Robert Reich: We are slouching toward a double dip because we’re getting the problem wrong. Despite what Standard & Poor’s says, notwithstanding what’s occurring in Europe, and regardless of U.S. budget projections years from now — our current crisis is jobs, wages, and growth. We do not now have a debt crisis.
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.
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.
Robert Reich: The nation and Oba,ma remain hostage to the ideology of right-wing Republicans who won’t let the government spend more money. Yet if the government can’t spend more – at least this year and next, until the pump is primed and the economy is growing again – we won’t see job growth. And without job growth, the economy will remain anemic.
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.
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.
Robert Reich: Barack Obama is one of the most eloquent and intelligent people ever to grace the White House, which makes his failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing and puzzling.
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.
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.
Robert Reich: Wall Street has effectively neutered the Dodd-Frank law, which is the best argument I know for applying the nation’s antitrust laws to the biggest banks and limiting their size.
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.
Robert Reich: It’s no accident that President Obama appears to be following the Clinton script. After all, it worked.