Shamus Cooke: Corporations are on a public-sector union mopping up mission, using the city, state, and federal budget deficits as an excuse to target public sector unions.
Lawrence Wittner: Dozens of local jurisdictions have passed resolutions that call for ending the U.S. military role in Iraq and Afghanistan, reducing the Pentagon budget, and funding domestic programs.
Robert Brent Toplin: Paul Ryan’s quick rise to his party’s second position in the presidential race symbolizes the growing prominence of this previously obscure philosophy and political movement. Overt libertarianism engages only a small minority of devotees in Washington these days, but stealth libertarianism has become a major force in the nation’s affairs.
John Peeler: In what has become a pattern for Obama, he backed down, adopted the essentials of the Republican argument, and left his own EPA Director swinging in the wind.
Lawrence Wittner: By scrapping plans for nuclear weapons “modernization” and for national missile defense—programs that are both useless and provocative—the United States would save $271 billion (well over a quarter of a trillion dollars) in the next ten years.
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.
Robert Reich: Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.
Brent Budowsky: The economic and political shock wave will be momentous as budget politics will increase joblessness and reveal with brutality that Washington is out of touch with heartland America and dominated by special interests that voters deplore.
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.
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.
John Peeler: Overall, Obama has been successful as the leader of Washington. Where he is failing is as the leader of the country. That’s a surprise, given his short political career, and his very impressive rhetorical skills.
In remarks to a health reform forum in March, Barack Obama acknowledged, ‘The greatest threat to America’s fiscal health … is the skyrocketing cost of health care.’ How he deals with this danger will arguably be as important for the historical reputation of his presidency as his foreign policy initiatives to safeguard national security.