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 Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. He writes columns for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and the New York Times international edition. 

Recent Articles

Liberals, Obama, and that Wall Street Speaking Fee

Rex Features via AP Images
Rex Features via AP Images Former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden walk through the the Capitol for Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony. O n Monday in this space, our columnist and colleague Paul Waldman addressed the subject of why liberals are upset about Barack Obama taking a $400,000 speaking fee from a Wall Street firm, Cantor-Fitzgerald, for a speech scheduled for September. Waldman opined, “You'd almost think Obama had begun lobbying for the repeal of Dodd-Frank, or maybe gone on a seal-clubbing expedition.” He continued, in an affectionate reminiscence about the Obama presidency, that a lot of the liberal disappointment or anger reflected upset at the contrast between Obama and Trump. I can’t speak for other liberals or progressives, but here are some thoughts about my own disappointment. As the contrast with Trump vividly reinforces, Barack Obama was one of the most principled, thoughtful, and honorable people ever to serve as president. He was a...

Europe: Don’t Break Out the Champagne Yet

AP Photo/Claude Paris
AP Photo/Claude Paris French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a campaign stop in Marseille. T he political mainstream on both sides of the Atlantic was hugely relieved when the centrist technocrat Emmanuel Macron topped the right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen in the first round of voting for the French presidency. Nearly all center-left and center-right politicians have now endorsed Macron, who is expected to defeat Le Pen in the May 7 runoff by at least 30 points. Polls show Macron winning by about two-to-one. Bullet dodged, right? Well, maybe for now. There was the same general relief in the Dutch election of March 15, when the far-right nationalist Geert Wilders received just 13.1 percent, and the center held. But here’s the problem. The center, as represented by Macron, and by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is committed to austerity policies. These policies continue to sandbag the European recovery, and to...

Two Cheers for the Deep State

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh)
(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) President Trump, accompanied by the Easter Bunny, salutes the woman who sang the National Anthem at the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 17, 2017. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. A funny thing happened to Donald Trump in recent weeks. He had an encounter with reality—and reality won. It is one thing to dwell in your own reality during the campaign and to persuade your true believers that real is fake and fake is real. But when you actually try to govern, there is a reality to reality, and it pushes back. It turns out that the budget, and the Syrian civil war, and North Korean nuclear ambitions, and relations with China, and with Mexico, and with the EU are, like health insurance … complicated. As Trump put it so well, who knew? Evidently, everyone knew but Trump. And it turns out that the United States can’t just insult China willy-nilly, because maybe we need China’s help to contain North Korea. It turns out that there is a direct...

What Will the Trump Economy Look Like?

AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . W hen the economy generated over 200,000 new jobs in January and again in February, Donald Trump suddenly decided that he respected the government statistical agencies. But when the economy produced only 98,000 jobs in March, the administration was uncharacteristically quiet. That same report revised the earlier numbers downward by about 38,000 jobs. Compared with a year earlier, job creation in February and March declined by 56.4 percent. So, what sort of economy will the Trump presidency produce and how will it affect the elections of 2018 and 2020? The stock market likes Trump. After a brief dip in stock prices following his election (financial markets famously hate uncertainty), stock traders decided they like Trump. With deregulation, tax cuts, infrastructure spending, weakening of trade unions, and Trump back-pedaling on a...

Corporate America and Donald Trump

Don't mistake the corporate embrace of diversity for defense of democracy. 

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez Demonstrators with Making Change At Walmart and the United Food and Commercial Workers protest Walmart's sale of Donald Trump products in Dallas. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . A re big corporations among the firewalls protecting the Republic from Donald Trump? It would be comforting to think so. Silicon Valley has risen up against Trump’s anti-Muslim attacks. More than 100 of the most prominent tech giants, from Microsoft to Tesla, signed an amicus brief challenging Trump’s immigration orders. Starbucks made a point of announcing that the company would hire 10,000 refugees. The Super Bowl ads were a veritable festival of anti-Trump sentiment, some subtle, others surprisingly direct. Budweiser celebrated the dreams of its immigrant founder. An Airbnb ad declared, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong.” 84 Lumber’s astonishing...