Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His website can be found here and his blog can be found here.

Recent Articles

Trial ties up Senate? Don't worry; Congress is irrelevant

USA Today Virtually every member of the U.S. Senate knows there aren't nearly enough votes there to convict the president and send him packing. The only real question is whether the Senate, which is likely to open the trial today, censures the president within a couple of weeks or the process drags on for months. Should we care? If it goes on and on, you can forget Social Security reform or tax cuts. But these were long shots anyway. Even if it were business as usual, the Democrats would block any privatization of Social Security. And the Republicans want to reserve their big tax-cutting crusade for the millennial election. Congress has been deadlocked for a year. Even when it had no impeachment trial on its hands, the Senate did nothing. Why suppose that a long impeachment trial would stop it from doing something else? The dirty little secret is that both houses of Congress...

Coolidge's Democratic Disciples

The New York Times One party claims that the budget surplus will be small, and that a central goal should be to eliminate the debt. The other says the surplus will be big, and we can do ambitious things with it. You'd be forgiven if you thought that the first party was the Republicans and the second the Democrats. But it's actually the reverse. The Democrats are marching under the banner of fiscal austerity, and the Republicans proclaiming this the era of large ambition. "Here's the facts," said George W. the other day, pointing to the latest estimate from the Congressional Budget Office showing that the nation could well afford his plan to trim income taxes by $1.3 trillion over ten years and still have enough money to fund social programs. But in his new budget, released today, the President claims the surplus that's left over after saving all Social Security receipts is a little more than half...

Look Who's Missing From The President-Elect's Economic Summit

Broadcast January 4, 2001 The person missing from Bill Clinton s economic summit almost exactly eight years ago is the same person who's missing from George W. Bush s economic summit this week. I m referring of course to the president of the United States economy, Alan Greenspan. Greenspan doesn't do economic summits. But he does make deals. Eight years ago his deal with Bill Clinton was this: Mr President, you get the deficit down and I ll cut interest rates. As a result, the economy will boom and you'll be re-elected. Clinton took the deal and the rest is history. Now that the economy has boomed for eight years, what's the new deal Greenspan is offering the new President-Elect? Mr. President, play down your giant tax cut and I'll engineer a soft landing. I'll keep the economy moving forward far more slowly than it's been moving, but I won't put it in reverse. No recession, no inflation. But this time, the new president may not take the deal. Why? Because he knows presidents don't...

Trouncing the Taliban

A s I write this, the Taliban are on the run. By the time you read it, they may be back in their caves. What's the lesson here? Already some in Washington are pronouncing the Bush strategy for dealing with terrorism a resounding success. A few are even suggesting that what we've accomplished in Afghanistan should encourage us to topple Saddam Hussein and any other state that harbors or sponsors terrorists. Not so fast. We may have won or be close to winning the war against the Taliban, but that's not the same as winning the war against terrorism. Even if we topple the Taliban, we still have to install a new government in Afghanistan that is more respectful of human rights and less sympathetic to terrorism--a regime that has sufficient involvement of Pashtuns and Afghanistan's northern ethnic groups to remain in power without our continuous military support. And we've got to accomplish all this without destabilizing Pakistan and without heightening tensions between Pakistan and India,...

The Unending War

A t the heart of President Bush's war on terrorism lies a deepening contradiction that, unless resolved, will undermine the legitimacy of the entire war effort. The contradiction is embedded in the narrative of why we are at war and what it will take to win. On the one hand, the White House describes the war as one without obvious end. Administration officials say repeatedly that victory is elusive and may last decades or more. Indeed, we're told, the fight has barely begun. "Afghanistan is just the beginning of the war against terror," the president said recently. "There are other terrorists who threaten America and our friends, and there are other nations willing to sponsor them." America's goal is breathtaking in scope; it is also vague. The administration has committed itself to no less a task than rooting out global terrorism. "We will not be secure as a nation until all of these threats are defeated," Bush said. "Across the world and across the years, we will fight these evil...

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