The Great Debate

Has Obama really changed America?

January 12, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama reacts while talking about Newtown and other mass killings during an event held to announce new gun control measures at the White House in Washington January 5, 2016.  The White House unveiled gun control measures on Monday that require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks, moves Obama said were well within his authority to implement without congressional approval. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama reacts while talking about Newtown and other mass killings during an event held to announce new gun control measures at the White House in Washington January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Why the ‘best and brightest’ can be dimmest and worst at governing

December 18, 2015
Republican U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump speaks to the media in the spin room following the U.S. Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker

Donald Trump in the spin room after the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 15, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker

Searching for a real populist

January 6, 2014

In the American political lexicon, few words are as prevalent — or as confusing — as “populism.”

Not ‘court-packing,’ GOP’s aim is ‘court-shrinking’

November 5, 2013

The party that brought you “death panels” and “socialized medicine” has rolled out another term — carefully selected, like the others, for its power to freak people out. “Court-packing” now joins a Republican rogue’s gallery of poll-tested epithets.

What about Social Security’s rollout?

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.

Vote is referendum on the New Deal

November 2, 2012

 

We have been told throughout this presidential campaign that the contest is a referendum about two visions of government, one activist, the other passive ‑ like every presidential election since 1980. But that may actually understate the stakes. In a larger context, it is a choice between maintaining the last 80 years of American governance or abruptly ending it.

A revenue and legalization lesson from FDR

By J Saft
February 25, 2009

James Saft Great Debate — James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. —

(Correcting name of academic to Peter Reuter on Feb 27)

Want to help fund the bank bailout, ease California’s budget crisis and shore up strained U.S. finances? Legalize drugs, tax the trade and save on interdiction, domestic enforcement and the prison and court system.

Transition lessons from FDR

November 14, 2008

liaquatahamedLiaquat Ahamed is the author of “Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World”, a book about the causes of the Great Depression to be published by Penguin Press in January 2009. After working as an economist at the World Bank, he spent twenty-five years as a professional investment manager in London and New York. The opinions expressed are his own.