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Washington Post

Washington PostBy common consent one of America’s two or three greatest newspapers, The Washington Post is particularly celebrated for its coverage of American politics. Its opinion pages are home to some of America’s most prominent commentators, including George Will, Robert Novak, and Charles Krauthammer on the right, David Broder in the center, and E.J. Dionne, Jr., and Harold Meyerson on the left. Meyerson began his weekly (usually Wednesday) column there in March of 2003, just as the Iraqi War was beginning.

Corporate America, paving a downward economic slide

The city on a hill and the last, best hope of mankind has entered a new period in its history. We are now America, the downwardly mobile.

The problem isn't due to the recession. Would that it were. The decade just concluded is the first in which Americans, on average, have seen their incomes decline. Median household income increased by about $4,000 per decade in the 1980s and '90s: from $42,429 in 1980 to $46,049 in 1990 to $50,557 in 2000 (in 2007 dollars). In 2009, the most recent year for which we have figures, it had declined to $49,777 - but 2009, of course, was a year of deep recession. If we go back to the peak year of the last decade, 2007, we find that median household income was just $50,233- roughly $300 less than it had been in 2000.

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Stimulus on the slow track

When Democratic senators and representatives voted to approve the $787 billion stimulus package nearly two years ago, the ones who came from swing states and districts knew they were taking a political risk. What they didn't know was that the economic benefits of the stimulus would become so entangled in red tape that even today, much of that money remains unspent.

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Obama's legacy hinges on the economy

With Republicans poised to take control of the House, Barack Obama has come to the end (at least, until 2013) of the progressive-reform period of his presidency. It's time to ask how he measures up when compared with his Democratic predecessors who had a kindred opportunity.

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Save the economy by keeping jobs at home

President Obama is meeting with the chief executives of leading U.S. corporations Wednesday, plainly seeking a rapprochement with American big business. What's by no means apparent, however, is whether our leading CEOs have any intention of reaching a rapprochement with the American people.

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The paucity of hope - and other victims of Obama's tax-cut deal

Changelessness we can't believe in. Not much of a slogan, I admit, but a pretty fair statement of where we're at after the president's tax deal with congressional Republicans.

It's not that the deal doesn't have some good features. Extending unemployment insurance, cutting payroll taxes, and preserving tax credits for college tuition and low-paying jobs are all imperative, even if some provisions, such as continuing to provide unemployment insurance amid the deepest and most intractable recession since the '30s, shouldn't be in question in any nation with a claim to moral leadership (or even moral adequacy).

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The Tea Partyers are coming! Quick, pass some laws.

Although the Senate is normally an institution with its head in the 18th century - and that may be unfair, I know, to the 18th century - it actually acknowledged modernity on Tuesday, if only for a moment. By passing a bill that substantially strengthens food safety regulations, it recognized that the food we eat is produced both industrially and globally. Whether its newfound grasp on reality extends to other key pending legislation, the Dream Act and repealing "don't ask, don't tell," we'll know soon enough.

On Tuesday, though, the world's greatest deliberative body actually concerned itself with facts - such as, almost 20 percent of food consumed in the United States, including three-fourths of our fish, is imported from other countries. But the Food and Drug Administration has lacked authority and staff to inspect more than one pound in 1 million of food imports. The just-passed bill will give the FDA authority to set standards for how fruits and vegetables are grown abroad and to increase its inspection of food processing plants in other countries. It also mandates increased inspections of domestic food processors and allows the FDA to recall unsafe food directly from stores.

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Harold Meyerson Named One of Nation’s Top 50 Columnists!

awardIn September, 2009 Atlantic Monthly named Harold Meyerson one of 50 Most Influential Columnists. Calling its list “its all-star team,” Atlantic Monthly’s Top 50 are the most influential commentators in the nation – the columnists and bloggers and broadcast pundits who shape the national debates. Harold Meyerson is honored to be in their midst.

To get a complete list of the country’s Top 50 Idea-meisters, click here.

Harold Meyerson's Book

Harold Meyerson's Book
Who Put the Rainbow in the Wizard of Oz?
Yip Harburg, Lyricist

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