The Great Debate

The jobs proposal ignores economics

By David Callahan
September 9, 2011

By David Callahan
The opinions expressed are his own.

It’s a cruel fact for millions of unemployed Americans that the jobs plan President Obama unveiled last night will never be fully enacted by Congress. What’s even crueler, though, is that the least effective elements of the plan have the best chance of passage. New direct federal spending, the most powerful form of stimulus, is widely considered DOA on Capitol Hill – while weaker tax cut options will get a real hearing.

How would Keynes advise Obama on jobs?

By Nicholas Wapshott
September 8, 2011

By Nicholas Wapshott
The opinions expressed are his own.

It’s still the economy, stupid. So if Obama wants to keep his job – and we must assume he does, though he doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself much — he must boost the economy and get the jobless back to work. No president since 1948 has been elected with a jobless figure higher than 7.2 per cent, so with unemployment currently running at 9.1 per cent, he looks headed for certain defeat.

Obama at the electoral tipping point

By Clifford Young
September 1, 2011

By Cliff Young and Chris Jackson
The opinions expressed are their own.

The Obama administration finds itself between a rock and a hard place.  On one side, an emboldened Republican Party smells blood, with their largely successful (politically speaking) full court press on the debt issue and dominance of the news cycle.  On the other, the economic news—both domestically and internationally—has been depressing at best, and downright scary at worst.

Should Obama mimic David Cameron’s austerity?

By Nicholas Wapshott
July 27, 2011

By Nicholas Wapshott
The opinions expressed are his own.

In medieval times, a key member of a monarch’s retinue was the food taster, a hapless fellow who ate what his master was about to eat. If the taster survived, the food was deemed safe for the king’s consumption. President Obama has a taster of sorts in David Cameron, the British prime minister, who has embarked upon an economic experiment that echoes the recipe of wholesale public spending cuts and tax hikes needed if both sides in Congress are to agree to raising the federal government debt ceiling. How the British economy is faring offers Obama an idea of what a similarly radical policy of cutting and taxing here would mean to the American economy.

Ireland could use a little audacity of hope

By Marian Harkin
May 24, 2011

By Marian Harkin

The opinions expressed are her own.

Barack Obama’s infectious hope will help replenish the spirits of the beleaguered Irish people as we strive to emerge from recession, but more significantly his invoking our small nation’s educational and entrepreneurial talents help to show us the way forward.

from Bernd Debusmann:

Who is the superpower, America or Israel?

By Bernd Debusmann
February 21, 2011

On February 18, the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. The vote raises a question: Who dominates in the alliance between America and Israel?

from Bernd Debusmann:

In America, violence and guns forever

By Bernd Debusmann
January 16, 2011

Another American mass shooting. Another rush to buy more guns.

On the Monday after the latest of the bloody rampages that are part of American life, gun sales in Arizona shot up by more than 60 percent and rose by an average of five percent across the entire country. The figures come from the FBI and speak volumes about a gun culture that has long baffled much of the world.

Obama, Moses and exaggerated expectations

By Bernd Debusmann
October 25, 2010

-Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own-

President Barack Obama is close to the half-way mark of his presidential mandate, a good time for a brief look at health care, unemployment, war, the level of the oceans, the health of the planet, and America’s image. They all featured in a 2008 Obama speech whose rhetoric soared to stratospheric heights.

Looking for Keynes’ angels

September 14, 2010

Keynesian stimulus works perfectly, but only if you can find politicians who don’t care about re-election and central bankers who aren’t interested in being liked.

The U.S. war in Iraq is over. Who won?

By Bernd Debusmann
September 3, 2010

The end of America’s combat mission, after seven and a half costly years, has raised questions that will provide fodder for argument for a long time to come: Was it worth it? And who, if anyone, won?