As with many qualms of presidential candidates, Florida Senator Marco Rubio's latest speech on foreign policy was severely lacking in any substantial concrete policy visions. TCF fellow Michael Cohen confirms that, like many presidents, Rubio talks a big game, but rarely has much to say in terms of specific actions he would like to take if elected.
He offered the oft-heard — and untrue — GOP assertion that President Obama has retreated from the world. He assailed the president for hundreds of billions in defense cuts — cuts that are a direct result of the budget caps a Republican Congress forced on the White House. He criticized Obama for betraying American values through “the expediency of negotiations with repressive regimes,” which makes me think that if Rubio ever saw a picture of Ronald Reagan shaking hands with Mikhail Gorbachev his head might explode.
Read Cohen's full article here.
We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money is the latest book from TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard. It borrows heavily from the theology of Adam Smith, an 18th century Scot who is credited with inventing modern economics and credits the "invisible hand of God" as a viable source for directing economic policy. We Are Better Than This is heralded for inserting moral values back into modern economoics.
Hence Kleinbard opens each of his chapters with quotes from the real Adam Smith - the one who understood both the values and the limits of the market. Smith believed in a God who cared about the practical welfare of people, a God whose will was followed by those who put the good of all above the selfish interests of individuals.
Read the review of Kleinbard's book, featured in Huffington Post.
As an economist, TCF fellow Mark Thoma has some ideas on what types of policies Democratic presidential candidate should pursue in her upcoming campaign. He weighs in on everything from climate change to education policy.
Changes in financial regulation implemented after the financial crisis do not go far enough. For example, we need higher capital requirements, better disclosure and transparency, better protection for consumers of financial products, better regulation of the shadow banking sector, the repo market in particular. That’s unlikely to happen, but if nothing else the next president must fight to preserve the regulation that is presently in place.
Thoma's full article can be read here.
This week, Senator Ted Cruz announced his intentions to run for president in 2016. TCF fellow Michael Cohen weighed in on Cruz's campaign launch, explaining why as a Democrat and progressive, he hopes to see Cruz become the Republican Party's presidential nominee next year.
The only hope — and it’s a faint one — of returning the GOP to normalcy is by nominating the most extreme, yet still representative, member of the party and having him suffer a monumental electoral loss.
Cohen's full commentary can be found in the Boston Globe.
In January, the right-wing political organization Freedom Partners unveiled a staggering $889 million budget heading into the 2016 presidential election. With billionaire donors like the Koch brothers poised to spend more money than the official Republican party itself, TCF fellow Amy B. Dean advocates for more robust grass-roots methods for fighting big money in politics, specifically in terms of unions.
Of all the grass-roots groups, unions are the best equipped to mount a counterattack on the Kochs’ ability to dominate the airwaves. Unions organize constituencies and lower barriers to political participation for their members. They allow people to come together and promote shared goals such as improved public services and middle-class jobs.
Read the rest of Dean's article in Al Jazeera.
In honor of the 50 year anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, President Obama delivered a heartfelt and patriotic speech onsite in Selma. TCF fellow Harold Pollack says that there was something disheartening about this event however, which he explains as the apparent absence of several prominent GOP members. He says this behavior is increasingly out of step with the changing society we live in today.
There is now the tawdry effort to reverse-engineer and hinder the Obama ’08 campaign’s success in turning out African-American and Latino voters. In battleground states where the GOP controls the statehouse, Republicans seem conspicuously more interested in hindering early minority voting practices than in actively engaging minority communities.
Read Pollack's full article here.
In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.
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