Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government

Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government

Former Budget Director Peter Orszag
Former Budget Director Peter Orszag Lauren Victoria Burke/AP File Photo

Peter Orszag quit his government job. For three and a half years, he ran two federal budget agencies, and in 2010, he defected to Wall Street. Even though he thinks the government desperately needs more smart people, he has deep empathy for those who flee to the private sector.

“In a hyperpolarized environment in which we effectively have a bipolar Congress with no middle, there are just much smaller returns to being in government,” he said during an interview with The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons on Wednesday. Because of this, smart people working in business see less appeal in taking a pay cut and moving to Washington. “What would excite many of the people I know about being in government would be the opportunity to actually do things, rather than just lob grenades at each other,” he said. Continue reading “Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government”

Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees

politics

Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees

Robert Creamer

Political Organizer, Strategist, Author; Partner Democracy Partners

Posted: 12/09/2013 7:31 am

For many years the American Right — and many of the most powerful elements of corporate and Wall Street elite — have conducted a war on public employees.

Their campaign has taken many forms. They have tried to slash the number of public sector jobs, cut the pay and benefits of public sector workers, and do away with public employee rights to collective bargaining. They have discredited the value of the work performed by public employees — like teachers, police and firefighters — going so far as to argue that “real jobs” are created only by the private sector.

Last week a conservative court ruled that by going through bankruptcy the city of Detroit could rid itself of its obligation under the state constitution to make good on its pension commitments to its retirees. Continue reading “Progressives Must Stand Up Against the Right Wing War on Public Employees”

Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House 3Comments

10/03/2013 Damon Silvers

The heads of the country’s largest banks and stock brokers came to Washington, D.C., yesterday to meet with President Barack Obama. Washington is the center of our national hostage drama—to use an old phrase, D.C. is the kidnap house. But we have seen this part of the hostage-taking drama before. First, the extremist House Republicans, who are deeply dependent on Wall Street money, threaten to force the United States into defaulting on its debts to achieve political objectives that Wall Street supports, like cutting Social Security. Then Wall Street pretends to be horrified that the United States might default on its debts, Treasury bonds that underpin much of the world financial system.

Enter the wise old men of Wall Street, many of them around long enough to have been dispensing wisdom back in 2007, when their advice led to the collapse of the global economy. The wise men go to see Obama, and they say, “Mr. President, you have to be the grown-up here, we can’t afford to have the United States default. We know it will be painful, but you have to give the Republicans some of what they want for the good of the country, just like you had to bail us out back in 2009 for the good of the country.” Continue reading “Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House 3Comments”

Beyond The Shutdown, There’s A Bigger Battle Brewing

by Scott Horsley October 01, 2013 5:02 PM

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there’s a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake/AP

This week’s government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won’t be able to keep paying its bills. Continue reading “Beyond The Shutdown, There’s A Bigger Battle Brewing”

Stop Sequestration Now!

Stop Sequestration Now!

Let’s be honest – sequestration is just plain stupid. It would slash funding across the board for nearly every federal account, with no regard to how that will harm vital programs and services.

We’ve got to stop it.

That’s why we need you to call both of your senators and your representative right now. Yes, we’re asking you to make three calls. But it will only take a few minutes, and that’s what it’s going to take to win this fight.

Call each of your three lawmakers toll free at 1-888-775-3148. Follow the prompts to be connected directly to your lawmakers’ offices. Leave the following message with the receptionist:

Do not use a government phone, government computer, or duty time to contact congress.

“My name is _________ and I’m calling from _________ (give your city). Please tell the senator (or representative) to stop the sequester right now. And ask the senator (or representative) to do so by asking the very rich, big corporations and Wall Street to pay their fair share. No more cuts for the working Americans who have already sacrificed enough. Thank you for taking my call.”

Again, don’t forget to call both of your senators and your representative.

Thanks for making your calls and for helping to stop the sequester madness.

Do not use a government phone, government computer, or duty time to contact congress.