Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His website can be found here and his blog can be found here.

Recent Articles

The Military-Industrial Drain

President Trump's call for ramping up military spending leaves most Americans behind. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office after a news conference A s Trump stokes tensions around the world, he’s adding fuel to the fire by demanding even more Pentagon spending. It’s a dangerous military buildup intended to underwrite endless wars and enrich defense contractors, while draining money from investment in the American people. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once noted, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Eisenhower was a Republican and a former general who helped win World War II for the allies, yet he understood America’s true priorities. But Washington—and especially Trump—have lost sight of these basic tradeoffs. Since 2001, the Pentagon budget has soared from $456 billion—in today’s dollars—to $700 billion, including the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other national security...

The Constitutional Crisis Is Now

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for a trip to the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada, on June 8, 2018. I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller we’ll face a constitutional crisis. Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a constitutional crisis. Or if Mueller comes up with substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice but the House doesn’t move to impeach him, we’ll have a constitutional crisis. I have news for you. We’re already in a constitutional crisis. For a year and a half the president of the United States has been carrying out a systemic attack on the institutions of our democracy. A constitutional crisis does not occur suddenly like a coup that causes a government to collapse. It occurs gradually, as a system of government is slowly weakened. The current crisis has been unfolding since the waning days of the 2016 campaign when Trump refused to say whether he’d...

A Second American Civil War?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci Audience members listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery I magine that an impeachment resolution against Trump passes the House. Trump claims it’s the work of the “deep state.” Fox News’s Sean Hannity demands every honest patriot take to the streets. Right-wing social media call for war. As insurrection spreads, Trump commands the armed forces to side with the “patriots.” Or it’s November 2020 and Trump has lost the election. He charges voter fraud, claiming that the “deep state” organized tens of millions of illegal immigrants to vote against him, and says he has an obligation not to step down. Demonstrations and riots ensue. Trump commands the armed forces to put them down. If these sound far-fetched, consider Trump’s torrent of lies, his admiration for foreign dictators, his off-hand jokes about being “president for life” (Xi Xinping “was able to do that,” he told admirers in March. “I think it’s...

America's Megalomaniac

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File People watch a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. I spent last week at a conference in South Korea, during which time Trump went from seeking a meeting with Kim Jong-Un to cancelling it, then suggesting it might be back on. “What does Trump want?” South Korean officials at the conference kept asking me. Notably, no one asked what the United States wants. They knew it was all about Trump. Trump’s goal has nothing to do with peace on the Korean peninsula, or even with making America great again. It’s all about making Trump feel great. “They are respecting us again,” Trump exulted to graduating cadets at the Naval Academy last Friday. “Winning is such a great feeling, isn’t it? Nothing like winning. You got to win.” In truth, the United States hasn’t won anything, in Korea or anywhere else. After 15 months of Trump...

Trump's Curious Coalition

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast A supporter of President Donald Trump waits in a nearby neighborhood before a campaign rally at the North Side Middle School in Elkhart, Indiana T rump’s strategy for keeping power is to build up his coalition of America’s white working class and the nation’s ownership class. It’s a curious coalition, to say the least. But if Democrats don’t respond to it, it could protect Trump from impeachment and even re-elect him. It just might create a permanent Republican majority around an axis of white resentment and great wealth. Two decades ago, Democrats and Republicans competed over the middle class. They battled over soccer moms and suburban “swing” voters. Since then the middle class has shrunk while the working class has grown, and vast wealth has been accumulated by a comparative few who now own a large portion of America. Some of their wealth has taken over American politics. Enter Trump. Counties whose voters shifted from Obama to Trump in 2016 had lost...

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