John Podesta

John Podesta is chair and counselor of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Under his leadership, American Progress has become a notable leader in the development of and advocacy for progressive policy.

Recent Articles

Retilting the Playing Field

This piece is part of the Prospect' s series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years. L ewis Powell’s memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is widely credited for its role in shaping the modern conservative movement and prompting the development of a conservative communications and policymaking infrastructure. But another group was arguably more influential in the intellectual molding of modern conservatism: the John M. Olin Foundation. Disbursing hundreds of millions of dollars over more than half a century, the Olin Foundation enabled the rise and normalization of the law and economics discipline in universities and law schools across the country. Olin Foundation grants supported research and writing by figures like Allan Bloom and Dinesh D’Souza, endowed numerous professorships and academic centers, and provided large streams of funding for think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and institutions like the Federalist Society. This grant-making power ultimately served to...

Fiscal Boldness First

If he takes the oath of office as president, John Kerry would inherit an upside-down economy marked by slow job growth, stagnant wages, and rising costs; twin deficits--budget and trade--that threaten havoc for the middle class; a health-care system that's facing financial chaos; a dangerous and costly occupation in Iraq; a vitally important but vastly undercapitalized homeland-security effort; and international alliances that have been mangled almost beyond recognition. Of course, the list goes on. He may feel he's just become the mayor of hell. On an operational level, President Kerry will be confronted by a federal government dispirited in its mission and adrift in an ocean of red ink. Thanks in large part to George W. Bush's tax cuts, he'll find that the United States is now on a steady course to a fiscal gap exceeding 5 percent of our gross domestic product as far as the eye can see. The impact on Social Security and Medicare, meanwhile, will be devastating. Some of my colleagues...

Bush's Secret Government

Washington has seen its share of odd sights in the last few years but few as bizarre as the one we witnessed late last month after the release of the report on the causes and consequences of the September 11 terrorist attacks. There in front of the White House, fresh from a meeting with President Bush, stood the disappointed foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, imploring the president to release parts of the report that apparently contain damaging evidence of Saudi Arabia's complicity in those attacks. The president denied the Saudi request and later turned a deaf ear to Republican and Democratic members of Congress who, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, separately made the case for sharing the information. The president said that releasing the information would jeopardize "sources and methods" of intelligence collection, a line he and others repeated over the days that followed. The incredible irony -- that the leader of the United States would use this excuse to protect a regime that...