On Wisconsin: End the War, Invest at Home

commander-wide

Tom Hayden: It is time for our most prominent liberal economists to broaden their analysis of the domestic crisis to include spending for these unfunded wars. Only Joseph Stiglitz has done so.

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.

The Republican Strategy

antonin scalia

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.

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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.

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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.

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Why We Should Trade Broccoli and Asparagus for Hot Dogs and Apple Pie

apple pie

Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.

Why the Republican Budget Plan Is a Hairball

angry bull

Robert Reich: What happened to John Boehner’s $100 billion budget-cutting commitment? What became of Paul Ryan’s big ideas? Where did all the roaring and raging on the right during the 2010 election go?

John’s Lament

bagpiper

John Blue: Chattel slavery may be gone for good, but today’s economic slavery may be little better; with the too-high unemployment and foreclosure rates and union membership ever declining, a lot of people “owe their soul to the Company store” and who among them is so bold to challenge their bondage?

What Is To Be Done About the State of Our Union?

obama state of the union

Lydia Howell: Nine months after taking office, Obama began slamming the Democratic Party’s liberal/progressive base for daring to notice, much less criticize, his corporate-friendly policies and center-right positions. In the wake of his Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission, Obama will likely make a sober call for national sacrifice.

GOP Austerity Plan Targets Blacks and Latinos

unemployed black man

David Love: This new wave of austerity is a con game, and it’s racist too. Now is the time to reverse the trend and restore equity, justice and sanity to America’s economic system.

The Forgotten Jobless and Our Future

labor strike

Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.

Republican Assault on Health Care Could Backfire

gop healthcare

Robert Reich: If successful—either in Congress or in the courts—a Republican victory could turn into a Phyrric one by opening the way to the alternative model, based on the system Americans seem to prefer: payroll taxes and public insurance.

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with Memphis sanitation workers.

Robert Reich: Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers.

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.

Why Inequality Matters

lawrnence strike 1912

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The only alternative available to working people that offers real prospects for success are mass mobilizations in the streets and strikes – the kind of militant struggles that scored so many gains in the 1930s.

What’s at Stake in Tax-Cut Deal

tax cuts for rich

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

new years resolutions

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.

Caring for Others Is Legal — Still

Bob Letcher: In any case, people were screaming slogans at each other, as though volume alone would determine who was right. No nuance. Little listening, little worthy of being listened to.

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

Comedy Congress

Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

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.

Obama Wooing Economic Royalists

Obama Barack

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.

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.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

Will Democrats Move Right?

Shamus Cooke: But in a close second place in this rightward scramble are the Democrats, who’ve spent decades racing into the arms of the corporations that dominate both political parties unchallenged.

Party Like It’s 1994

barack obama bill clinton

The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.

It’s Nonsensical

we the people

Berry Craig: Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much.

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