Randy Shaw: After last week’s budget deal, it is clear that Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, and progressives would all benefit from the President facing a primary challenge in 2012.
Joseph Palermo: The “conservatives” and “Tea Partiers” are quite convincing at playing the aggrieved victims, but what, exactly, do they have to be “aggrieved” about?
Robert Reich: Public budgets are in trouble because revenues plummeted over the last two years of the Great Recession. They’re also in trouble because of tax giveaways to the rich.
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.
Robert Reich: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.
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.
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.
Robert Reich: When it comes to protecting the fortunes of America’s rich (mostly top corporate executives and Wall Street) and maintaining their strangle-hold on the political process, Senate Republicans, along with some Senate Democrats, don’t budge.
Robert Reich: America’s big businesses are less and less American. They’re going abroad for sales and employees. That’s one reason they’ve showed record-breaking profits in 2010 while creating almost no American jobs.
Berry Craig: But it’s getting harder for me to defend Obama when my union brothers and sisters — who also voted and worked for him — say he’s all but surrendered to the GOP. I’m disappointed in the president. They’re downright mad.
Robert Reich: The only practical effect of adding $858 billion to the deficit will be to put more pressure on Democrats to reduce non-defense spending of all sorts, including Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and infrastructure.