Robert Borosage

Robert Borosage is co-director of the Campaign for America's Future and co-editor of The Next Agenda: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement and Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right.

Recent Articles

Talking Taxes

George W. Bush has made tax cuts the touchstone of his presidency, supporting new ones each year, with the economy in growth and in recession, with record budget surpluses and record deficits, in peace and in war. Most of his fellow Republicans have sworn blood oaths never to raise taxes. They even managed to gain overwhelming popular support for repeal of the estate tax -- perhaps the nation's most progressive tax, affecting less than 2 percent of the wealthiest few -- by renaming it the “death tax” and peddling a big lie about protecting family farms and small businesses. Most Democrats, meanwhile, are loath to talk about taxes. “Spend and tax” Democrats sensibly prefer to emphasize the benefits of the spending, not how it is paid for. While President Clinton pushed through tax increases on the affluent as part of his first deficit-cutting budget, he focused rhetorically on putting people first and balancing the budget, not on progressive taxation as good policy for its own sake. Later,...

Staying the Course

This one hurts big. But progressives have little time for grief or recrimination. George W. Bush claims a mandate for his radical domestic agenda and for his preemptive foreign policy. The dollar has already begun to fall and interest rates to rise. The evangelical right is clamoring for advancing the jihad against gays and choice. The corporate lobby is salivating at the coming feeding frenzy. Democrats, particularly those in red states, are shaken and ready to retreat. Progressives had better take a clear look at what happened and get ready to fight. Karl Rove and the Republican chorus are claiming that Bush won this election with his vision and positive agenda. Bull -- Bush won by waging the election we witnessed. The voters who returned Bush to office by a narrow margin are not enamored of his record or his policies. An election-day poll sponsored by the Institute for America's Future and undertaken by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that a broad majority of the voters...

A National Task

An educated citizenry is the hallmark of America's democracy and central to the success of its economy. That was true at the founding of the republic, when Common Sense , Thomas Paine's call for independence, sold 112,000 copies in three months -- the equivalent of 17 million today -- to the remarkably literate colonial settlers of the time. It was surely true in the last century, as America rose to prominence and prosperity. Education provided a common language and a common civic culture to the immigrants who flooded our shores. America became the first country to require 12 years of formal schooling. After World War II with the GI Bill, ours became the first nation to provide widespread college education. Integrating America's schools was central to the effort to end segregation and address the challenge of equal opportunity for all. Our commitment to education has helped to forge the broad middle class that is the pride of America's democracy and the foundation of its prosperity...

The Wrong Target

"If we're going to create jobs, the first thing we have to do is make sure that George W. Bush loses his." John Kerry's refrain elicits raucous cheers wherever he goes, and it's echoed by the other Democratic presidential contenders. All share a similar and compelling critique of Bush's failure: More than 3 million private-sector jobs have been lost, record surpluses have turned to record deficits and millionaire tax cuts have given away the store with little to show for it. Bush will end this term with the worst jobs record of any president since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. Bush trumpets the trend, not the reality: The third quarter showed significant economic growth, and jobs are finally starting to reappear. Profits, stock options and stocks are up, benefiting mainly the rich, who have also done well thanks to Bush's tax cuts. But trickle-down economics doesn't work. What average people worry about is still in recession: Income is down, jobs are down since 2000, health...

Class Warfare, Bush-Style

While the nation's attention is riveted by the inexorable march to war against Iraq, the Bush administration has quietly opened a new front in the relentless, largely covert war it has been waging here at home against U.S. workers and their labor unions. In December the Labor Department issued new union reporting regulations, which would require itemization of every expense greater than $2,000 spent on organizing and strike services, lobbying or political activities. This is an administrative nightmare that would cost unions many millions. The administration indicated that it would ask the Republican Congress to pass civil penalties for unions that don't meet reporting deadlines. George W. Bush's budget, unveiled in early February, cut money for enforcing workplace health and safety laws, and for investigating corporate violations of minimum wage, Family and Medical Leave mandates, and child-labor laws. But Bush dramatically increased the budget for auditing and investigating labor...

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