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Rob Shapiro
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Blog Entries by Rob Shapiro

Grading Obama and the GOP Hopefuls on their Plans for Jobs and the Economy

Posted September 13, 2011 | 16:02:00 (EST)

Last week's GOP debate at the Reagan Library, followed the next night by the President's address to Congress, throw into stark relief the strengths and weaknesses of each side's understanding of job creation and the economy. The Republican hopefuls get a gentleman's C on the impact of regulation on economic...

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President Obama Wins the First Round With Paul Ryan

Posted April 19, 2011 | 11:31:39 (EST)

Yesterday's presidential address on fiscal policy was a very striking scene. The venue was a small auditorium at George Washington University. Invitations went out just two days earlier; and with so little notice, GWU students made up more than half of the audience. Another row was filled up by former...

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The Quiet Role of Class in the Coming Budget Battle

Posted December 2, 2010 | 13:35:08 (EST)

The political struggle over how the federal budget will shape American government is now in full swing and likely to dominate Washington for the next two years. This week, the president joined the battle by proposing a two-year freeze on federal pay, his symbolic version of Bill Clinton's maxim that...

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While Obama Promotes US Interests Abroad, His Opponents Deny Reality At Home

Posted November 11, 2010 | 14:20:20 (EST)

Most of Washington is stuck "in what we call the reality-based community … people who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. … When we act, we create our own reality.”  Karl Rove, 2004.

Rove's famous comments...

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The Mid-Term Elections and the Failure, Yet Again, of Trickle Down Economics

Posted November 3, 2010 | 12:01:05 (EST)

This week's seismic shift in the Congress will not change the problems facing its members and the President. This is the third consecutive election to bring large losses for the party in power, all for the same reason. For a decade, neither party has been able to deliver the rising...

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The Importance of Blaming the Right People for the Wall Street and Gulf Disasters

Posted June 17, 2010 | 15:22:19 (EST)

This year's notorious Supreme Court decision on campaign finance found that corporations have the full rights of individuals, at least in that area. The truth is, most of us do approach big companies as if they were people -- and then, when those companies wreak havoc on the country, no...

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Who Really Will Pay for Goldman Sachs' $23 Billion in New Bonuses

Posted October 15, 2009 | 11:26:01 (EST)

Cross-posted at the NDN blog.

It was an auspicious week for the touchy issues surrounding executive pay. One after another, President Obama's pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, announced new restrictions for AIG executives; Goldman Sachs was reported to be putting aside $23 billion from this year's bonus pool, the largest...

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Message to World at the G-20 Summit: Don't Depend on a Strong U.S. Recovery to Bail You Out

Posted September 24, 2009 | 10:27:21 (EST)

This week's U.N. General Assembly and the countless, private discussions between presidents, premiers and prime ministers will range from climate change to terrorism, but most of the leaders are more preoccupied with the outlook for their economies. In this sense, the UN meeting is an opening act for the main...

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The Potential Cost of Political Paralysis: The Lesson of Japan

Posted September 2, 2009 | 12:16:42 (EST)

A political earthquake hit Japan this week, one which could hold important lessons for America's current political stalemates. After a half-century of one-party rule, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was buried in parliamentary elections by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), a loose coalition of generally left-of-center opposition parties. The...

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Why, Yes, We Do Have to Regulate Some Executive Pay

Posted August 6, 2009 | 12:45:41 (EST)

The House of Representatives has committed some fumbles this year, but the legislation passed last week to regulate executive compensation in large public companies is sorely overdue. By any plausible standard, compensation for the very upper reaches of American business has been out of control for a long time. In...

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Solving the Problem with Jobs and Wages

Posted July 23, 2009 | 15:37:11 (EST)

America's vaunted job-creating machine has been breaking down, and the administration is finally noticing.

It was 2003 when I first asked myself whether the dynamics that normally produce lots of new jobs when the economy expands were changing in some fundamental way. I had noticed that job losses during...

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The Housing Crisis and Our National Attitudes Towards Saving

Posted April 17, 2009 | 12:31:49 (EST)

The Great Depression deeply affected the attitudes of the generation that came of age in the 1920s and 1930s. For example, it made the country thriftier and more Democratic. It took two full generations for other social changes to turn us into a society that was more Republican and saved...

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Time to Face the Facts: The Economy Probably Won't Get Better For Quite a While

Posted April 10, 2009 | 13:40:21 (EST)

Brace yourself for very anxious and stormy times, economically and politically, because there's little prospect that the U.S. economy will improve for quite some time. The latest to weigh in is the Federal Reserve, whose new private forecast sees no growth in sight for the rest of this year and...

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GOP Economic Policy as an Exercise in Grief Management: Denial, Anger & Rush Limbaugh

Posted March 5, 2009 | 10:40:12 (EST)

The leaders of the Republican Party, reeling from their painful string of defeats, seem stuck in two of the classic stages of grief, denial and anger. This week, Rush Limbaugh replaced Bobby Jindal as the leading and most colorful example. Limbaugh may seem like too easy a target, since talk...

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