iOS app Android app

Richard C. Leone
GET UPDATES FROM Richard C. Leone
Richard C. Leone is senior fellow and former president of The Century Foundation, a public policy research foundation in New York and Washington. He served as Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and as State Treasurer of New Jersey. Mr. Leone also was President of the New York Mercantile Exchange and a Managing Director at Dillon Read & Co., Inc., an investment banking firm.

Entries by Richard C. Leone

Lots of Luck

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 10:41 AM

Until the 1990s, New Jersey enjoyed decades at the top of the heap financially, with a bipartisan commitment to fiscal stability. It boasted a triple A bond rating and no short-term debt. Budgets were routinely balanced with full payment of required contributions to the public employee retirement funds.

Now,...

Read Post

Collateral Damage at the Port Authority

(2) Comments | Posted January 11, 2014 | 4:51 PM

The strange case of Governor Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge may reveal just how far the mighty have fallen. I don't mean the governor and his vaunted political operation. Rather, a lesson in the decline and fall of one of the nation's great builders and managers of critical...

Read Post

Good Reason to Be Thankful

(1) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 2:55 PM

I participated on a meeting last week about the state of the economy and the moves the Obama administration proposes to deal with slow growth.

One of the most experienced executives attending, a pretty impressive guy, spoke persuasively about the reasons he thought American economic performance had failed to...

Read Post

Big Win?

(12) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 3:54 PM

Governor Chris Christie is entitled to a round of congratulations for having solidly won reelection in the Garden state this week. But those celebrations ought to be tempered by at least some perspective on his margin. People are gushing about the fact that he got 60 percent of the vote....

Read Post

Heads, We Win; Tails, You Lose

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 4:15 PM

We won't know the full consequences of the shutdown of the federal government for some time. But we do know that if Congress refuses to increase the debt limit, leaving the United States without the ability to pay bills it has already incurred, the impact on the financial markets and...

Read Post

A Seat at the Table

(3) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 2:32 PM

From time to time, it's worth remembering that the nasty political squabbles in Washington are, in a larger perspective, often about real things that affect the lives of all of us. For example, even our neighborhood billionaires fret about the possibility that a few tax loopholes might be narrowed. Actually,...

Read Post

Healthy Choices

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 7:17 PM

There has been a good deal of partisan argument in the nation's capital about the impact in 2014 of nearly full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obama Care). The law's detractors, especially Congressional Republicans, claim there will be chaos, spiraling expenditures, and no improvement in health...

Read Post

The Right Stuff

(5) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 7:54 PM

In Washington and in most state capitals, fierce political battles are underway challenging once broadly accepted public policies. Underlying the current sharp divisions over fundamental questions is the widening fissure between the two parties. It's fashionable to describe this development as the result of a more or less symmetrical shift...

Read Post

The Known Unknowns

(2) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 12:24 PM

It may be hard to find humor in the news from Washington these days -- but it's not impossible. For example, pessimists and optimists alike sometimes seem determined to outdo each other -- after consulting their remarkably accurate crystal balls -- in predicting our economic future. They look at projections...

Read Post

While You Were Sleeping

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 10:11 AM

In the closing scene of the film, Into the Night, an FBI agent, previously apparently a real Boy Scout is given mysterious instructions from his superiors to deliver a suitcase full of cash to Michele Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum. They then will jump on the next plane. For whatever reasons...

Read Post

Risky Business

(18) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 4:03 PM

It wasn't surprising that, in his second inaugural address, President Obama asserted his continuing support of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. What was unusual and remarkably insightful was his reference to the role these programs play in underpinning our prosperity. As Obama put it, "they free us to take the...

Read Post

We Did It Before

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 10:12 AM

There are many answers to why some have called the generation that came to maturity in the 1930s and '40s the "Greatest Generation."' They certainly faced great challenges -- and in almost every case, working together they overcame them. They relied on their common institutions, especially the government, to organize...

Read Post

Unfunded Bundles of Joy

(23) Comments | Posted November 22, 2012 | 1:15 PM

As the debate about the deficit heats up, we are sure to be inundated with references to the many "unfunded liabilities" lurking about, ready to destroy our hope for future prosperity and happiness.

Opponents of social programs frequently use the total projected costs of these "liabilities" over long periods of...

Read Post

The Road Ahead

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 2:57 PM

When candidates recognize that they are about to lose an election, they and their key staff members tend to become radicalized. During the end game, often abandoned by fair weather friends and "the smart money," they fall back on the true believers who sometimes turn out in huge numbers at...

Read Post

Stuff and Nonsense

(178) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 10:54 AM

Fox talk show host Bill O'Reilly made waves when, in the aftermath of the president's reelection, he opined that the incumbent had secured victory because of the new majority of voters who wanted 'stuff' from the government thought that they would get it from Obama. His remarks included a distinction...

Read Post

The Wisdom of Mama Gump

(6) Comments | Posted October 28, 2012 | 4:45 PM

Forrest Gump's mama seems to have had it right when she talked about life being like a box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get. It's an observation that also applies to politics, seldom more so than in 2012.

Now of course we have a...

Read Post

Short Memories

(12) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 2:33 PM

Looking back to the year 2000, it's hard to believe that many analyses then, including those of the Office of Management and Budget, projected that by 2010 the federal debt would be completely paid off. But a funny thing happened on the way from the Clinton administration's budgets with surpluses...

Read Post

What's Trust Got to Do With It?

(1) Comments | Posted July 16, 2012 | 6:05 PM

The presidential race appears to be very close, with a considerable share of the public finding it hard to get excited about either candidate.

For supporters, the question about Obama seems to be whether he has the courage of his convictions. The question about Romney is whether he has any...

Read Post

The Unfinished War

(51) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 11:30 AM

Nearly 50 years ago President Lyndon Johnson rallied the nation in support of a "War on Poverty." It was a goal widely accepted as necessary and realistic. While total "victory" might not have been unachievable, the effort was embraced and pursued by many leaders of both parties. The Nixon administration,...

Read Post

MAD MEN

(54) Comments | Posted June 24, 2012 | 2:24 PM

According to press accounts, a gambling mogul has so far "invested" $35 million in the Republican campaign effort this year. And that's just what we know about. In the wide open casino atmosphere of Politics 2012, there could also be unlimited additional amounts contributed to organizations that will...

Read Post