The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 6, June

A Kinder, Gentler Globalization: 1992
IN MY DEBATE WITH ROBERT REICH, I made two main arguments. First, the competitiveness of the American economy is linked to the competitiveness of American multinational companies. Second, economic policy should focus on maintaining America's position...
As I Predicted, Only Worse: 1992
In December 1992, according to Bob Woodward's The Agenda, President-elect Bill Clinton was about to announce Laura Tyson's appointment as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, when Tyson mentioned she and Robert Reich had debated in The American...
A Tax Plan for Progressives: A Simpler and Fairer Tax Code-One That Rewards the Hard Work of the American Middle Class-Can Be Good Policy and Smart Politics
FOR FOUR YEARS PRESIDENT BUSH HAS TOUTED his tax cuts as an economic cure-all, but middle-income workers have instead watched helplessly as the tiny tax cut they received has gone to pay for higher property taxes, tuition increases, and exploding medical...
Back from the Dead: Look out, Grover! There Are Rifts within the Repeal Coalition, So the Estate Tax-Aka the "Paris Hilton Benefit Act"-Isn't Dead Quite Yet
ON APRIL 13, THE U.S. HOUSE OF Representatives undertook its annual drill of voting to permanently abolish the federal estate tax, our only tax on inherited wealth. In 2003, the House passed identical legislation. Last time, Congress' projected 10-year...
Blacks and the Republican Party: 1995
In "The Future of Black Representation" in Fall 1995, Carol Swain warned that racial redistricting was helping Republicans. She's still warning Democrats. CAN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY SUCCESSFULLY attract a growing percentage of the black vote? Barring...
Boasting on Demand: 1994
"Are we really on a cliff by the sea, poised perilously above the waves and the rocks? Or are we in fact down by the beach, on a gentle slope of soft and agreeable sand?" "Can't We Go Faster?" TAP, September 1997 I CLAIM THE BEST RECORD OF...
Bolton from the Blue: Bush's UN Pick May Yet Be Headed for First Avenue, but the Movement That Opposed Him Emerges from the Fight in Better Shape Than He Does
ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH SENATOR Richard Lugar's droning opening statement in the May 12 confirmation hearing of John Bolton to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a yawn made its way around the press table. And it lingered--until Lugar...
Bush's Tax-Deform Panel: The President's Panelists Are Saying Some of the Right Things, but Their "Reform" Package Is a Hoax-That Can Be Turned into an Opportunity
THE PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY PANEL on Federal Tax Reform is mouthing some surprisingly attractive lines about improving our tax system. A panel appointed by Mr. Big Deficits points out that "we have lost sight of the fact that the fundamental purpose of...
Demystifying Terrorism: 2001
IN OCTOBER 2001, I WROTE A PIECE for the Prospect [see "Excusing Terror] in which I criticized "the politics of ideological apology"--the excuses that some on the left were making for terrorism. No one was justifying terrorism, but we were often asked...
Dossier: Black Gold, Texas Tea
In early May, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.18 ... A year ago, it was $1.89 ... Also in May, a barrel of light crude oil was quoted at $52 ... When that price increase was announced, the stock market promptly fell nearly...
Food Stamped
NOT THAT THEY'VE advertised it, but Republicans are gunning for food-stamp recipients. It's all part of their low-visibility war on the poor. In early May, reports surfaced about the nasty surprise they've planned for poor seniors signing up for...
How We Found-And Lost-A Majority: 1991
Stanley B. Greenberg's Fall 1991 article, "From Crisis to Working Majority," was widely considered a key manifesto for the 1992 Clinton campaign. Bob Woodward reported that Bill Clinton said he had read it three times. ON THE EVE OF BILL CLINTON'S...
Labor's Civil War: The Sweeney Revolution Is Definitely over. but Is the Sweeney Era? Inside the Tumultuous Battle over Labor's Future
ON TUESDAY, MAY 3, 167 OF THE AFL-CIO'S 426 employees reported to work to find that their positions had been eliminated. Whole divisions were being scrapped, publications abolished, programs terminated. Some departments w-ere being consolidated, and...
Lightning, Camera, Action: As the Birth of a Nation Turns 90, Its Racism Is out of Bounds, but Its More Enduring Impact Can Be Seen Just by Turning on the Television
CAN PHOTOGRAPHS, MOTION PICTURES, and television create social change? Or would it be more accurate to say that these camera-based forms construct a social reality? Michael Moore notwithstanding, the ultimate test case appeared 90 years ago: D.W. Griffith's...
Little Magazine, Big Ideas
The American Prospect began with a small circulation and great ambitions. Our aim was to rethink ideas about public policy and politics and thereby to restore plausibility and persuasiveness to American liberalism. The first issue appeared in spring...
Perfectly Legal: Who Paid for Tom DeLay's Trips? the More Interesting Question Is Why He Went to Saipan at All-And What Happened after He Returned
THE TROUBLES HOUSE MAJORITY Leader Tom DeLay faces for allowing a lobbyist to pay for overseas trips in violation of House rules provide a perfect example of Los Angeles Times op-ed page editor Michael Kinsley's famous dictum: The real scandal is what's...
Philosophy 101
HERE IN WASHINGTON, "PROGRESSIVES"--THE preferred term of art these days--have been feeling pretty good lately. George W. Bush's Social Security privatization plan is still stuck in neutral, if not reverse. Tom DeLay, perhaps this town's most important...
Public Broadcast(igation)
FOR MANY YEARS, CONSERVATIVES HAVE WARNED us that someday the commissars of political correctness would run amok and impose their opinions on us with our own tax dollars. What they didn't tell us is that they would become those commissars, and that...
Simon Does
THE NEWEST DEMOCRATIC Party think tank won't be focusing on ideas, big or small. It will be devoted entirely to the art of politics. "My whole fear," said a trim, new-model, salad-munching Joe Trippi at the New Democratic Network's (NDN) lunchtime...
Staircase to Nowhere: 1992
BACK WHEN I WROTE "THE RICH, the Right, and the Facts" for The American Prospect in September 1992, I was trying to get two ideas across: The middle-class society of the postwar era was unraveling, and the right was lying about it. It was a very...
Talking Taxes: Can Progressives Turn Public Ambivalence over Tax Policy into Winning Politics?
GEORGE W. BUSH HAS MADE TAX CUTS THE touchstone of his presidency, supporting new ones each year, with the economy in growth and in recession, with record budget surpluses and record deficits, in peace and in war. Most of his fellow Republicans have...
T-Bond Fake
SEEKING TO REASSURE those Americans concerned that replacing Social Security benefits with stock-market investments would be just too risky, President Bush came up with a new alternative at his April 28 press conference. "I propose that one investment...
The Book Club: There Have Been Lots of Great Progressive Books in the Last 15 Years, So We Asked Lots of People We like to Tell Us-Quickly!-Their Favorite One
TODD GITLIN Professor of journalism and sociology, Columbia University Narrowly squeaking in under the 15-year limit is Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics, by Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary D. Edsall (1991),...
The Civic Enigma: 1996
MORE THAN A DECADE AGO, I began to explore changes in Americans' civic engagement and social connectedness (for which I borrowed the term "social capital") and the impact of those changes on our communities and our democracy. My initial findings, suggesting...
The Death and Life of American Liberalism: The Right Has Shown That Conviction Beats Vacillation. Can Liberals Acquire Some Spine?
"I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." --Jon Lovitz playing Michael Dukakis, Saturday Night Live, October 1988 WHY ARE WE LOSING TO THESE GUYS? ON nearly every major issue, public-opinion polls show that the Bush administration and the Republican...
The DeLay Wannabes: Four U.S. Representatives Who Deserve Special Mention-And, in Certain Instances, Criminal Investigation
AMID ALL THE TURMOIL OVER HOUSE ETHICS rules and Tom DeLay's expanding assortment of" scandals, the embattled majority" leader's Republican minions quickly resorted to the old" everybody does it" defense. "The things that Tom has been criticized...
The Easy Money: The Deficit Will Force Politicians to Look for Revenues, Sooner or Later. They Can Start with the $350 Billion in Taxes Owed to the Government
THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE estimates that some $350 billion in taxes owed to the federal government is evaded or otherwise unpaid every year. That sum, also known as the "tax gap," nearly equals the current federal budget deficit. Of this $350...
The Liberal Project Now: Liberals Need to Remember Their First Principles, Rebuild a Majority, and Connect to a New Generation
LIBERALISM IS AT GREATER RISK NOW THAN AT ANY time in recent American history. The risk is of political marginality, even irrelevance. And the reason is not just a shift in partisan control of the federal government. There has been a radical change...
The Prince and the Dissident: Behind an Iranian in Washington Promoting Democracy and Nonviolence Is a Network That Includes Neocons-And the Shah's Son
AS A FORMER AIDE-DE-CAMP TO the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei and one of the founders of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Sazegara was once at the radical, sharply anti-American vanguard of that country's Islamic revolution. Operating from Khomenei's...
War Requiem
MARLA RUZICKA ALWAYS knew how to get people's attention, Lieutenant Lars Ewing told the hundreds of people crammed into Room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building for her memorial service on May 14. Plainly struggling to retain his composure, Ewing--after...
Welfare Then and Now: 1990
WELL BEFORE BILL CLINTON pledged to "end welfare as we know it, the first issue of The American Prospect included a long article by Kathryn Edin and myself [see "The Real Welfare Problem," Spring 1990] urging liberals to rethink welfare. Our argument...