Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. He writes columns for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and the New York Times international edition. 

Recent Articles

Two Cheers for the Deep State

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh)
(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) President Trump, accompanied by the Easter Bunny, salutes the woman who sang the National Anthem at the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 17, 2017. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. A funny thing happened to Donald Trump in recent weeks. He had an encounter with reality—and reality won. It is one thing to dwell in your own reality during the campaign and to persuade your true believers that real is fake and fake is real. But when you actually try to govern, there is a reality to reality, and it pushes back. It turns out that the budget, and the Syrian civil war, and North Korean nuclear ambitions, and relations with China, and with Mexico, and with the EU are, like health insurance … complicated. As Trump put it so well, who knew? Evidently, everyone knew but Trump. And it turns out that the United States can’t just insult China willy-nilly, because maybe we need China’s help to contain North Korea. It turns out that there is a direct...

What Will the Trump Economy Look Like?

AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . W hen the economy generated over 200,000 new jobs in January and again in February, Donald Trump suddenly decided that he respected the government statistical agencies. But when the economy produced only 98,000 jobs in March, the administration was uncharacteristically quiet. That same report revised the earlier numbers downward by about 38,000 jobs. Compared with a year earlier, job creation in February and March declined by 56.4 percent. So, what sort of economy will the Trump presidency produce and how will it affect the elections of 2018 and 2020? The stock market likes Trump. After a brief dip in stock prices following his election (financial markets famously hate uncertainty), stock traders decided they like Trump. With deregulation, tax cuts, infrastructure spending, weakening of trade unions, and Trump back-pedaling on a...

Corporate America and Donald Trump

Don't mistake the corporate embrace of diversity for defense of democracy. 

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez Demonstrators with Making Change At Walmart and the United Food and Commercial Workers protest Walmart's sale of Donald Trump products in Dallas. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . A re big corporations among the firewalls protecting the Republic from Donald Trump? It would be comforting to think so. Silicon Valley has risen up against Trump’s anti-Muslim attacks. More than 100 of the most prominent tech giants, from Microsoft to Tesla, signed an amicus brief challenging Trump’s immigration orders. Starbucks made a point of announcing that the company would hire 10,000 refugees. The Super Bowl ads were a veritable festival of anti-Trump sentiment, some subtle, others surprisingly direct. Budweiser celebrated the dreams of its immigrant founder. An Airbnb ad declared, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong.” 84 Lumber’s astonishing...

Needed: A Democratic Shadow Cabinet

(Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
(Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is joined by Senators Mark Warner and Elizabeth Warren while speaking at the Capitol on March 14, 2017. D onald Trump, precisely because his behavior is so outlandish and unpredictable, has dominated the news coverage. It’s unreality TV, and the media can’t stop covering it. The benefit is that Trump’s sheer craziness gets a lot of scrutiny. But the downside is that Democratic critics have trouble getting much airtime. If this were a parliamentary democracy, there would be a leader of the opposition, and a whole “front bench” of opposition spokespeople, issue by issue—a kind of Shadow Cabinet. Leading Democrats could both hold Trump accountable for his bizarre positions (and those of his Republican allies in Congress), and the Democrats could also offer more attractive alternatives. They could also show up Trump’s sheer ignorance of the issues, and his crazy inconsistency, and hold him accountable, item by item. Once...

How to Marginalize the Tea Party

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows rushes to a caucus in the basement of the Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017, before House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he is abruptly pulling their troubled health-care bill off the House floor. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . H ow is it that the 37 most right-wing members of the House, the so-called Freedom Caucus, have disabled the Republican majority? The explanation is the relatively recent tradition that Republicans never make bipartisan agreements with Democrats, except in the rare cases when they can peel off a few conservative Democrats to totally capitulate to Republican terms. If Republicans could bring themselves to work with Democrats—the norm for most of American history—the outsized influence of the most extreme Republicans would collapse. The Republican posture of ultra-partisanship, which has now backfired, is...

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