Steven Hill: One of the qualities holding Greece back from enjoying the benefits of a more modern economy is its reliance on an informal economy of family and social networks which too often translates into nepotism, back room deals and tax dodging. But during an economic crisis like this, those networks become valuable
Ivan Eland: Denying Obama a victory—even if it’s good for the country—is very irresponsible. And on balance, the New START Treaty is good for the country.
Anthony Samad: President Obama needs to get mad a little more often, when he’s trying to do something serious, and the conservatives (and their pundits) are playing games with him.
David Swanson: The most silvery of possible silver linings here may lie in the possibility of a reborn peace movement. George W. Bush’s new memoir actually reveals the surprising strength the peace movement had achieved by 2006.
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.
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.
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.
Berry Craig: It was a tsunami of money triggered by the Supreme Court ruling that corporations could spend unlimited sums to elect or oppose candidates for public office.
Tom Hayden: Persistent waffling on dates for American troop withdrawals has eroded any remaining patience with the Obama White House among peace activists and voters, a majority of whom favors a timeline for US troop withdrawals.
Tom Degan: Is the president serious when he tells us that he plans on “working with” the opposition party in the next two years? Part of me has to believe that he’s not, that he’s merely taking on the guise of the good loser, holding his cards close to his vest.
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.
Steven Hill: Europeans are puzzled by the success of the populist Tea Party movement, which seemingly wants to roll back the last two years and return to how things were at the end of the Bush-Cheney years.
Anthony Samad: Do Republicans expect these two segments of Obama’s enormous base to stay home in 2012? If they do, they had better wake up. The “Obama Wave” is waitin’ on ’em.