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

Wrong Address:

Bait-and-switch is almost too kind a description for the economic portion of President
Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Much as he did in the 2000 presidential
campaign, Bush put forth an economic message that sounded like the work of a liberal
Democrat.

The centerpiece of his program, he declared, would be good jobs. But look at the fine print and hardly
anything in it provides jobs, let alone good ones. Meanwhile, unemployment is nearly 6 percent and
rising.

In Today's Capitalism, Regulators Not Relics

Don't you just hate it when the phone rings during dinner and it's a ''courtesy call'' offering
anything from credit cards to mortgage deals? Well, one of those archaic government agencies
that it's so fashionable to hate - the Federal Trade Commission - has a fine, simple solution.

Under the FTC's plan, you just sign up to be off-limits to telemarketing. The FTC will keep a list of
people who prefer tranquility to courtesy calls, and it will be illegal to bother them.

Comment: Fool Me Twice

"Fool me once, shame on you," says a wise political
maxim. "Fool me twice,
shame on me." In his State of the Union address, President Bush will perpetrate a
consumer fraud that makes his feint to the center in the 2000 campaign seem like
truth-in-advertising.

You'll recall that the kinder, gentler Bush of the campaign postured moderate
and sought, with success, to steal the Democrats' clothes. He, too, cared about
children, women, poor people, minorities, abused HMO patients, trees, and so on.
It worked just enough to neutralize Gore's advantages on all these issues. Bush,
as president, then went blithely on to appoint a hard-right administration.

Daschle Too Timid To Take On Bush Tax Cut

Despite Senate leader Tom Daschle's new feistiness, the Democrats are painting
themselves into a dangerous corner on the economy. The Democrats' story goes like this:

Bush's last big tax cut - a 10-year, $1.35 trillion cut approved last June - was very foolish. It
significantly contributed to escalating budget deficits and hurt the economy. The tax cut, Daschle
declared last week, ''probably made the recession worse.''

Comment: Springtime for Democrats?

As this election year begins, one can imagine two equally plausible scenarios. In the first, George W. Bush wraps the whole Republican Party in the flag. He outflanks the Democrats' latent advantage on virtually every domestic issue; the Republicans dominate the agenda and keep control of Congress. In the second scenario, Bush's wartime popularity fades; the sense of a prolonged siege, economic unease, and unequal sacrifice all play to the Democrats' advantage. And the Dems take both houses and some governorships besides.

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