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Robert L. Borosage
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Robert L. Borosage is the founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future and co-director of its sister organization, the Campaign for America’s Future. The organizations were launched by 100 prominent Americans to develop the policies, message and issue campaigns to help forge an enduring majority for progressive change in America.

Mr. Borosage writes widely on political, economic and national security issues. He is a Contributing Editor at The Nation magazine, and a regular blogger on the Huffington Post. His articles have appeared in The American Prospect, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He edits the Campaign’s Making Sense issues guides, and is co-editor of Taking Back America (with Katrina Vanden Heuvel) and The Next Agenda (with Roger Hickey).

Borosage is the founder and board chair of Progressive Majority, an organization devoted to recruiting and training progressive to run for state and local office. He is co founder and chair of, an organization that provides a bridge between progressives in the Congress and the progressive community. He serves on the board of Working America, a grassroots organization of working Americans, and the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive research institute.

A graduate of Yale Law School, with a graduate degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, Borosage left the practice of law to found the Center for National Security Studies in 1974. The Center focused on the tension between civil rights and the national security powers and prerogatives of the executive branch. It played a leading role in the efforts to investigate the intelligence agencies in the 1970s, curb their abuses, and hold them accountable in the future. At the Center, he helped to write and edit two books, The CIA File and The Lawless State. Borosage later became an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington School of Law where he taught a seminar on national security law.

In 1979, Borosage became Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, a research institute that drew its inspiration and fellowship from the major democratic movements of our time – anti-war, women’s, environmental and civil rights movements. He guided the Institute through the Reagan years, and spearheaded its challenge to the renewed Cold War, the revived nuclear arms race, and the assault on Central America. Borosage helped to found and guide Countdown 88, which succeeded in winning the congressional ban on covert action against Nicaragua. Under Borosage’s direction, the Institute expanded its fellowship, launched a successful publications program, and developed a new Washington School for congressional aides and public interest advocates.

In 1988, Borosage left the Institute to serve as senior issues advisor to the presidential campaign of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He traveled the country with Jackson, writing speeches, framing policy responses, and providing debate preparation and assistance. He went on to advise a range of progressive political campaigns, including those of Senator Paul Wellstone, Barbara Boxer and Carol Moseley-Braun.

In 1989, Borosage founded the Campaign for New Priorities, enlisting over 100 national organizations in the call to reinvest in America in the post-Cold War era. The Campaign sponsored analyses of the military budget and of America’s unmet needs, and provided member organizations with crisp materials for publications, speeches, opinion pieces, and ads. It contributed to accelerating the cuts in military spending during the Bush presidency.

Entries by Robert L. Borosage

Populist Scorecard: The Contrast Between Sanders and Clinton

(10) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 8:39 AM

When Hillary Clinton's expressed doubts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and issued a call for new Wall Street reforms, pundits suggested she was trying to mute her differences with Bernie Sanders in the run-up to the first Democratic debate on Tuesday. A new Candidate...

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Trump's Tropes

(141) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 8:55 AM

In the dog days of August, the news channels have turned themselves into the Trump show. Bernie Sanders rouses the biggest crowds in obscurity while Trump floods the air waves.

Commentators still dismiss Trump as a summertime fling, a bad boy escape before voters settle down with...

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Fight for 15 Keeps on Stepping

(81) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 10:48 AM

Chanting "$15.00 and a union," thousands of federal contract workers walked off their jobs yesterday, led by the Senate's cafeteria workers who serve Senators their food. They were joined by Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Keith Ellison (D-Minn) and Raul...

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The Sanders Challenge

(68) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 5:56 PM

Tweeting that "America needs a political revolution," Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders threw his hat into the race for the Democratic nomination for president this week. Sanders is in many ways the mirror image of Hillary Clinton, the prohibitive favorite in the race. She has universal name recognition, unlimited...

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Hillary: Time to Step Up on the Trade Deal

(27) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 2:03 PM

It's time for Hillary Clinton to take a position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the fast track authority designed to ramrod it through the Congress. Hillary has been non-committal to date, with many assuming she will eventually support the president whom she served as Secretary of State.

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Obama's Next Action: Empowering Low Wage Federal Workers

(50) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 9:16 AM

This week in Washington, hundreds of low wage federal government contract workers walked off their jobs, demonstrating for a living wage and a union. They included Senate janitors and food service workers, the workers who serve the Senators their food and clean up the messes they leave.


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Hillary Is In: The Challenge for the New Populism

(104) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 10:37 AM

"I'm getting ready to do something too. I'm running for president. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion."
--Hillary Clinton (emphasis...

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The Republican Congress Votes for Dynasty Over Democracy

(698) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 1:28 PM

Next week as Congress returns, House Republicans will address what they consider one of the nation's most pressing problems: relieving the tax burdens on multimillionaires -- not the 1 percent but the wealthiest 0.2 percent, two of 1000 -- by eliminating the estate tax. Its repeal will cost $269 billion...

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How About a Real Debate on Trade?

(14) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 10:46 AM

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) just announced that fast-track trade legislation won't be introduced until April. Thanks to the objections of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), the effort to fast-track fast track has been put on hold.

Fast track -- "Trade Promotion Authority" -- is designed to grease the skids...

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The Case for a Populist Challenger in the Democratic Primaries

(76) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 11:14 AM

A raft of reasons are floated for why someone should challenge the prohibitive favorite, Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic primaries, most of them spurious. Yes, polls show Democrats want a contest, not a coronation for their presidential nomination. The press and talking heads also yearn for a contest,...

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Obama Gets His Groove Back

(29) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 1:53 PM

The swagger was back. Ignoring the electoral rebuke of 2014, President Barack Obama claimed the growing economy as a mandate for his progressive agenda, delivering a State of the Union address bristling with veto threats and challenging Congress to stand with working families.

The speech roused Obama's popular majority...

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The Empty Center: Challenge and Opportunity for Progressives

(25) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 8:59 AM

Legislators in the new Congress haven't even cut the curtains for their offices, but it is already clear that the right has no clue and the "center" offers no hope.

Republican Mitch McConnell, newly installed as Senate majority leader, announced that his goal is not to be

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The Budget Deal: This Is Who They Are

(37) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 11:22 AM

The first signs of the November election returns are apparent in the $1 trillion spending bill that the House of Representatives passed last night in Washington.

This spending bill was forged with resurgent Republicans on their best behavior. They are still a minority in the Senate in the lame-duck...

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More Than the Minimum: Obama's Next Executive Action

(77) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 2:29 PM

On Thursday, several hundred low-wage federal contract employees walked off their jobs in the nation's capitol, telling President Obama that "$10.10 is not enough," demanding a livable wage and the right to organize. While praising the president for issuing the executive order that raised the minimum wage for...

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After the Debacle: Stopping the Great Heist

(55) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 4:20 PM

Debacle. Bloodbath. Call it what you will. Democrats, as expected, fared poorly in red states in an off-year election. Worse, unpopular Republican governors survived; Democrats even lost statehouses in blue states like Maryland, Connecticut and Illinois. This was ugly.

Yes, the electorate was as skewed as was the map. Many...

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Bill Clinton's Corporate Idylls

(17) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 2:54 PM

At the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative this week, former President Bill Clinton predicted corporations would soon care less about maximizing profits and more about employees and society. This would happen without significant government involvement because "of proof that markets work better that way." Companies would...

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The Importance of Zephyr Teachout

(12) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 12:42 PM

This Tuesday, Zephyr Teachout is slated to lose the New York Democratic primary for governor to incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Many voters will be seeing her memorable name for the first time when they cast their vote. She has run a shoestring campaign against a powerful, lavishly funded governor who...

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Labor Day Reality: A Broad Middle Class Requires Strong Unions

(48) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 4:34 PM

On Labor Day weekend, we bid the summer goodbye. Families picnic; children play hard, knowing the school year is upon them. Politicians pay tribute to workers and to the rewards of hard work.

But this Labor Day, workers are struggling to stay afloat. Incomes haven't gone up in the...

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Hillary's Hard Choice

(19) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 1:45 PM

The launch of Hillary Clinton's yet undeclared candidacy for president -- in the form of the roll-out of her memoir, Hard Choices, an astounding two and a half years prior to the election -- has been marked by big media and silly gaffes.

Tin eared and thin-skinned, Clinton, unlike...

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The Lousy Economy: Washington's Failure

(270) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 12:23 PM

The U.S. economy contracted in the first three months of 2014, according to revised figures issued by the Commerce Department, declining at an annual rate of 1 percent. With the economy expected to bounce back in the second quarter -- April to June -- the downturn received little...

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