Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Paul Ryan: Still Not Serious

As Mike Allen notes , Paul Ryan is working to educate his fellow Republicans on Social Security and Medicare cuts: Fearing they may be walking into a political buzz saw by proposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security, House Republican leaders are working to build support among rank-and-file members and among constituents before releasing the House GOP budget next month. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has spent years giving chalk talks on entitlements, is schooling his colleagues with a PowerPoint presentation, “The Choice of Two Futures,” designed to educate them about the problem before he proposes specific solutions. This reminds me: Last week , Ryan had a sit down chat with the folks at National Journal to talk about his plans to tackle the debt. In between moralistic deficit scolding and misleading analysis, Ryan praised the conclusions of President Obama 's fiscal commission and chastised the president for not endorsing them, especially as they related to Social...

Where Have the (Official) Candidates Gone?

Rick Klein wonders about the seemingly vacant Republican presidential contest: So far, the field has been more remarkable for who's not running than for who is. This time four years ago, with both parties' nominations wide open, some 17 candidates had taken formal steps to run for president; one had even declared his candidacy and dropped out. This year, only two Republicans -- long-shot candidates Herman Cain, a former Godfather's Pizza executive, and Buddy Roemer, who was governor of Louisiana 20 years ago -- have gone so far as to organize presidential exploratory committees. This isn't actually so unusual, at least among Republican presidential hopefuls. By this point in 1999, only two candidates were officially running for the GOP nomination: New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith and Pat Buchanan. George W. Bush had just formed an exploratory committee, and John McCain was still silent. Although most announcements came in mid-March -- with Lamar Alexander , Dan Quayle and Steve Forbes...

Zombie Myths and Taxes

This , from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , is still very wrong: McConnell said the budget plan Senate Democrats presented Friday – calling for $10 billion in cuts – represented only one-sixth of the cuts outlined in a bill passed by House Republicans and backed by Senate GOP leaders. Earlier on the show, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) dismissed the GOP proposal as “reckless.” […] “What’s reckless … is the $1.6 trillion deficit we’re running this year. What’s reckless is the $3 trillion we’ve added to our national debt,” McConnell said. “Our national debt is now the size of our economy. We’re beginning to look a lot like Greece.” [Emphasis mine] I've said this before, but it bears repeating: the United States is far and away from looking like Greece. To ape a little from Dean Baker 's explanation , there are three big reasons for why this isn't the case. First, unlike Greece, we have our own currency — should push come to shove, we can buy our own debt and avoid insolvency (at the...

Is the United States Broke?

Republicans have taken to declaring the country "broke" as justification for draconian cuts in social spending. It's a nice bit of rhetoric, but the evidence -- according to Bloomberg's David Lynch -- points to the opposite : The U.S. today is able to borrow at historically low interest rates, paying 0.68 percent on a two-year note that it had to offer at 5.1 percent before the financial crisis began in 2007. Financial products that pay off if Uncle Sam defaults aren’t attracting unusual investor demand. And tax revenue as a percentage of the economy is at a 60-year low, meaning if the government needs to raise cash and can summon the political will, it could do so.[…] Financial markets dispute the political world’s conclusion. The cost of insuring for five years a notional $10 million in U.S. government debt is $45,830, less than half the cost in February 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, according to data provider CMA data. That makes U.S. government debt the fifth safest...

Why We Should Care About White Anxiety

So, it's a Friday afternoon, and Twitter is up in arms about a piece by CNN's John Blake titled, "Are whites racially oppressed?" Admittedly, the headline is sensationalist and inflammatory, but if you move away from its ridiculousness, you have a well-reported and insightful story on "whiteness," social identity, and economic anxiety. In particular, it's worth reading for Tim Wise and Matt Wray 's thoughts on the phenomena of white racial anxiety. Here is Wise: Many white Americans have lived under the assumption that if they worked hard, they would be rewarded. Now more white Americans are sharing unemployment lines with "those people" -- black and brown, Wise says. "For the first time since the Great Depression, white Americans have been confronted with a level of economic insecurity that we're not used to," he says. "It's not so new for black and brown folks, but for white folks, this is something we haven't seen since the Depression." And here is Wray: "We are often offended if...

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