The Money Melodrama in Washington

Stating the obvious: Politicians know politics; that's their business. Business is not their business, and any discussion about American presidents and economics has to begin with this discouraging word: American politicians, with a very small number of exceptions, don't know anything about economics. In Washington, during the deficit debates for the past few weeks, politicians are guessing–as I think most economists and pundits are–and they seize on almost any deficit idea that sounds good at the time. It has been ever thus: A mainstream American conservative, Richard Nixon, blurts out that we are all Keynesians now, and a mainstream American…

Suro – WaPo "Dream Act"

The Washington Post published an article by Faculty Fellow Roberto Suro about Congress' recent vote against "the Dream Act." The bill, if passed, would allow for children of illegal immigrants with "good character" to attain US citizenship upon their completion of a college education or service in the military. "The immediate task is to clean up the mess caused by inaction," writes Suro "and that is going to require compromises on all sides. Next, we should reexamine the scope of policy proposals. After a decade of sweeping plans that went nowhere, working piecemeal is worth a try at this point."…

We need more diplomats … and time to train them

When President Obama said, "Our commitment in Iraq is changing – from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats," he underscored a fact that has become very clear from the research I am doing for the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Stimson Center in Washington on preparing our diplomats for 21st century statecraft. A key message of our research to date is the absolute necessity for Congress to continue funding a surge in State Department hiring – an initiative launched in 2009 called Diplomacy 3.0 – so that we have not…