In spite of the great benefits of the U.S.'s long-standing commitment to basic science research and the breakthroughs it has enabled, Congress stands poised to undermine this cornerstone of American economic competitiveness.
The most critical obstacle to progress on climate change is the inability of the United States to make any credible commitments to the rest of the world, given the upcoming presidential election and a chronically dysfunctional Congress.
Serious reform in a democracy requires looking in the mirror. As long as money rules the process, your studies and your debates, and even your votes, will make no difference at all.
The super committee failed to reach an agreement that would have unnecessarily imposed untold hardship on the vast majority of those of us already struggling in a bad economy. If this inability to reach a terrible deal is "failure," can you imagine what "success," defined by this crowd, would have looked like?
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With the so-called super committee kaput, more market instability looming and the distinct possibility of another recession, the absolute inability of Washington to solve the nation's fiscal problems is inescapable.
What if the super committee ends in stalemate? Across-the-board, automatic cuts are set to kick in. That so-called sequestration wouldn't start, however, until 2013. That would make 2012 one of the most important election years in modern American history.
Well-intentioned staffers in Washington need good information to do their jobs well. Instead they're being inundated with confusing pseudo-facts and empty fear-mongering. This week's case in point? The Congressional "super committee."
The Super Committee needs to die of its own weight and its perverse policy assumptions. Its collapse will leave the Republicans exposed as a party with no plan for economic recovery other than more tax cuts for the rich and cuts in social insurance that most Americans value -- leaving the whole question of what programs to cut and what taxes to raise as the proper subject of a 2012 election that Democrats could actually win. Here's a better program: raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations; use the proceeds for jobs and public infrastructure investment; get some budget cuts out of military spending by ending two wars.
If a Grand Bargain appears to be off the table, do these cards at least offer some hope that a deal could be reached to reduce