The Great Debate

Ending the debt limit crisis: Dear Ben Bernanke

By Alan Grayson
October 9, 2013

Warren Buffett calls the debt ceiling a “nuclear weapon, too horrible to use.” Obama administration official Jason Furman says the consequence of a default on U.S. government debt is “too terrible to think about.” When asked about a default, Wells Fargo strategist James Kochan simply commented, “Holy cripes.”

Why this shutdown isn’t like 1995

By Hedrick Smith
October 4, 2013

The political battlefield of the current government shutdown looks a lot like the last big shutdown of 1995. But major changes within the Republican Party in Congress — a weaker leadership, the demise of moderates and two decades of gerrymandering — could make this year’s endgame far harder.

Forging ahead with free trade

By Harold McGraw III
September 30, 2013

The recent focus on what divides world leaders, from Syria to the euro zone, has obscured the significant agreements reached at the Group of 20 meeting in St. Petersburg earlier this month. One of the most important was support for free trade and opposition to protectionism.

from David Rohde:

The key stumbling blocks U.S. and Iran face

By David Rohde
September 28, 2013

A historic phone call Friday between the presidents of the United States and Iran could mark the end of 34 years of enmity.

Ted Cruz: Blackmailer

By Bill Schneider
September 27, 2013

On October 28, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and his supporters may wish to commemorate the feast day of Saint Jude. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes. Because if ever there was a hopeless cause, it is killing the Affordable Care Act.

For U.S.-Iran, it’s all in the timing

By Trita Parsi
September 24, 2013

Four years after President Barack Obama famously extended his hand of friendship to Iran, Tehran finally seems willing to unclench its fist. The most decisive geopolitical handshake of this decade may take place today at the United Nations.

On U.S.-Iran deal, devil is in the details

By Michael Adler
September 23, 2013

The feel-good mood engendered by promising overtures from Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama has raised hopes for a settlement in the Iranian nuclear crisis. But the devil — especially in this case — is in the details.

from David Rohde:

Iran’s offer is genuine — and fleeting

By David Rohde
September 19, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday is not expected to generate much excitement. Battered by his uneven handling of Syria, no bold foreign policy initiatives are likely.

Yellen: An economic tonic for the sluggish recovery

By Robert Kuttner
September 18, 2013

The money markets rejoiced when Larry Summers pulled out of the race to be Federal Reserve chairman. The reason was simple, self-serving and not necessarily wholesome: A different chairwoman — most likely Janet Yellen — would be more inclined to continue the Fed’s program of large-scale bond purchases and low interest rates.

A potential turning point for Syria

By Mona Yacoubian
September 11, 2013

In the dizzying debate over U.S. military intervention in Syria, one key point of consensus stands out: Both the Obama administration and Congress recognize that the resolution to Syria’s conflict must come through a negotiated settlement. Key international actors share the same conclusion.