Regarding the “fiscal cliff,” a consensus is forming in Official Washington that a top priority must be elimination of automatic Pentagon “cuts,” with the word “draconian” much tossed around. But the planned reductions are really quite modest, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains.
The backdrop of the Newtown massacre and similar slaughters across America is how frequently the U.S. government opts for violence to settle problems around the world, a message that might influence a troubled individual with access to a gun, says Laura Finley.
For several decades, the American Right has heaped contempt on government employees as part of a strategy to delegitimize federal regulation of the private sector, contributing to such disasters as the Wall Street meltdown of 2008. But the beat-down of “public servants” goes on, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner planning to step down, President Obama is faced with an important appointment. Much of Official Washington wants a “deficit hawk,” but Obama and the country would be better served by someone who cares more about recovery than austerity, says Beverly Bandler.
Financial news network CNBC is dominated by correspondents and anchors who worship at the altar of the Market, preaching the right-wing theology of unrestrained capitalism and tightly constrained government. Amid that religious certainty, CNBC’s Becky Quick breezily mocks economist Paul Krugman, Beverly Bandler notes.
Exclusive: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to burnish his tarnished image with a new memoir, Total Recall. But the “Governator” forgets to include how a mix of Enron’s dirty tricks and their exploitation by Republican operatives brought him to power, writes Jim DiEugenio.
When seeking the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney promised to keep the Bush tax cuts and tack on a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Now, he struggles to explain how that would work, but even the status quo has helped the rich and damaged the middle class, says former Republican William Frey.
Many Americans don’t know where the Great Middle Class came from. They see it as a natural outgrowth of “free-market capitalism” when it was really the product of conscious government policies, starting with the New Deal. That confusion must be addressed in this political season, says Beverly Bandler.
The last decade’s surge in military spending has added to America’s debt while having a dubious impact on U.S. security. The upcoming elections now pit President Obama, who is calling for reductions, against Mitt Romney, who is calling for more increases, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
The Right thinks it has a winning issue in mocking President Obama for “leading from behind” on international crises like last year’s uprising in Libya. But a new study finds Americans leery of more war, supportive of diplomacy and eager for less military spending, says Lawrence S. Wittner.