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

Comment: Dirty Windows

Every great political theorist from Aristotle to Madison to Martin Luther King, Jr., has understood the paradox that liberty requires rules and rules require governments. But Internet libertarians have assumed that the Net is a unique realm of benign, self-regulating anarchy. The problem with anarchy is less the inconvenience of chaos than the risk that someone will soon attempt to bring order, at the expense of someone else's liberty.

Comment: O, Freedom

When father was a boy, freedom was much on the minds of college students. We marched for the civil rights of blacks and for the freedom of farm workers to join unions. Many of us resisted sacrificing our freedom to an unjust war. We asserted the freedom of women to transcend ancient, confining roles, and the rights of former colonies to free self-governance.

Religious Right Hijacks Stem Cell Debate

I recently participated in a debate at the Harvard Medical School on the ethics of stem cell
cloning. A co-panelist was Dr. Michael West, a Massachusetts biotech executive. His
announcement a week earlier of a supposed breakthrough in human cloning nearly stampeded
the Senate into banning cloning even for therapeutic purposes.

Comment: Tax and Spend

President Bush insisted that we could afford both
a tax cut and the shoring up of Social Security. He was dead wrong. So the
Democrats could hardly pick a better set of galvanizing issues. But as Robert
Borosage points out in "The Austerity Trap" (see page 13), many Democrats are
taking surplus-worship to such an extreme that they are in danger of losing their
raison d'être as a party.

Comment: Different Strokes

Vice President Gore has unveiled a supplemental retirement plan. The government would match private savings put aside by working families, with a match as generous as three to one for families with incomes under $30,000. Families with incomes as high as $100,000 could qualify for a partial match. The plan works through refundable tax credits, so if your tax liability were lower than the earned tax credit, the government would just provide cash.

The supplemental savings account, like Social Security, would be blocked until retirement. The plan would cost about $20 billion a year.