The Great Debate

U.S. Mideast policy: Keeping our friends closer

By Brenda Shaffer
November 4, 2013

It is time for Washington to change the parameters of the debate on its foreign policy toward the greater Middle East. It is not a choice between human rights and security — rather, the two goals should go hand in hand.

What about Social Security’s rollout?

By Bruce J. Schulman
October 29, 2013

After the nation’s major social program finally became law, critics regularly blamed it for a slowing economy and a swelling federal bureaucracy. Fierce congressional opposition led to the formation of a blue-ribbon panel to overhaul the measure. Obamacare in 2013? Not quite. It was Social Security in 1937.

Opposing Obamacare: GOP’s defining issue

By Bill Schneider
October 28, 2013

After the French Revolution, the statesman and diplomat Talleyrand said of the Bourbon kings, “They learned nothing and they forgot nothing.” The same might be said of congressional Republicans after their disastrous government shutdown adventure.

Counterterrorism: Where are Obama’s policy changes?

By Daphne Eviatar
October 21, 2013

It is now roughly five months since President Barack Obama announced a new direction for U.S. counterterrorism strategy.

The power in a president’s mandate

By William E. Leuchtenburg
October 16, 2013

The controversy over responsibility for the government shutdown has brought about one surprising consequence: a debate over the meaning of the term “presidential mandate.”

Tea Party zealots hold the public debate hostage

By Robert L. Borosage
October 15, 2013

This year’s contrived budget crisis is headed to its climax, as the date for defaulting on the nation’s debt approaches.

The budget is its own ‘debt ceiling’

By Daniel Alpert and Robert Hockett
October 10, 2013

It could be that President Barack Obama and the Republican House of Representatives will again be able to avert fiscal and financial chaos through a short-term, ad hoc agreement on government funding and the “debt ceiling” limit. This would be good news for the world and its markets.

Antisocial genesis of the social cost of carbon

By Susan E. Dudley, Brian F. Manix and Sofie E. Miller
October 10, 2013

The day after his 2009 inauguration, President Barack Obama committed to “creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.”

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.