Robert Kuttner  @  ChelseaGreen

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Where's the Protest at Home?

January 31st, 2011 by Robert Kuttner

On Saturday, I crossed paths with a few hundred protesters marching from Cambridge to Boston to call for the resignation of Egyptian President Mubarak. By appearance, they were a mixture of Arab-Americans, locals, and people from assorted other backgrounds.
The loud, peaceful march was almost startling, because you hardly see street protests in America [...]

Zero Hour for Social Security

January 10th, 2011 by Robert Kuttner

As I have previously warned–and I hope I'm wrong–President Obama seems on the verge of needlessly cutting America's most valued social program and the one that best differentiates Republicans from Democrats. This is part of a vain effort to appease deficit hawks in his own party and on Wall Street, as [...]

No Connection: Obama's Tax Deal and the Lame Duck Congress's Victory Week

December 28th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

President Obama and the late Democratic Congress had a terrific valedictory week. Obama reminded us of the leader whom we elected. His December 22 press conference was one of his best performances as president.
Democratic senators rose to rare heights of leadership.
Obama seems to rally mainly when his back is against the wall, after much damage [...]

Obama to Blink First on Social Security

December 16th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

The tax deal negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is just the first part of a multistage drama that is likely to further divide and weaken Democrats.
The second part, now being teed up by the White House and key Senate Democrats, is a scheme [...]

Social Security: The Coming Cave-in

December 13th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

If you think the Democratic base is mad at Obama now for making a craven deal with Republicans that continues tax breaks for the richest Americans and adds new ones for their heirs through a big cut in the estate tax, just wait a few weeks until Obama caves on Social Security.
How will this occur? [...]

Backbone, Please

November 29th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

If anything is more overrated than bipartisanship, it is post-partisanship. The Republicans surely get this. They dig in their heels, don't budge, and wait for the Democrats either to fail, or to come to them.
But the media are infatuated with the idea that excessive partisanship is a symmetrical problem. If only [...]

What Planet Are Deficit Hawks Living On?

November 15th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

To read the papers and watch TV news during the past week, you would think that the most dire problem afflicting Americans was the federal deficit in 2020 or 2030.
But for most people, the crisis right now is lost income, lost jobs, lost homes.
And the recommendations of the two co-chairs of the fiscal [...]

Time for Team B - And a Movement

November 8th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

In the 1970s, the CIA appointed a "Team B" to challenge prevailing assumptions about national security. Since then, there have been other Team B exercises to question prevailing views.
This is a smart move. An in-group of experts often becomes an echo-chamber, reinforcing their own prejudices and excluding people with different views. If [...]

Two Speeches Obama Should Give — and Probably Won't

October 25th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

Is the election basically sewn up, with the House gone and the Senate hanging in the balance? If things continue as they have been going, almost surely.
Voters are still seeking some signs that the Democrats are on their side. Here are two speeches Obama should give, and probably won't. One concerns [...]

Obama Calls the Question on Geithner

October 11th, 2010 by Robert Kuttner

By pocket-vetoing the bill that sailed through Congress to expedite mortgage foreclosures, President Obama may have begun a chain reaction that will blow up Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's confidence game with the banks. Let me explain.
In early 2009, Obama and his top economic aides faced a fateful choice: either do an honest accounting of the [...]