[credit provider=”AP”] Remarkably, John Boehner couldn’t get enough House Republicans to vote in favour of his proposal to keep the Bush tax cuts in place on the first million dollars of everyone’s income and apply the old Clinton rates only to dollars over and above a million.What? Even Grover Norquist […]
[credit provider=”Seattle Municipal Archives via www.flickr.com Creative Commons” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/4257832622/”] America’s children seem to be shortchanged on almost every issue we face as a society.Not only are we failing to protect our children from deranged people wielding semi-automatic guns.
[credit provider=”CNBC”] I’m trying to remain optimistic that the President and congressional Democrats will hold their ground over the next month as we approach the so-called “fiscal cliff.”But leading those negotiations for the White House is outgoing Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner, whom Monday’s Wall Street Journal described as a “pragmatic deal maker” […]
[credit provider=”Flickr/Hello,I’m Chuck” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/helloimchuck/”] I wish President Obama and the Democrats would explain to the nation that the federal budget deficit isn’t the nation’s major economic problem and deficit reduction shouldn’t be our major goal. Our problem is lack of good jobs and sufficient growth, and our goal must be […]
[credit provider=”modomatic at www.flickr.com” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/modomatic/2819582173/”] I hope the President starts negotiations over a “grand bargain” for deficit reduction by aiming high. After all, he won the election. And if the past four years has proven anything it’s that the White House should not begin with a compromise.Assuming the goal is […]
[credit provider=”Getty Images”] Over the weekend, Romney debuted an ad in Ohio showing cars being crushed as a narrator says Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.”In fact, Chrysler is retaining and expanding its Jeep production in […]
[credit provider=”Conor Lawless/Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/conchur/1580885393/”] Mark Perry, the respected economist behind the brilliant Carpe Diem blog, is calling out economist Robert Reich for a recent post he did on aeroplane ticket pricing just before Hurricane Sandy.Reich wrote that ticket prices for a flight out of New York’s JFK airport were cranked […]
[credit provider=”Flickr / Vox Efx” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/vox_efx/3578322709/in/photostream/”] Leaving New York City yesterday bound for California on one of the last flights out of JFK before the airport closed, a flight attendant told me I was lucky to already have my ticket. In light of the pending hurricane, the airlines had just […]
[credit provider=” David McNew/Getty Images”] As we go into the final days of a dismal presidential campaign where too many issues have been fudged or eluded — and the media only wants to talk about who’s up and who’s down — the biggest issue on which the candidates have given […]
[credit provider=”Flickr/Gage Skidmore” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6878652465/”] As we close in on Election Day, the questions about what Mitt Romney would do if elected grow even larger. Rarely before in American history has a candidate for president campaigned on such a blank slate.Yet, paradoxically, not a day goes by that we don’t hear […]
[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NYTimesByLuigiNovi1.jpg”] The so-called “mainstream media” (aka The New York Times) is constantly being assailed by Republicans and the right for their supposedly liberal slant. Yet another convenient right-wing lie.Take, for example, Saturday’s above-the-fold NY Times story, entitled (in the print edition that arrived at my home this morning): […]
[credit provider=”Getty”] To: POTUSFrom: Robert Reich
[credit provider=”HarvardEthics at www.flickr.com” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/harvardethics/6100257825/”] Former Secretary of labour Robert Reich thinks the phrase “fiscal cliff” might be a bit of an exaggeration – or at least a misnomer.In a new article for the Financial Times, Reich says it’s more likely to play out like a “gentle hill” due to […]
[credit provider=”(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)”] In Wednesday night’s debate, Romney won on style while Obama won on substance. Romney sounded as if he had conviction, which means he’s either convinced himself that the lies he tells are true or he’s a fabulous actor.But what struck me most was how […]
[credit provider=”Flickr/Gage Skidmore” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6878652465/”] I’ve spent the past few days debating right-wingers — among them, Grover Norquist and Ann Coulter. This isn’t my idea of fun. I do it because apparently many Americans find these people persuasive, and it seems important to try to show why they’re profoundly wrong. There are […]
It’s not just his giant income or the low tax rates he pays on it. And it’s not just the videotape of him berating almost half of America, or his endless gaffes, or his regressive budget policies.
[credit provider=”AP”] Can Romney possibly recover? A survey conducted between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16 by the Pew Research centre — before the “47 per cent victim” video came to light – showed Obama ahead of Romney 51% to 43% among likely voters.That’s the biggest margin in the September survey prior […]
[credit provider=”RobertReich.org” url=”http://robertreich.org/post/31335756096″] Here’s a slideshow of the illustrations I did for the new (and expanded) paperback edition of Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it — just out. First time I’ve illustrated my own book (or any other […]
[credit provider=”United States Steel Corp.” url=”http://www.uss.com/corp/images/press/high_res/blast_furnace_tap.jpg”] The question at the core of America’s upcoming election isn’t merely whose story most voting Americans believe to be true – Mitt Romney’s claim that the economy is in a stall and Obama’s policies haven’t worked, or Barack Obama’s that it’s slowly mending and […]
[credit provider=”DNC”] Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention was very long but it was masterful — not only in laying out the case for Barack Obama and against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, but in giving the American public what they most want and need in this election […]
Former Clinton labour Secretary and Professor Robert Reich has a quick, simple video out on how private equity partnerships make so much money buying, revamping and selling companies.
The most troubling economic trend facing America this labour Day weekend is the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top – among a handful of extraordinarily wealthy people – and the steady decline of the great American middle class. Inequality in America is at record […]
[credit provider=”National Review Online”] “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” says Neil Newhouse, a Romney pollster. A half dozen fact-checking organisations and websites have refuted Romney’s claims that Obama removed the work requirement from the welfare law and will cut Medicare benefits by $216 billion. […]
[credit provider=”AP”] Mitt Romney hasn’t provided details so we should be grateful he’s selected as vice president a man with a detailed plan Romney says is “marvellous,” “bold and exciting,” “excellent,” “much needed,” and “consistent with” what he’s put out.So let’s look at the five basic features of this “marvellous” […]
President Obama is slamming Mitt Romney for heading companies that were “pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs,” while Romney is accusing Obama of being “the real outsourcer-in-chief.”
Who’s buying our democracy? Wall Street financiers, the Koch brothers, and casino magnates Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.
Just when you thought Wall Street couldn’t sink any lower – when its myriad abuses of public trust have already spread a miasma of cynicism over the entire economic system, giving birth to Tea Partiers and Occupiers and all manner of conspiracy theories; when its excesses have already wrought havoc […]
[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Razor_Wire_Bunch.JPG”] Recently I publicly debated a regressive Republican who said Arizona and every other state should use whatever means necessary to keep out illegal immigrants. He also wants English to be spoken in every classroom in the nation, and the pledge of allegiance recited every morning. “We […]
[credit provider=”CNBC screenshot”] The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main regular of derivatives (bets on bets), wants to extend Dodd-Frank regulations to the foreign branches and subsidiaries of Wall Street banks.Horror of horrors, say the banks.
[credit provider=”en.wikipedia.org” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:De_Neuville_-_The_Huns_at_the_Battle_of_Chalons.jpg”] Back from several days in Washington. The city still has all the disadvantages of being a one-industry town, with almost everyone working for the government or lobbying the government or reporting on the government or trying to influence the government or litigating on behalf of or against […]
[credit provider=”commons.wikimedia.org” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polar_Bear_Trap_Svalbard_01.jpg”] We now know austerity economics is bad for weak economies facing large budget deficits. Much of Europe is in recession because of budget cuts demanded by Germany. And as Europe’s economies shrink, their debts become proportionally larger, making a bad situation worse. The way to avoid this […]
We can best honour those who have given their lives for this nation in combat by making sure our military might is proportional to what America needs.
Fine to nail Romney with Bain Capitalism. But let’s not forget Romney’s budget proposal, which mimics Paul Ryan’s. Take a moment to make yourself aware of both, because they’re eye-opening and scary. Both would restore the military budget, slash Medicare (turning it into vouchers that shift costs to the elderly) […]
The Cory Booker imbroglio has ignited a silly but potentially pernicious debate in the Democratic Party between so-called “pro-growth centrists” who want the President to focus on how well he’s done getting the economy back on its feet after the Bush administration almost knocked it out, and “pro-fairness populists” who […]
Members of the Class of 2012,
[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bill_Clinton_visit_to_Los_Alamos.jpg”] Mitt Romney is full of praise for Bill Clinton even as he heaps scorn on Obama.”Almost a generation ago, Bill Clinton announced that the era of big government was over,” says Romney, “Clinton was signaling to his own party that Democrats should no longer try to […]
[credit provider=”animm on flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/animm/257167657/”] The 2012 election should be about what’s going on in America’s boardrooms, but Republicans would rather it be about America’s bedrooms.Mitt Romney says he’s against same-sex marriage; President Obama just announced his support. North Carolina voters have approved a Republican-proposed amendment to the state constitution […]
[credit provider=”neonquark on flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/neonquark/4658615403/”] The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 13,338 Tuesday, its highest since December, 2007. The S&P 500 added 16 points. Wall Street will remember May 1 as a great day.But most of these gains are going to the richest 10 per cent of Americans who own […]
[credit provider=”Frontline”] The forum is called “Ask Me Anything,” so one of Robert Reich’s students decided to ask for the answer to an essay question. Reich was not impressed:REDDIT USER: Hi Professor Reich, let’s say, hypothetically speaking, you had a paper due tomorrow on reforming one policy that you believe […]
Bill O’Reilly, the tumescent personality of Fox News, said on his Friday show “Robert Reich is a communist who secretly adores Karl Marx.” (This came after Fox News’ Neil Cavoto called me a “sanctimonious twit” for suggesting the rich should pay more in taxes.)
One of the most pernicious falsehoods you’ll hear during the next seven months of political campaigning is there’s a necessary tradeoff between fairness and economic growth. By this view, if we raise taxes on the wealthy the economy can’t grow as fast.
Now that Mitt Romney is the presumed Republican candidate, it’s fair to ask how he made so much money ($21 million in 2010 alone) and paid such a low tax rate (only 14.9 per cent).
The general election of 2012 starts today.
The economy added only 120,000 jobs in March – down from the rate of more than 200,000 in each of the preceding three months. The rate of unemployment dropped from 8.3 to 8.2 per cent mainly because fewer people were searching for jobs – and that rate depends on how […]
Imagine a country in which the very richest people get all the economic gains. They eventually accumulate so much of the nation’s total income and wealth that the middle class no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy going full speed. Most of the middle class’s wages keep […]
[credit provider=”Eric Goldschein”] Luxury retailers are smiling. So are the owners of high-end restaurants, sellers of upscale cars, vacation planners, financial advisors, and personal coaches. For them and their customers and clients the recession is over. The recovery is now full speed.But the rest of America isn’t enjoying an recovery. […]
[credit provider=”Wikipedia” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neanderthaler_Fund.png”] In announcing the Republicans’ new budget and tax plan Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said “We are sharpening the contrast between the path that we’re proposing and the path of debt and decline the president has placed us upon.”Ryan is right about sharpening the contrast. […]
[credit provider=”AP”] Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs vice president, resigned his post Wednesday with a stinging public rebuke of the firm on the oped page of the New York Times — accusing it of no longer putting its clients before its own pecuniary goals. But if Mr. Smith believes his experience at Goldman […]
Republicans have morality upside down. Santorum, Gingrich, and even Romney are barnstorming across the land condemning gay marriage, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, access to contraception, and the wall separating church and state.
Here’s the good news. The economic pie is growing again. Growth in the 4th quarter last year hit 3 per cent on an annualized rate. That’s respectable – although still way too slow to get us back on track given how far we plunged.
Economic cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the White House are taking heart. The U.S. has had three straight months of faster job growth. The number of Americans each week filing new claims for unemployment benefits is down by more than 50,000 since early January. Corporate profits are healthy. The […]
The Obama administration is proposing to lower corporate taxes from the current 35 per cent to 28 per cent for most companies and to 25 per cent for manufacturers.
The most significant aspect of January’s jobs report is political. The fact that America’s labour market continues to improve is good news for the White House. But as a practical matter the improvement is less significant for the American work force.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos a few days ago, said the “critical risks” facing the American economy this year were a worsening of Europe’s chronic sovereign debt crisis and a rise in tensions with Iran that could stoke global oil prices.
[credit provider=”Gingrich Productions ” url=”http://www.gingrichproductions.com/video/ninedaysthatchangedtheworld.html”] Republicans are worried sick about Newt Gingrich’s ascendance, while Democrats are tickled pink.Democrats should not be pleased at the prospect that Gingrich could get the GOP nomination. The future of America is too important to take even a small risk of a Gingrich presidency.
Who should have the primary strategic responsibility for making American workers globally competitive – the private sector or government? This will be a defining issue in the 2012 campaign.
Meryl Streep’s eery reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” brings to mind Thatcher’s most famous quip, “there is no such thing as ‘society.'” None of the dwindling herd of Republican candidates has quoted her yet but they might as well considering their unremitting bashing of everything public.
Since my New Year’s prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I’ve been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes.
The defining political issue of 2012 won’t be the government’s size. It will be who government is for.
An Offer to the President
Wall Street is its own worst enemy. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it’s busily shredding new regulations and making the public more distrustful than ever.
You’ve been seeing this across the country … Americans assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed … Why? For exercising their right to free speech and assembly — protesting the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the top.
Despite what the Supreme Court and Mitt Romney say, corporations aren’t people. (I’ll believe they are when Georgia and Texas start executing them.)
Ron Paul’s newly-unveiled economic plan – promising to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget in year one (presumably that means 2013) – is only slightly more ambitious than what we’re hearing from other Republican candidates. They’re all calling for major spending cuts starting fifteen months from now.
A fundamental war has been waged in this nation since its founding, between progressive forces pushing us forward and regressive forces pulling us backward.
The President’s Jobs Bill doesn’t have a chance in Congress — and the Occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere can’t become a national movement for a more equitable society – unless more Americans know the truth about the economy.
Whatever shred of doubt you may have harbored about the determination of congressional Republicans to keep the economy in the dumps through Election Day should now be gone.
Looking for some Sunday night brain-mulch?
Former labour Secretary Robert Reich is currently taking questions from anyone on Reddit.
[credit provider=”www.flickr.com” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinist/5773404698/sizes/l/in/photostream/”] Repeat after me: Workers are consumers. Consumers are workers.We’re slouching toward a double dip, and Wall Street is imploding, because consumers – whose spending is 70 per cent of the economy – have reached their limit.
Robert Reich describes what’s wrong with the economy in 2 minutes. His bullet points (thanks to Stephanie Kelton):
According to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the recovery has stalled because of strict banking regulation.
How debates are framed is critical because the “centre” or “middle ground” is supposedly halfway between the two extremes.
I hope when he tells America how he aims to tame future budget deficits the President doesn’t accept conventional Wasington wisdom that the biggest problem in the federal budget is Medicare (and its poor cousin Medicaid).
Bob Reich has a simple explanation for why so many Wall Streeters get hired in Washington.
I was there in 1995 when the government closed because of a budget stalemate. I had to tell most of the labour Department’s 15,600 employees to go home and not return the next day. I also had to tell them I didn’t know when they’d next get a paycheck.
It’s tax time. It’s also a time when right-wing Republicans are setting the agenda for massive spending cuts that will hurt most Americans.
Why aren’t Americans being told the truth about the economy? We’re heading in the direction of a double dip – but you’d never know it if you listened to the upbeat messages coming out of Wall Street and Washington.
[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lepageumaine.jpg”] Maine Governor Paul LePage has ordered state workers to remove from the building that houses the state labour department a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labour history.Among other things the mural depicts the 1937 shoe mill strike in Auburn and Lewiston. It also features the iconic […]
And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became the truth.
Can we please agree that in the real world corporations exist for one purpose, and one purpose only — to make as much money as possible, which means cutting costs as much as possible?
What a difference two years makes. On March 9, 2009 the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit the bottom — closing at a 12-year low of 6,547. Today the Dow is soaring well over 12,000.
Justice Clarence Thomas, in a speech last weekend to the Federalist Society, accused his critics of “undermining” the legitimacy of the Supreme Court – politicizing it in ways that jeopardize the Court’s credibility in the eyes of the public. He warned:
Republicans offered Democrats two more weeks before doomsday. Democrats countered with four. Republicans held their ground. Democrats agreed to two.
You can’t fight something with nothing. But as long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top – and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation’s bills – Republicans will convince people it’s all […]
[credit provider=”republicanconference via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference/”] 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 […]
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican presidential hopeful, says in order to “save” Social Security the retirement age should be raised. The media are congratulating him for his putative “courage.” Deficit hawks are proclaiming Social Security one of the big entitlements that has to be cut in order to […]
“We can, and we must, work together,” the President told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today. “Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep, abiding belief in this country, a belief in our people, a belief in the principles that have made America’s economy […]
At a time when corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong.
The federal budget is $3.8 trillion.
The President will have to devote a big part of his speech to the economy, but which economy?
Whenever you hear a business executive or politician use the term “American competitiveness,” watch your wallet. Few terms in public discourse have gone so directly from obscurity to meaninglessness without any intervening period of coherence.
“Be careful of yourself,” I told Gabby last March, after the front glass door and a window at her Tucson congressional office were shattered. The attack came the same evening — Sunday, March 21 — she and other House Democrats voted for the health care law.
Republicans are telling Americans a Big Lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them.
Fiscal policy is deadlocked. So, apparently, is monetary policy.
After the victories of many of the insurgent primary candidates she’s sponsored, Sarah Palin is off to Iowa today (Friday) for a high-profile series of political events. Is it possible she’s looking to make a run in 2012? Do birds fly?
Some giant American corporations depend on a buoyant American economy and a world-class industrial base in the United States. Others are far less dependent. What comes out of Washington in the next few years will reflect which group has most political clout — especially if Republicans take over the House […]
[credit provider=”aflcio via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/labor2008/3405189103/”] The Great Jobs Depression continues to worsen.The labour Department reports this morning that companies created ony 67,000 new jobs in August. That’s down from the 107,000 they created in July. And because the government laid off temporary Census workers, the economy as a whole lost […]