The Arab World’s Leadership Deficit

Salah al-Din

Ibrahim Al-Marashi: President Hosni Mubarak was not a leader with the inherent charisma to galvanise the population. It is a problem that faces the entire region.

Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

boehner-budget

Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.

Financial Journalism and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

David Brooks

Carl Bloice: Some critics have taken the author Stieg Larsson to task for spending time on the state of economic reporting, suggesting that dragging in the issues of the day distracts unnecessarily from the enjoyment of a good murder mystery. For me it was one of the book’s highlights.

Obama Fights Fire with Gasoline

obama's budget

Robert Reich: The President has to reframe the debate around the necessity of average families having enough to spend to get the economy moving again. He needs to remind America this is not 1995 but 2011 — and we’re still in a jobs crisis brought on by the bursting of a giant debt bubble and the implosion of total demand.

The Big Lie

death panels

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.

CBO: DREAM Act Will Reduce The Deficit

dream act

Andrea Nill: The increase in authorized workers would affect individual and corporate income taxes, as well as social insurance taxes. On balance, those changes would increase revenues by $2.3 billion over 10 years.

National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week

Medical_Workers

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.

Who Is Behind the Deficit Crisis

tax breaks

Shamus Cooke: Unless labor and community groups massively mobilize working people in fighting for a pro-worker solution to the deficit crisis, austerity measures — like reducing Social Security and Medicare — will be forced upon us.

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.

D-Day in the Class War

deficit

Joseph Palermo: After a decade of stagnant or declining real wages, “bipartisan” schemes are proliferating to shift the burden of Washington policymakers’ own catastrophic mismanagement of the nation’s fiscal policies right onto the shoulders of working people.

Deficit Commission: Keynesian by Default

deficit

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.

The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now

Social Security

Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.

Why We Should Beware Budget-Deficit Mania

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson

Robert Reich: The first draft of the President’s deficit commission, written by its co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is a pastiche of ideas – some good, some dumb, some intriguing, some wacky. The only unifying principle behind their effort seems to be to throw enough at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

The California Budget Mess Backstory

oil addiction

Adam Eran: So the origin of California’s tax reductions, and even its current budget deficit, is arguably oil price inflation. If we want a stable economy, and government without deficits, we need to stop kidding ourselves that spending is a the root our budget problems, and attend to our energy addiction.

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

economy

Steven Hill: So when the authorities say “a recovery is under way” or “stimulus rather than deficit reduction” or “deficit reduction instead of stimulus,” remember: These are the same experts who are unsure of how to measure, who too often substitute ideology and partisanship for broken theory, and usually have been flat wrong in their assessments.

Why Growth Is Good

double dip recession

Robert Reich: If governments keep hacking away at their budgets while consumers almost everywhere are becoming more cautious about spending, global demand will shrink to the point where a worldwide dip is inevitable.

Watch “Deficit Hawks” Rush to Defend Pentagon Bloat

robert gates

Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.

Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Herbert Hoover

herbert hoover

Robert Reich: Both Greenspan and Rubin are deficit hawks. So was Herbert Hoover and so was Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. And look what Hoover and Mellon got us into. When we least need him, Hoover is being exhumed.

Bush Recession Comes Home to Roost

tax chart

Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.

The Collapse of the American Economy: Treating the People’s Economy Instead of Wall Street’s Cold

By nearly all accounts (except for the fervent Republican ideologues), the American economy is on the verge of collapse. Both Congress and Wall Street are very quick to shift the burdens of greed and decadence from the insolvent banks to the backs of the taxpayers through a $700 billion bailout. This expenditure is equivalent to [...]

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