The Great Debate

Aging Americans have a new companion: higher debt

By Helaine Olen
November 18, 2013

I like to joke about the fact that I have a ten-year-old boy at the age when my mother was not only an empty nester, but also an empty nester with a son-in-law. (That would be my husband.)

2014: The Democrats’ dilemma

By Robert L. Borosage
March 18, 2013

Washington has been fascinated by Republican self-laceration since the 2012 election. Karl Rove triggered a circular firing squad by vowing to take out unwashed challengers in GOP primaries. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal begged Republicans to stop being the “stupid party.” Strategists say the party can’t survive as stale, pale and male. Tea Party legislators knee-cap GOP congressional “leaders” and well-funded political PACs strafe any who dare deviate from the party’s unpopular gospel. Republicans are even talking about changing “Grand Old Party” to something more fashionable.

from Judgement Call:

The fiscal crisis nears – or not

March 12, 2013

Few economists preach spending cuts as a cure for high unemployment. Yet that’s exactly what Congress decided when it imposed, starting March 1, across-the-board spending cuts (the “sequester”). Despite Friday’s mildly upbeat jobs numbers, the economy remains limp, with 15 million or so unemployed individuals who want to work. Federal spending cuts won’t make their plight any better.

Why public debt is not like credit card debt

By Robert Kuttner
January 14, 2013

One big part of the well-financed campaign for economic austerity is the contention that the public debt is like a national credit card. If we keep charging on it, the argument goes, we’ll get overwhelmed with interest costs, suffer a reduced standard of living and, pretty soon, go bankrupt.

Post fiscal cliff: The fix is in

By Bill Schneider
January 2, 2013

We’ve been trying to deal with the national debt in this country for 30 years now.  The fiscal cliff is just the latest failed gimmick.  We’ve had more failed gimmicks than professional wrestling.

Fiscal cliffhanger: Ignore the partisans

By David M. Walker
December 18, 2012

It is never acceptable for elected officials to put partisan politics and special-interest pledges ahead of their country. But when the stakes are great, as they are with the fiscal cliff negotiations, it is reprehensible.

The real winner: Inflation

By Matthew Stevenson
November 10, 2012

I buy none of the post-election, prime-time hokum that what decided the presidential race was the Latino vote, women’s issues, the next Supreme Court justices, the view from the fiscal cliff or how drones are winning the War on Terror. This presidential election was, as always, a contest between gold standardists and inflationists.

Why left should seek a fiscal deal

By Gabe Horwitz
November 8, 2012

“I am looking forward to reaching out,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday night after he had won reelection, “and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together.”

The consequences of Obama’s debt

By Michael J. Boskin
November 2, 2012

This essay was submitted through the Romney campaign as a response to Lawrence Summers’ most recent column, “This election, Obama is the wiser economic choice.”

The sham of Simpson-Bowles

By Rep. Jan Schakowsky
October 24, 2012

Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson deserve some kind of medal for creating the widely held perception that their plan for reducing the deficit and debt is anything other than a bad proposal.