Robert Reich: The question on everyone’s mind: Will the Fed signal it’s now more worried about inflation than recession?
Carl Bloice: If the whole, hardly-nail-biting business accomplished nothing else it momentarily diverted attention away from the big budget fight coming up, the one that will probably shape the country’s economic and social reality for decades to come.
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.
David Love: This new wave of austerity is a con game, and it’s racist too. Now is the time to reverse the trend and restore equity, justice and sanity to America’s economic system.
Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.
Shamus Cooke: To deal with working people more ruthlessly, the radical right is being unleashed. In normal times these bigots yell furiously but no one listens. But in times of economic crisis they’re given endless airtime on all major media outlets.
David Love: Scrooge arrived just in time for the holidays, with Social Darwinism, bootstraps, slashing and cutting as a prescription for all our woes.
Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.
Carl Bloice: If Congress does not vote over the next week and a half to re-authorize federal unemployment benefits through next year, before they expire November 30, nearly 2 million women and men and their families will face a dismal holiday season.
Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.
Carl Bloice: If it remains almost impossible for a couple of generations of young women and men to earn a decent living, it is calamitous for black people and the country. They cannot become the personification of the “new normal.”
Robert Reich: Democrats should admit America’s economic structure has become dangerously unbalanced — more unbalanced than it’s been in 80 years — and the imbalance is making it difficult if not impossible for the nation to emerge from recession. For these reasons, Democrats should recommit themselves and the nation to redresssing that balance.