Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and the New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site, robertkuttner.com, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Pelosi’s Perverse PAYGO Play

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. N ancy Pelosi has done an outstanding job of keeping a fractious House Democratic Caucus together and sending a consistent progressive message. She has been brilliant at helping newly muscular progressive legislators, while keeping Blue Dogs and New Dems from defecting to Republicans. She’s my hero, and I offer even gentle criticism with trepidation—but here goes. There is one weird anomaly in Pelosi’s game. That is her embrace and relentless enforcement of the pay-as-you-go budgeting rule, known as PAYGO. When the new Democratic House majority enacted the rules for this session of Congress in January, Pelosi whipped the Caucus so that skeptical progressives, with only a few dissenters, voted for PAYGO despite widespread misgivings. But in era when even Larry Summers, who sided with austerity hawks back when he had real power, feels compelled to make the case for deficits, PAYGO is...

Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Wall

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis Chief Justice John Roberts speaks to third year law students from Mississippi College School of Law and the University of Mississippi School of Law in Jackson, Mississippi. I t will now get even more interesting to be Chief Justice John Roberts, as the Supreme Court will soon consider challenges to Trump’s abuse of presidential emergency powers. At least 16 state attorneys general have filed suit contending that Trump’s action to build his wall is unconstitutional. One can anticipate expedited review and a Supreme Court decision this term. And the Chief Justice is likely to be the deciding vote. On a few occasions, Roberts has decided to clip Trump’s wings, mainly out of concern for the reputation of the Supreme Court as an institution, and partly to position himself as the court’s new center (and a rightwing center at that.) One key case involved Roberts’s abrupt turnabout in NFIB v. Sebelius , where the court’s five conservatives were expected to overturn...

The Winner? AIPAC!

Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Representative Ilhan Omar speaks during a press conference in Washington, D.C. L et’s begin by stipulating that Representative Ilhan Omar stepped way over the line when she suggested in a tweet that support for Israel was all about “the Benjamins,” meaning Ben Franklin’s face on a hundred dollar bill; and that she compounded the damage when asked by a reporter for the Jewish publication The Forward what she meant—and Omar tweeted, AIPAC! AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, otherwise known as the Israel lobby. What followed was a predictable, justifiable, and near-universal firestorm of criticism of Omar for playing into anti-Semitic stereotypes, and a demand for a groveling apology, which was duly forthcoming. Obviously, the entire subject of Jews, political money, and Israel is radioactive. To criticize the status quo, especially for a Muslim freshman member of the House, requires nuance and clarity, neither of which are...

The Welcome Arrival of Radicalism

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Progressive Democrats of America holds a news conference to announce the launch of a Medicare for All Caucus at the Capitol. T he American Prospect has been writing about rising economic insecurity for as long as we’ve been publishing—since 1990. I first addressed the issue well before that, in a piece for the Atlantic titled “ The Declining Middle ,” published in 1983. As economists have now thoroughly documented, the average performance of the economy and the earnings of ordinary people began drastically diverging in the 1970s, as shown in an iconic chart first created by the Economic Policy Institute. Basically, earnings have been flat or declining for most of the bottom 90 percent, while total economic output has tripled. The divergence widened with the election of Ronald Reagan and the deliberate dismantling of a social compact that had provided equitable allocation of the gains. Fair allocation had been accomplished during the postwar era...

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