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 Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for HuffPost, The Boston Globe, and The New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site,, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

Trump: The Bull in the China (Policy) Shop

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Trump is right to attack the foreign subsidy of steel and aluminum exports that threaten to wipe out what’s left of domestic industry. And he’s right to resort to tariffs. But by levying tariffs against the entire world, Trump fails to target the prime offender: China. But Trump’s action has blown open the door to a conversation that America needs to have. The knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s orders shows how orthodox economists and the mainstream press refuse to grasp what’s at stake. Instead, we got the usual sermon about the folly of protectionism and the risks of a general trade war. If you want to appreciate true protectionism, take a good look at China’s entire economic system. Steelworkers’ union president Leo Gerard put it perfectly : “Some of these idiots that say we are going to start a trade war—well, we are in a trade war now, and we are just sitting back.” What’s the nature of this trade war? Beijing...

Putin’s Acts of War and America’s Muddled Response

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File
When Vladimir Putin decided to use front organizations to leak confidential emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and deploy bots and troll farms to rev up domestic hate groups and divide progressive ones, this was nothing less than an act of war. More than a year later, U.S. intelligence agencies have warned that more is coming in 2018 and 2020. But America’s response still leaves much to be desired. For starters, we are getting no leadership from the top. Actions that a normal American president would consider an extreme national security provocation, Donald Trump welcomes as politically convenient. The Kremlin’s hacking is aimed not just at undermining democracy; it’s aimed at undermining Democrats. Trump, no slouch at undermining both, has a foreign enabler. He still has not acknowledged the Kremlin’s role, much less warned Putin of consequences. So while his generals, his intelligence chiefs, the Department of Homeland Security, and most Republicans in...

Mueller Corners Trump

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is methodically, brilliantly filling in pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When complete, the puzzle will depict a president who is ripe—overripe—for impeachment. Mueller’s indictment on Friday of Russia’s cyber-warfare against the 2016 election was a tactical and investigative masterstroke. President Donald Trump is now cornered. Mueller’s report makes a total liar out of Trump for his repeated claims that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when Putin says Russia had nothing to do with it, that the hacking could have been “some guy in New Jersey.” The indictments do not quite connect the Russian operation to Putin personally, no serious person believes that an operation as sensitive as deliberate disruption of a U.S. election could go forward without Putin’s full knowledge and support in a state as authoritarian as his. Trump, having repeatedly denied Russian involvement, has now shifted gears and is...

The Deficit Hawks Have It Wrong

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/via AP Images
Question for today: What is the connection between the Republican tax cuts, the rising federal deficit, and the wildly gyrating stock market? The answer is trickier than it seems. Ever since Ronald Reagan, Republicans have relentlessly played the following cynical game. It has three basic moves. One: Cut taxes on the wealthy. Insist that the cuts will not increase the deficit because of the tonic, “supply-side” effect on economic growth. Two: When deficits increase, express shock; discover the menace of the national debt—and cut social spending. Three: Rinse and repeat. This fiscal spin cycle has been performed under Reagan, Bush I, Bush II (twice), and now Trump. The spending cuts typically occur under Democrats, who play the role of Fiscally Responsible Adults in this drama, thus putting Democrats at odds with their own ideology and constituency for public services, not to mention sensible economics. After Republicans thrice looted the Treasury for the rich, deep...

The Democrats’ False Choice

AP Photo/John Bazemore
This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . Should Democrats go all out to energize a “rising electorate” of women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and on-the-march young voters? Or should the Democrats go all out to rebuild their shattered reputation as the Party of Roosevelt that cares about the white working class? A great deal has been written by advocates of both views, and many of these articles and speeches have talked right past each other. For instance, advocates of the new rainbow, majority-minority coalition argue that white working-class voters are privileged relative to people of color, and that progressives can win without them, without compromising on race, gender, immigration, and inclusion to pander to a coddled white working class. Conversely, champions of the white-working-class emphasis point out that the white working class may be a declining share of the electorate but that it is distributed...