iOS app Android app

Robert J. Shapiro
GET UPDATES FROM Robert J. Shapiro

Entries by Robert J. Shapiro

The New Nihilism in the Debate Over the Debt Ceiling

(67) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 1:26 PM

For decades, fiscal conservatives have used congressional debates over raising the debt limit to vent their frustrations with big government. But no one seriously questioned the need to do so, not until a band of Tea Party uber-conservatives in 2011 resolved to use the debt limit as a bargaining chip...

Read Post

Modest Progress on the Deficit Is Just What the U.S. Economy Needs

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 1:56 PM

One argument nearly entirely absent in the debate over the fiscal cliff issues is the effect on the economy. True, some diehard conservatives warn that without drastic steps to privatize part of Social Security and much of Medicare, our national debt will soon make us pariahs in global capital markets,...

Read Post

The Real Economics of the Fiscal Cliff

(3) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 12:49 PM

Thank goodness for the fiscal cliff. Without it, most of Washington would be home for the holidays, happy to put off the unpleasantness of raising taxes and cutting spending. But the truth is, the only part of the cliff that really matters right now is the Bush tax cuts. Yes,...

Read Post

Some Thoughts on the Fiscal Cliff

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 3:10 PM

The fiscal cliff is more of a cascade -- or a game of dominoes. First, they have to make a deal on the terms on which the Bush tax cuts will be renewed. That appears to be fairly likely, since GOP leaders seem to have conceded that additional revenues are...

Read Post

Cutting Crime Pays

(12) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 12:00 PM

The mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., in July was a terrible tragedy with a devastating human toll. But it will have other costs as well. In a new analysis I conducted with Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, we calculated for the first time the extraordinary economic costs that...

Read Post

The Eurozone Crisis Is Back and We Are All in Its Crosshairs

(7) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 11:03 AM

Once again, the Eurozone debt crisis threatens to suck the oxygen out of the global economy. Two years of austerity across most of Europe continues to produce the predicted effects: We learned this week that Europe's private sector keeps on contracting. Moreover, global investors began to bail again on Spain,...

Read Post

How Much Credit Can Obama Claim on the Economy?

(10) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Presidents regularly get the credit or blame for developments beyond their control. Sometimes, they also get no credit or blame for the decisions they do take. Barack Obama fits both molds. A fresh example of the second pattern is the president's surprising semi-breakthrough on European debt, at this week's G20...

Read Post

An Economic Program for the Fall Campaign and the Next Four Years

(4) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 5:25 PM

With the presidential election turning on the economy, the debate has focused on what's right or wrong with the current recovery, and who's responsible. They agree that growth is too slow and deficits are too high; and unsurprisingly, President Obama blames the GOP for both while Mr. Romney blames the...

Read Post

A Primer on the Eurozone Crisis and How It Could Affect Us

(8) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 5:45 PM

The economic viability of the Eurozone continues to slowly leech away. The latest iteration of the crisis originated again in Athens. Last week, voters there chose parties on the left and right that agreed on one thing: No more austerity, including measures already agreed to in exchange for another bailout...

Read Post

Protectionism Remains a Danger to Economic Recovery

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2011 | 12:21 PM

Tough times almost always raise the pressure for trade protection, and the current global economic troubles are no exception. President Obama has generally resisted this impulse, asking Congress to approve new free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Still, Congress has yet to act. And here and around the...

Read Post

Proposed Broadband Fund Merits Serious Consideration by FCC

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2011 | 12:57 PM

In a move last week little that went unnoticed by most American, a coalition of telecom companies proposed a new approach to delivering broadband service to the most remote rural communities in the United States. If it works as advertised, the plan could ensure real broadband access to virtually every...

Read Post

New Net Neutrality Framework Will Free FCC to Refocus on Universal Broadband

(6) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 10:58 AM

Much like the compromise on taxes reached by the White House and Republican congressional leaders, the new approach to "net neutrality" announced by Federal Communication Commission (FCC) chair Julius Genachowski represents the logical middle ground. It provides a framework that should encourage broadband providers to ramp up their investments in...

Read Post

The New Fight Over Access to Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2010 | 2:39 PM

As President Obama focuses this week on education, criticism has escalated regarding the levels of government assistance for the fastest-growing segment of American higher education, the private for-profit colleges, universities and institutes. From 1995 to 2008, the student bodies of private for-profit institutions increased from 240,000 to 1.8 million, a...

Read Post

Midterm Advice for Congress: Tax Carbon Instead of Jobs

(33) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 10:03 AM

It is now abundantly clear that the unemployment rate will largely determine the fate of the Democrats and their policies this fall and beyond. Public concerns over jobs and the economy overshadow everything else, to the point that just two years after the historic 2008 election, much of the administration's...

Read Post

FCC's Bold, Risky Move to Regulate the Internet

(32) Comments | Posted May 27, 2010 | 2:39 PM

The Federal Communications Commission moved aggressively last week to open a new round in the debate about the extent of its regulatory sway over the Internet. Until this month, the Commission had never claimed a sweeping and specific statutory right to regulate the Internet, because Congress has never provided it....

Read Post

Goldman Scandal Erodes Case For Cap and Trade

(9) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 10:38 AM

By Robert J. Shapiro and Elaine C. Kamarck

All of us who care about climate change must ask ourselves the following question: Given what we've learned in the past few years -- and especially in the past few weeks -- about how Wall Street operates, do we really want to...

Read Post

Tax Day Prompts Rethinking on Climate Policy

(2) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 12:53 PM

It's tax time, and millions of Americans will steel themselves to send Washington more of their hard earned money than they estimated they'd have to. It may feel galling, perhaps because the benefits of our taxes often go unnoticed. We come to expect drivable roads, clean water, responsive police and...

Read Post

Irony in Advocating Financial Reform and Cap and Trade

(7) Comments | Posted March 24, 2010 | 2:21 PM

Testifying before Congress following the collapse of such major Wall Street institutions as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson noted "we have not in our lifetime dealt with a financial crisis of this severity and unpredictability." Yet, mere months after delivering those cautionary remarks,...

Read Post