The Great Debate

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.

The route to a real budget deal

By David M. Walker
February 25, 2013

There are glimmers of light in our battle to put America’s finances in order. New hope for a long-term budget deal has come in the form of two ideas, both from outside Congress, that many of our elected officials have embraced:“No Budget, No Pay” and “No Deal, No Break.”

Time for a serious deficit plan

By Mitch McConnell
February 5, 2013

 President Barack Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. But because he focused on political gimmicks, rather than real reform, we’ve seen trillion-dollar deficits and nearly $6 trillion added to the debt instead. Based on what we heard from the president at a news conference Tuesday, his unserious attitude is likely to continue.

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 fight for a grand bargain

By David M. Walker
November 29, 2012

The Gang of Eight: (Top Row, L to R) Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) (Second Row, L to R)) Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)  REUTERS/File

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.”