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

Trump’s Coming Saturday Night Massacre

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs the Capitol after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post . Subscribe here . D onald Trump’s vendetta against Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gone underground for a few days, as the president deals with the serial firings of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci. But Trump’s rancor at Sessions has not gone away. His obvious motive in wanting Sessions out is getting an attorney general willing to do Trump’s bidding and fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller. In this chess game, key Republican senators have indicated their support for Mueller, even warning Trump that they would refuse to confirm a successor and that they would block a recess appointment by keeping the Senate technically in session during the August break. But the string of recent firings reinforces the sense that Trump, even...

How Trump Energizes Other Dictators

(Jakub Wlodek/Sipa USA via AP)
(Jakub Wlodek/Sipa USA via AP) Protesters gather in Main Square in Krakow, Poland, on July 22, 2017. P olish President Andrzej Duda surprised nearly everyone Sunday by vetoing legislation strongly supported by his partisan ally, Law and Justice Party leader Jarosław Kaczyński, intended to destroy the independence of Poland’s courts. Duda acted after massive street demonstrations, opposition by Poland’s previous prime ministers, and stern warnings by the officials of the European Union, which requires member nations to be democracies. Conspicuously absent in this chorus of protest against Kaczyński’s assault on Poland’s judiciary was one Donald Trump. Earlier this month, Trump went out of his way to make an increasingly autocratic Poland the first stop on his European trip. In Warsaw, he gave a fawning speech praising the current Polish government for holding back the assault on Western civilization. The speech included scarcely a word about some of the most important contributions of...

The Health Insurance Quagmire: Notes for Next Time

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Senator John McCain leaves the chamber after speaking. W ith the collapse of Republican efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act, there is renewed talk of a bipartisan effort to improve the program. Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate leader, has called on the Republicans to work with Democrats to stabilize insurance markets and cut costs. McConnell says he will make one more push for a simple repeal. But he doesn’t have the votes. As a last resort, McConnell has said he, too, will turn to a bipartisan fix in the ACA’s defects. But what would that mean? The defects, from the Democratic perspective, are that Obamacare covers too little at too high a cost, while most Republicans fault the ACA for covering too much at taxpayer expense. There is, however, a deeper defect in the entire approach, and that is the ACA’s touching faith in market competition. In theory, having lots of insurers in a given market competing for customers via regulated “...

How Trump Gives Protection a Bad Name

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon President Donald Trump walks in front of Chinese President Xi Jinping as Xi arrives before dinner at Mar-a-Lago. This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Subscribe here . T rump’s fulminations about NAFTA, subsidized Chinese steel, protected Canadian dairy products, and failed Obama-era trade deals have produced a spate of articles warning about the damage Trump’s trade policy could do to the global economic order. The most instructive of these was a recent New York Times piece by their senior economic writer, Eduardo Porter. Porter began: “It seems President Trump is ready to start rolling back globalization. Let’s hope he doesn’t blow up the postwar economic order.” According to Porter, Trump might turn his back on the World Trade Organization as “he retreats from prior American commitments to global trade.” Porter asks, rhetorically, “Will he eschew the multilateral framework in pursuit of a set of bilateral deals, turning his back on a long...

The European Mirror

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Rex Features via AP Images A placard depicts Jeremy Corbyn in the same way as the famous Barack Obama posters. This article appears in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . T he British election demonstrated that with the right combination of luck, circumstance, and leadership, popular economic grievances can go left as well as right. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader who was long dismissed as hopelessly old left, demonstrated that if left means taxing the rich and restoring popular services such as free higher education, that sort of left is what lots of voters want, especially the young. Under Corbyn’s leadership, Labour made its biggest gains in a single election—about ten points—since Clement Attlee’s epic defeat of Winston Churchill in 1945. But Labour did not win a governing majority. Instead, British politics is more muddled than ever, and the politics of exit from the European Union only adds to the muddle. The narrow referendum vote in...