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Ransom paid

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | August 1, 2011

Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics. The deal does not raise taxes on America’s wealthy and most fortunate — who are now taking home a larger share of total income and wealth, and whose tax … Continue reading »

The battle is squared, and why we need budget jujitsu

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | May 17, 2011

Technically, the federal government has now reached the limit of its capacity to borrow money. Raising the debt ceiling used to be a technical adjustment, made almost automatically. Now it’s a political football. Democrats should never have agreed to linking it to an agreement on the long-term budget deficit. But now that the debt ceiling … Continue reading »

The battle for the soul of the GOP

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | May 10, 2011

The real battle for the soul of the GOP started today with a speech on Wall Street by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Wall Street and big business fear Tea Partiers won’t allow House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling without major spending cuts – and without tax increases on the wealthy. Wall Street and … Continue reading »

The Wageless Recovery

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | April 26, 2011

This week’s biggest economic show occurs tomorrow (Wednesday) when Fed chair Ben Bernanke steps in front of the cameras for the Fed’s first-ever news conference. The question on everyone’s mind: Will the Fed signal it’s now more worried about inflation than recession? Much of Wall Street thinks inflation is now the biggest threat to the … Continue reading »

The Republican strategy

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 18, 2011

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. By splitting working America … Continue reading »

The State of the Union and the federal budget: Investing in America’s future

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 25, 2011

Word has it that the President will be emphasizing “improving American competitiveness” in his State of the Union Address Tuesday night. As I’ve noted, the term is meaningless — but it’s politically useful. CEOs and many conservatives think it means improving the profitability of American companies. Liberals and labor unions think it means increasing export … Continue reading »

Reality resurfacing in California

Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy | January 18, 2011

Jerry Brown has issued a budget that engages a $25b deficit.  Note the word engages; not “papers over” or “hides with wishful thinking” or “lies about”; engages. There’s plenty of work not done yet, but this is huge: for the first time in recent memory, our elected chief executive is telling us the truth. Not … Continue reading »