Now the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

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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.

Democrats Win Convention Messaging Game

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Victoria Defrancesco-Soto: The Republicans failed to provide an easily accessible conceptual framework for the campaign. The Democrats provided a more encompassing, relateable framework.

Republicans Panicked That Obama Might Run with Hillary Clinton

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Brent Budowsky: Romney-Ryan promises the third term of President George W. Bush, which is why Romney wisely and cowardly hides Bush when Republicans meet at their convention. While Obama wisely and proudly showcases Bill Clinton when Democrats meet at theirs.

President Obama: A Radical Liberal Moderate Conservative Socialist Corporate Stooge?

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Julie Driscoll: What the left views as weakness and the right views as radicalism, I view as brilliance. Anyone who thinks he’s weak hasn’t been paying attention.

War: Fiscal Stimulus of Last Resort

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Ellen Brown: Diverting a portion of our massive war spending to peaceful use could add jobs, improve living standards, and add infrastructure, while reducing the national debt and balancing the government’s budget by increasing the tax base and government revenues.

Inequality: The Real Cause of America’s Economic Woes

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Robert Reich: During periods when the very rich took home a much smaller proportion of total income — as in the Great Prosperity between 1947 and 1977 — the nation as a whole grew faster and median wages surged.

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Obama’s Jobs Plan: Will He Offer Policy Miniatures or Give ‘em Hell?

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Robert Reich: The winner of the 2012 presidential election will be the person who comes off as the toughest fighter for average Americans. Earth to Obama: Remember Harry (Give ‘em Hell) Truman.

Three Ideas to Fix the Economy

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Judith Stein: The chances of immediate action on jobs are remote, but analyzing the causes of the crisis, devising and promoting a program that can restore growth and jobs, and constructing a politics that can effect change is crucial because there will be future political openings.

Obama’s Bold Jobs Bill (Maybe)

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Robert Reich: A bold jobs plan is also good politics. With more than 25 million Americans looking for full-time jobs, the wages of people with jobs falling, and an economy on the verge of a double dip, the President has to come out fighting on the side of average people.

Cut the Crap and Create Jobs

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Brent Budowsky: While the Republican Party at the national and state level is doing everything it can to destroy jobs, the Democratic Party is failing to fight for jobs with the intensity that Democrats have historically done.

The Swamp of Washington and the Morass of the Economy

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Robert Reich: If the Democrats remain silent, the vacuum will be filled by the Republican snake oil of federal spending cuts and cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy.

Phoenix Police Exaggerate Kidnapping Stats

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Andrea Nill: One city councilwoman claims that police officials have known the figures were wrong since August 2010, but continued to deny allegations that they weren’t for months.

The Stimulus, Koch Meeting Attendees Guarded By Police Saved By Stimulus

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Lee Fang: Koch Industries takes advantage of government money for the same reason it funds climate change-denying journalists, academics, front groups, and think tanks: its goal is to maximize profit, even if it comes at the expense of the American public.

Why No Amount of Fiscal or Monetary Stimulus Will Be Enough

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Robert Reich: The Fed’s decision Tuesday to keep short-term interest rates near zero is no surprise. What’s odd is its apparent decision not to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of bonds — despite its acknowledgment that ”the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months,” and that prices are rising too slowly for comfort (i.e., we might be facing deflation).

The Two Stories of This Terrible Economy, Yet Obama and the Dems Won’t Tell Theirs

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Robert Reich: Republicans lack specific policies but they have a story. Obama and the Democrats have lots of specific policies but don’t have a story. That spells even more trouble for Democrats.

Obama’s Delusions: The Economy and Iraq

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Shamus Cooke: The hundreds of billions of dollars that Obama will use to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan could just as easily go to create jobs in the United States: public works could be financed by the government, as they were during the last Depression, that directly create jobs.

So I Got Laid Off

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Steve Ybarra: The Big O is doing what he said he was going to do. Am I the only one that noticed that the last combat brigade in Iraq came home? We got health care, we got bank reform, and we got money to fix stuff. The only problem is that the Republicants want to keep it from being spent.

‘No Drama Obama’ Needs a Strong Second Act

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Walter M. Basch: The Obama administration is a welcome change from the Bush–Cheney years. However, much of what President Obama is doing appears to be an extension of Bush–Cheney values.

Budget Cowardice Compounds Problem

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Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.

Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap

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Robert Reich: Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.

A Grand Fourth

Ron Wolff: FDR spoke about “four essential freedoms” on January 6, 1941, naming 1) freedom of speech and expression; 2) freedom of every person to worship in his own way; 3) freedom from want; and 4) freedom from fear — which he explained was related to a reduction of armaments and the lack of physical aggression against any other country in the world.

Slouching Toward a Lousy Recovery at Best

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Robert Reich: The people who are suffering the most from the failure of public officials and the greed of large bankers are the least able to endure it. Unemployment among people with four-year college degrees is barely over 5 percent; among high-school dropouts it’s over 25 percent.

Why Economic Advisors Are Paid to Be Economic Advisors

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Robert Reich: Say you’re a high government official with some responsibility for advising the President on what he should be doing and saying about the economy. You know the economy is still in a deep hole, the deepest since the Great Depression.

A Double-Dip Recession Coming?

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Robert Reich: The only reason the economy isn’t in a double-dip recession already is because of three temporary boosts: the federal stimulus (of which 75 percent has been spent), near-zero interest rates (which can’t continue much longer without igniting speculative bubbles), and replacements (consumers have had to replace worn-out cars and appliances, and businesses had to replace worn-down inventories). Oh, and, yes, all those Census workers (who will be out on their ears in a month or so).

Are Obama, Democrats Really “Remaking Washington”?

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Randy Shaw: while Obama and the Democratic Congress have achieved major gains, there is a entire other range of critical issues — the record military budget, increased troops in Afghanistan, inaction on both comprehensive immigration reform and EFCA, the absence of a major job creation program — where change is missing. This leaves Obama’s “remaking” far less sweeping than Ronald Reagan’s achievement in 1981.

California’s Cutbacks Imperil “the Obama Generation”

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Randy Shaw: From an environmental agenda imperiled by nationwide public transit cuts, to a “Jobs” agenda jeopardized by state-induced layoffs, to the lack of full implementation of the President’s prized national service expansion, state budget cuts imperil progressives’ electoral gains of 2008. And no group risks having their expectations more shattered than the students and recent college grads – often described as “the Obama Generation” —whose energy and turnout helped define the 2008 election cycle.

The Future of American Jobs

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Robert Reich: The Great Recession has accelerated a structural shift in the economy that had been slowly building for years. Companies have used the downturn to aggressively trim payrolls, making cuts they’ve been reluctant to make before. Outsourcing abroad has increased dramatically. Companies have discovered that new software and computer technologies have made many workers in Asia and Latin America almost as productive as Americans, and that the Internet allows far more work to be efficiently moved to another country without loss of control.

Obomanomics One Year Out

Obama Economic Challenges

Robert Reich: The economic stresses of continued high unemployment and low wages are contributing to the growth of the “I’m Mad As Hell” Party – a rag-tag collection of Tea Partiers furious at establishment Republicans, left-wing Democrats angry at what they consider lily-livered Democrats in Washington, and Independents disgusted with everybody inside the Beltway.

Democratic “Accomplishments” Not Nearly Enough

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Joseph Palermo: Unless the Congress moves some progressive legislation quickly there’s going to be trouble this fall because any political party that is stupid enough to allow a couple of shmucks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, or the outcome of a special election in New England, to unravel its governing coalition doesn’t deserve to be in power.

Obama Needs To Teach The Public How to Get Out Of The Mess We’re In, But He’s Not

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Robert Reich: The economic lesson President Obama ought to be teaching is that targeted tax cuts, mostly for small business, are good to the extent they give businesses a nudge toward creating more jobs. But businesses won’t begin to create lots of jobs until they have lots of customers. And that won’t happen until lots more Americans have work. The only way to get them work when businesses aren’t hiring is for government to prime the pump.