Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, as well as a distinguished senior fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week and continues to write columns in The Boston Globe. He is the author of Obama's Challenge and other books.

Recent Articles

Comment: Budget with Care

I recently proposed that instead of getting rid of what the Bush people call the death tax we abolish the "pre-death tax." This term, coined by my friend Michael Lipsky, refers to the Medicaid provision that requires people to spend down their personal assets on nursing-home care before Medicaid starts paying the cost. Medicaid is a means-tested program for poor people. The premise of current policy is that middle-class people who need long-term care must first impoverish themselves and then qualify for Medicaid as medical paupers.

Vigilance Needed as Cold War II Grips U.S.

Recently, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman christened the war aganst terrorism
World War III. But that's too apocalyptic. A better name would be Cold War II.

The first Cold War was ''a prolonged twilight struggle,'' in George Kennan's famous phrase. It was
punctuated with periods of hot war, in Korea and in Vietnam. But for the most part it lived up to its
name - an uneasy armed peace with jittery alerts, cloak and dagger operations, and proxy skirmishes
between client states.

Bush's Troubling Medicare Plan

George W. Bush has at last revealed the outline of his Medicare/drug benefit plan. One is reminded of Anatole France's famous line that "the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges."

Governor Bush's plan allows the poor as well as the rich to choose to pay high premiums for prescription drug coverage (or to choose instead, say, to eat). What Bush's plan does not do is to guarantee basic drug coverage to everybody. Gore's doesn't quite achieve that either, but it comes a lot closer and does so without dismantling Medicare.

What We Can Learn When a Tragic Case Defies our Stereotypes

Something Beyond the obvious tragedy troubled me about the case of
Peter Bos, the 31-year-old Jamaica Plain father who left his infant to perish in his car instead of taking her to day care. That something, I realize, is the role of class.

The community reaction was appropriately appalled but surprisingly compassionate: Those poor people. How could he have just left the baby in the car? How can he live with himself? Will the mother ever forgive him? What harried lives we all lead!

Body Politics

President Bush insisted that we could afford both
a tax cut and the shoring up of Social Security. He was dead wrong. So the
Democrats could hardly pick a better set of galvanizing issues. But as Robert
Borosage points out in "The Austerity Trap" (see page 13), many Democrats are
taking surplus-worship to such an extreme that they are in danger of losing their
raison d'être as a party.