David Dayen

David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New RepublicHuffPostThe Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His first book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, was released by The New Press in 2016. His email is ddayen@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Trump’s Antitrust Cops Fail to Police Big Business—Again

The day after one regulator announces an investigation into Big Tech, another gives Facebook a wet kiss. It’s all part of a pattern.

With public attention directed to the Mueller hearings, the nation’s antitrust authorities have quietly declared their continued abandonment of the American public this week, allowing giant corporations to accrue power and dodge responsibility for significant and serious harm. These actions make the allegedly tough announcement on Tuesday of an antitrust inquiry into the dominant tech platforms ring hollow; results matter, not sharp words. And on the results, the Trump antitrust apparatus has continued a 40-year legacy of failure. First, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a $5 billion settlement with Facebook, for violations of a 2011 consent decree on privacy standards. Or at least that’s the theory: Facebook did not have to admit guilt in the matter, and none of their executives, up to and including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have to face any personal sanction. Zuckerberg was not even brought in to the FTC for an interview. The $5 billion price tag represents about a...

Republicans Proved Deficits Don’t Matter

They aren’t a problem politically, and they benefit the country economically. But Republicans only admit this when one of their own is in the White House.

“No politician (has) ever lost office for spending more money.” Donald Trump reportedly relayed this message from Mitch McConnell to his staff recently, and you can see that philosophy at work in the two-year budget deal he just struck with Congress. In exchange for putting off the debt ceiling for two years, Trump agreed to eliminate the discretionary spending sequester—automatic spending cuts authorized in 2011 but continually nullified in the ensuing decade—which translates into $320 billion in new spending . This increase is partially offset by the extension of some customs fees and Medicare reimbursement caps that maintain the status quo. While sequester waivers have become routine, the trend lines on spending point to something really different under Trump. Barack Obama and a Republican Congress cut discretionary spending by an average of 2 percent per year in his second term; so far Trump and Congress have increased it by 4 percent every year in office...

The Newly Energized Progressive Caucus Is Winning

If recent votes are any indication, the next flurry of liberal policymaking will look far different from the last one.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP Images
Underlying the resistance of Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership to the “Squad” of progressive freshmen Democrats of color is a presumption that, while it’s nice to dream big about Medicare for All and Green New Deals, the mainstream of the House Democratic Caucus—or at least the members from purple district—live in the center. It’s impossible to fulfill ambitions beyond that narrow sliver of political terra firma , or so the theory goes. But the reality of the past couple months of experience renders a negative verdict on that theory. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, newly energized by determined leadership and many more members, has been winning repeated battles on domestic and foreign policy, revealing a caucus that can unify behind popular proposals on the left. The wins keep racking up in ways that are too numerous to be anomalous. I recognize that these progressive votes were taken in a kind of model Congress, where there’s no...

Eugene Scalia Once Represented a Big Bank in a Sexual Harassment Case. It Got Ugly.

In a 2015 deposition, the Labor Secretary nominee highlighted a victim’s sexual history and intimated that she schemed to win a payday.

Anyone who has covered financial reform had a flash of recognition when Donald Trump nominated Eugene Scalia , son of the late Supreme Court justice, as the next Labor Secretary. Scalia, a partner at the white-shoe law firm Gibson Dunn , has been the hired gun of the financial industry in its often successful attempts to soften the blow of Dodd-Frank. Scalia was the lead attorney challenging the “position limits” rule meant to rein in speculation on oil contracts. He got the courts to throw out the “ proxy access ” rule that enabled shareholders to propose alternative candidates for corporate boards of directors. He led the fight to toss Dodd-Frank’s “extractive industries” rule, which would have required oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose all payments above $100,000 made to foreign governments. He represented MetLife in the company’s successful effort to shed a designation as a “systemically important financial institution...

Steve Ricchetti, Top Biden Campaign Aide, Was a Health-Care Lobbyist

The vice president’s former chief of staff once represented hospitals and drug companies. Now he is part of a campaign that is attacking Medicare for All.

Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo
If Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden meet on the debate stage in Detroit later this month, it’s not likely to be as cordial as it went in Miami. The two presidential candidates have been sparring intensely over Medicare for All, Sanders’s signature plan for universal health care. Biden has rejected Medicare for All as risky and unrealistic, while Sanders defended it in a July 17 speech, where he also issued a pledge challenging all 2020 candidates to deny contributions of $200 or more from PACs, lobbyists, or executives of health insurance or pharmaceutical companies. “When it comes to health care, the insurance and drug industries have been able to control the political process,” Sanders said in the speech. A top member of Biden’s brain trust fits that description. Steve Ricchetti, referred to as Biden’s campaign chairman in a published report last month, was a longtime lobbyist for health care and other corporate clients. He worked for then-vice...

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