Charley James: If it was not for the financial floor provided by Social Security and Medicare, there is a significant risk that many of the nation’s elderly would be destitute, sick and homeless.
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: Both Greenspan and Rubin are deficit hawks. So was Herbert Hoover and so was Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. And look what Hoover and Mellon got us into. When we least need him, Hoover is being exhumed.
Robert Reich: Restoring top earners’ marginal tax rates to what they were during the Clinton administration (36 and 39 percent) won’t inhibit their spending. That’s because they already save a large portion of what they earn, and already spend what they want to spend.
Robert Reich: Some say the Senate’s excise tax is the only way to control long-term health care costs. Baloney. If a portion of the middle class loses their health care, they won’t get the preventive care that’s so crucial to containing long-term costs.
Of course, a case can be made that it is better for a nation to win a war than to lose it. But perhaps it is time to learn from the world’s tragic, blood-stained history that there is a third alternative: using our intelligence and creativity to resolve conflicts without war.
In order to get anything meaningful through this session of Congress, then, the President will have to give Congressional Democrats far more leadership and more cover. Doing so is harder now than before the recess, when he was still basking in the afterglow of a honeymoon and 60% favorabilities.