Robert Samuelson

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The Government Is Growing, Dying at the Same Time

Robert Samuelson argues that the Democrats are paradoxically the ones shrinking it

(Newser) - As the American people age, a pernicious paradox has taken hold of the federal budget: "We are slowly dismantling the federal government, even as its spending is growing larger," observes Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post . With every budget, lawmakers are slashing into discretionary spending, but with Social... More »

Shutdown's Real Winner: Ideology

It's taking political dysfunction to new heights: Robert Samuelson

(Newser) - Ideology has taken over Washington like never before. It explains why Republicans are willing to suffer political blame for the shutdown: It's all connected to what Robert Samuelson has dubbed "the politics of self-esteem." Ideologues on either side of the spectrum believe they're working not for... More »

We've Got a Choice: Schools or Nursing Homes?

Robert Samuelson doesn't think our economy is strong enough to pay pensions

(Newser) - If anyone tries to tell you that Detroit's bankruptcy is an isolated incident, "don't be fooled," writes Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post . The truth is that for governments across the country, "the scramble for scarce resources is intensifying. Schools compete with nursing homes."... More »

The Internet: Just Not Worth It

Robert Samuelson: Cyberwar risk outweighs Internet's benefits

(Newser) - As more and more of our infrastructure, from power to hospitals to airlines, becomes dependent on the Internet, the dangers of cyberwar increase. And though Robert Samuelson admits that the Internet is "the technological marvel of the age," at this point, its risks outweigh its benefits, he writes... More »

No, America Doesn't Have a Skilled Worker Shortage

Robert Samuelson thinks a prevailing explanation for unemployment is a lie

(Newser) - Employers have been complaining for years now that the US is short of skilled workers, which is fast becoming the conventional wisdom explanation for persistently high unemployment. After all, there are currently more job openings than our current unemployment rates would suggest there should be. "There's only one... More »

Seriously? We Can't Even Cut Farm Subsidies?

Robert Samuelson says farm handouts exemplify our broken system

(Newser) - Farm subsidies are widely seen as the "low hanging fruit" of federal spending cuts, but with the milk cliff looming, Congress last week passed an agriculture bill that left them all essentially intact . And that, in a nutshell, is "the essence of the deficit problem," writes Robert... More »

OK, Obama, Romney: Stop Lying About the Budget

Robert Samuelson argues that candidates should actually be honest

(Newser) - Truth may be the first casualty of war, but it's also in low supply on the campaign trail, writes Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post . The nut of the problem: "a yawning gap between the political rhetoric and the country's budget problems," he writes. "And... More »

Krugman vs. Bernanke: Who's Reckless?

Robert Samuelson outlines the feud between the bearded economists

(Newser) - Call it the "battle of the beards," suggests Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post : Paul Krugman vs. Ben Bernanke. Both are prominent economists, both have facial hair aplenty, and each has called the other "reckless." Krugman has been lambasting the Fed for not doing enough to... More »

Should We Cut 'Useless' Defense Spending?

Paul Krugman and Robert Samuelson both say no, but for different reasons

(Newser) - With the deficit super committee’s deadline looming , debate is raging over whether to cut defense spending. Robert Samuelson calls that urge "dangerous," writing in the Washington Post that military spending is actually down as a percentage of our budget. In recent decades "spending on social programs... More »

No One's Being Honest About the Budget

Both parties' fixes amount to 'wishful thinking': Robert Samuelson

(Newser) - Republicans and Democrats both claim to have a plan to fix the budget, but neither party is offering a realistic approach. It’s time for Dems to admit that “spending control requires genuine cuts in Social Security and Medicare”—and it’s time for the GOP to recognize... More »

Old People Rule America

Budget shows that AARP has all the power

(Newser) - The unspoken question looming over Washington’s budget battle isn’t how much discretionary spending tol cut; it’s “whether our elected politicians will take back government from AARP,” writes Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post . Both parties obviously quake in fear of the senior citizens’ lobby, unwilling... More »

The Center Gets Shafted, the 'Base' Rules

DC stuck in neutral because no one 'governs from the center'

(Newser) - The US itself isn’t becoming more “polarized”—proportions of conservatives, moderates, and liberals remain at about 1992 levels—but policymaking is. Why? Robert Samuelson outlines four reasons for RealClearPolitics :
  1. Politicians are leaning more on “activist ‘bases’” for votes and cash ... which often results in
... More »

Why Wall Street Gets Paid So Damn Much

And why it's probably bad for society

(Newser) - Wall Street bankers may be a greedy lot, but their eye-popping bonuses are the result of math, not avarice. “Most of us are paid based on what we produce,” explains Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post. “By contrast, Wall Street compensation levels are tied to the nation’... More »

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