Now the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

falling to 2013

Robert Reich: The White House’s and Democrats’ single biggest failure in the cliff negotiations was not getting Republicans’ agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

Why Jobs Trump Deficit Reduction

seasonal workers

Robert Reich: Friday’s jobs report shows an economy that’s still moving in the right direction but way too slowly, which is why Washington’s continuing obsession with the federal budget deficit is insane. Jobs and growth must come first.

Stop Obsessing About the Budget Deficit

fiscal cliff notes

Robert Reich: I wish President Obama and the Democrats would explain to the nation that the federal budget deficit isn’t the nation’s major economic problem and deficit reduction shouldn’t be our major goal.

Did Monica Lewinsky Really Save Social Security?

clinton lewinsky

Eric Laumen: Amidst the controversy of the Starr commission’s Monica Lewinsky investigation, President Clinton, a centrist through and through, was forced to fall back on the support of his party’s left-progressive wing and abandon bipartisanship.

Thoughts on Tax Day 2012

mitt thurston howell iii romney

Robert Reich: I worry about the well-financed big lies that the very rich are the nation’s “job creators,” that the benefits from tax cuts on the rich “trickle down” to everyone else.

The Money Delusion

money mint

Mark Dempsey: Why does the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate sector, whose frauds caused the current economic meltdown, get trillions at the drop of a hat, and social safety net programs and revenue sharing with states, whose needs are far more modest, get the “one-finger salute”?

Newt’s Tax Plan, and Why His Polls Rise the More Outrageous He Becomes

the gingrich

Robert Reich: The more irresponsible his bomb-throwing, the more attractive Gringrich becomes to a sizable portion of Americans so fed up they feel like throwing bombs.

Trigger Deficit Cuts When Unemployment Drops to 5 Percent

supercommittee

Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.

Don’t Fall for GOP “Budget Crisis” Lie

tea party trip

Robert Reich: Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.

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

republican-utopia-wide

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.

Voters Rejecting Obama’s Rightward Shift

President Barack Obama waves to the people gathered on the street outside the Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela Community Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Randy Shaw: As dysfunctional as the Republican presidential contest is likely to be, when presidential elections are framed around Republican issues like deficits rather than Democratic issues like jobs, the Republican candidate nearly always wins.

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.

Saving Social Security and the Poisonous Chalice

social security

Carl Bloice: Social Security is not, to any significant extent, a contributing factor in the burgeoning deficit. Defenders of the system, including some leading economists, have successfully advanced that argument. Yet, a growing number of conservatives have begun to advance other specious arguments for “entitlement reform” that may threaten Social Security.

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.

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.

Wall Street Is More of a Threat to Obama’s Domestic Agenda than Afghanistan

Wish-I-could-find-a-job

The Congress, always in hock to Wall Street, is dragging its feet in passing anything near the sweeping regulatory restructuring that is needed if we are to prevent Goldman Sachs and the rest of the gang from exploiting their “moral hazard” by using the federal treasury as the mother of all “credit default swaps.”

Don’t Succumb to Deficit Hysteria

red-ink

The only item worth looking at is the part of the report that predicts the government will have nearly a $1.6 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ends this September 30 — but not because that number is alarmingly large. It strikes me as alarmingly small.

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