem.

What the Debt Ceiling Deal Means for Foreign Policy

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Rebecca Griffin: Depending on whom you ask, the Pentagon either got a free ride or the deal decimates the military budget. Given the leverage that Republicans had in this debate, it’s not surprising that the Pentagon got off easy in the first round of cuts.

Republican Double-Dip: What Must Be Done

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Robert Reich: Now that we’re slouching toward a double-dip recession, the only hope is voters will tell their members of Congress to stop obsessing about future budget deficits and get to work on the real crisis of unemployment, falling wages, and no growth.

For Progressives, Debt Ceiling “Deal” Was a Real Downer

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Joseph Palermo: The last-minute lobbying by the titans of industry and finance shows that President Obama might have had more leverage over the Republicans in the debt ceiling “negotiations” than he chose to exercise. We now breathlessly await the arrival of the “Super Committee,” the tragedy that follows the farce.

In the Debt Ceiling Machinations Democracy Is Also Up for Grabs

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Carl Bloice: If the people who set the Tea Party in motion and sustain it want a mandatory “balanced budget” there is a democratic way of going about getting one; introduce specific legislation. They wouldn’t take that route.

Say It Ain’t So, O!

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Stanley Kutler: Our problems with governance lie far beyond the character of Obama, or with the Lilliputians who run Congress. Our “leaders” will not lead; worse yet, they refuse to honestly confront the nation’s interest or needs.

The Debt Ceiling Crisis: Let’s Get Personal

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Walter Brasch: Since you like hunting, and they like hunting, your banker friends will let you buy all the guns and ammunition you want. But, they can’t help you on your health bills, or even lower the insurance premiums and co-pays. And, they can’t do much for that inflated mortgage payment. Or to help you find another job.

10 Reasons for Progressives to Feel Reassured About the Debt Package

Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.

What’s Next for Obama and Democrats?

Tom Hayden: Launch a campaign progressive to the core, with no compromises on ending tax cuts for the rich and trillion-dollar wars.

“Hurray! Congress Is to Adjourn!”

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Ted Vaill: Seventy or eighty arch-conservative Tea Party members of the House and Senate have held this country hostage to their right-wing demands that we sacrifice entitlements belonging to ordinary, hard working Americans for the benefit of their rich friends. What is the mood of the ordinary American? Disgust.

The Debt-Ceiling Deal Disaster

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Brent Budowsky: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could not deliver enough Republican votes. He was some 40 votes short. At the very moment when Democrats had leverage, they still caved and asked for and received nothing in return.

Primary Lessons

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Vijay Prashad: In the Progressive Caucus there was unanimity in the critique, but some hesitation over the way ahead. A few people felt that the far right was dangerous, and it seemed unsafe to unhinge what appeared to be Obama’s walkover in 2012.

Ransom Paid

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Robert Reich: Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics.

Understanding ‘Debtageddon’ Tuesday

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Denis Campbell: Many economists predict a failure to act before Asia markets open Sunday or Monday night could see an immediate stock market loss of up to 5% and wipe out 10% of US GDP by Tuesday night. It’s that serious.

7 Myths That Drive the Debt Ceiling Debate

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Adam Eran: The metaphors that frame the current Federal budget and debt ceiling debates are completely inaccurate, and if the media coverage is any indication, the public has swallowed them hook, line and sinker, too.

Black Leaders Rebuke Obama

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Sharon Kyle; President Obama has the wrong team Cornel West told a reporter. The poor, particularly blacks and browns are suffering under his leadership.

How Debt Ceiling Crisis Reelects Obama

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Tom Hall: The mainstream media has had little to say about Obama’s accomplishments. Why would they? The mainstream media is owned by, and serves, a handful of huge corporations in New York.

It’ll Be an All-Cuts Budget “Deal” (Just Like California)

Joseph Palermo: The debt ceiling gambit that Republicans in the House of Representatives have used to tie the U.S. government in knots in recent months is simply the California GOP’s tactic writ large.

The Biggest Driver in the Deficit Battle: Standard & Poor’s

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Robert Reich: Standard & Poor’s insists any deal must also contain a credible, bipartisan plan to reduce the nation’s long-term budget deficit by $4 trillion — something neither Harry Reid’s nor John Boehner’s plans do.

Will Obama Ever Hold the Republicans Accountable?

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Paul Loeb: Obama has forgotten the basic lesson of negotiation — you don’t hand everything over before you start, particularly to people who have utter contempt for your values and goals.

How Not to Make Friends in the Greater Middle East

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Tom Englehart: the U.S. military has gathered biometric data—“digital scans of eyes, photographs of the face, and fingerprints”—on 2.2 million Iraqis and 1.5 million Afghans, with an emphasis on men of an age to become insurgents.

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Vicious Cycles: Why Washington Is About to Make the Jobs Crisis Worse

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Robert Reich: The only way out of the vicious economic cycle is for government to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy — spending more in the short term in order to make up for the shortfall in consumer demand.

It Takes Strength to Compromise — and It Costs Less, Too

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Tanya Acker: There is a lot of discussion these days about the detriments of compromise. When you compromise, for instance, certain people may claim you don’t stick to your guns and decide not to vote for you.

Democracy Is Messy

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Ted Vaill: Every Member of Congress who voted against increasing the debt ceiling should be targeted for defeat in the 2012 election. If that is not successful in changing the makeup of Congress after 2012, I may follow the lead of my ancestor Pelatiah Everett, and begin a new revolution.

The GOP’s Cynical Bluff

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Tina Dupuy: Their real goal is the pyrrhic victory of making the President fail because they think the GOP will rise from the country’s ashes.

Banana Republicans

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Brent Budowsky: The extreme hard-line attitude of many Republicans has significantly raised the prospects for a national default and rating agency downgrades that would sweep across the nation and many states, causing an economic cataclysm and public outrage unlike anything ever seen in the history of the republic.

The Dangerous Hi-Jinks of the GOP’s Juveniles

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Robert Reich: The GOP’s experienced actors – House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – have been upstaged by juveniles like Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann, who don’t know the difference between playacting and governing. Washington has gone from theater to reality TV – a game of hi-jinks chicken that could end in a crash.

Bad “Bitches”, True Women

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Sikivu Hutchinson: As Middle America shuffles out of its hangover from the Casey Anthony trial and into the debt ceiling morass, the war on women has been fueled by an insidious 21st century cult of true womanhood.

Our Hope for Change Still Not Fulfilled

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Walter Brasch: After significant compromise with the recalcitrant Republicans who want to continue to give the wealthy tax advantages while cutting significant social programs, President Obama has finally taken a stand on debt ceiling negotiations. However, in labor, wildlife management, and the environment he is still compromising rather than coming out forcefully for the principles he and the working class and environmentalists believe.

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