Robert Reich

Syndicate content
ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock”, “The Work of Nations,” and"Beyond Outrage,“ and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.
Updated: 38 min 14 sec ago

Trump’s Civil War

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 17:38
Trump’s unwillingness to denounce the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville last weekend...

Making America Hate Again

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:22
Trump’s unwillingness to denounce hateful violence has been part of his political strategy from the...

A National Calamity in the Making

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 16:18
The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia today is a national calamity. It is a product of white...

Night Thoughts on Trump and America

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:41
With Donald Trump away vacationing at one of his golf resorts, the rest of us may have a chance...

A SUMMER SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE TRUMP ERAHere’s a summer...

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:32


A SUMMER SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE TRUMP ERA

Here’s a summer survival guide, 10 ways to relax during the era of Trump.

1.  Take a day off from the news, one day a week.

 2.  Don’t get into an argument with a Trump supporter, especially if it’s a member of your family. Remember, there are more independents and non-voters than Trump Republicans. And the 2018 midterm election will be won on the basis of turnout.

3.  Pay no attention to Trump’s tweets. They’re becoming increasingly bizarre and irrelevant.

4.  Watch an old movie of biting political satire, like “Wag the Dog.”

5.  But don’t watch “Doctor Strangelove.

6.  Join an Indivisible group near you and take action with them, attending a congressional town meeting and organizing others to contact your members of congress. It’s having an effect. Plus, it’s therapeutic.  

7.  Drink lots of water and get plenty of exercise. Helps with the anger.

8.  Read good books of fiction, like Harry Potter. Don’t read George Orwell’s “1984” or Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” or Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

9.  Go to a county fair with your kids, and watch the pigs.

10. Have a cookout with your neighbors and see what resources you yourselves can offer to your community. Start a tool collective or teach a class in a library or out of someone’s house. Tangible change can come from your hands, not only your votes. Remember, resistance works best when people come together and work together.         

Have a great summer!

Hill Republicans: Trump is Fritzing Out

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 18:31
This morning I phoned my friend, a former Republican member of Congress.Me: What’s going on?...

Trump’s Big Loss

Sat, 07/29/2017 - 17:55
The demise of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is hardly the end of the...

6-Month Update for Trump Voters

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 08:06
So after six months, has he delivered what he promised you?1. He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and...

The Trump Standard

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 14:54
What did Trump say when confronted with proof that his son jumped at the prospect of meeting with a...

The 10 Steps to Impeach a PresidentIt won’t be easy to impeach...

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 09:04


The 10 Steps to Impeach a PresidentIt won’t be easy to impeach Donald Trump. No president in American history has ever been convicted on articles of impeachment. Only two presidents so far have been impeached by the House and had that impeachment go to the Senate for trial. The first was Andrew Johnson, in 1868, when the Senate came one vote short of convicting him. The next was 131 years later, in 1999, when Bill Clinton’s impeachment went to the Senate. 50 Senators voted to convict Clinton, 17 votes short of what was needed.

What about Richard Nixon? He resigned early in this process, before the House had even voted on articles of impeachment. And then his successor, who had been his vice president, Gerald Ford, gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.

This isn’t to say Trump couldn’t or won’t be impeached. Only that it’s a long and drawn-out process. 

It all revolves around Article I Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution, and rules in the House and the Senate implementing those provisions.

Step 1. It starts in the House Judiciary Committee, when a majority of the member vote in favor of what’s called an “inquiry of impeachment” resolution.

Step 2. That resolution goes to the full House of Representatives where a majority has to vote in favor. And then votes to authorize and fund a full investigation by the Judiciary Committee into whether sufficient grounds exist for impeachment.

Step 3. The House Judiciary Committee investigates. That investigation doesn’t have to be from scratch. It can rely on data and conclusions of other investigations undertaken by, say, the FBI.

Step 4: A majority of the Judiciary Committee members decides there are sufficient grounds for impeachment, and the Committee issues a “Resolution of Impeachment,” setting forth specific allegations of misconduct in one or more articles of impeachment.

Step 5: The full House then considers that Resolution and votes in favor of it – as a whole or on each article separately. The full House isn’t bound by the Committee’s work. The House may vote to impeach even if the Committee doesn’t recommend impeachment.

Step 6: The matter then goes to the Senate for a trial. The House’s Resolution of Impeachment becomes in effect the charges in this trial.

Step 7: The Senate issues a summons to the president, who is now effectively the defendant, informing him of the charges and the date by which he has to answer them. If the president chooses not to answer or appear, it’s as if he entered a “not guilty” plea.

Step 8 is the trial in the Senate. In that trial, those who are representing the House – that is, the prosecution – and counsel for the president, both make opening arguments. They then introduce evidence and put on witnesses as in any trial. Witnesses are subject to examination and cross-examination. The trial is presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court – who has the authority to rule on evidentiary questions or may put such questions to a vote of the Senate. The House managers and counsel for the president then make closing arguments.

Step 9: The Senate meets in closed session to deliberate.

Step 10: The Senate returns in open session to vote on whether to convict the president on the articles of impeachment. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate. Conviction on one or more articles of impeachment results in removal from office. Such a conviction also disqualifies the now former president from holding any other public office. And it doesn’t bar additional legal proceedings against that former president, and punishment.

So there you have it–the 10 steps that must all take place to impeach the president. 

It may come in handy.

THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEALSay you’re Vladimir Putin,...

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 09:29


THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEAL

Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. Whether there was such a deal is being investigated. But if you are Putin and you did do a deal, what might Trump have agreed to do for you? 

1. Repudiate NATO. NATO is the biggest thorn in your side – the alliance that both humiliates you and stymies your ambitions. Trump seemed intent to deliver on this during his recent European trip by bullying members about payments and seemingly not reaffirming Article 5 of the pact, which states that any attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all. (He’s backtracked on this since then, under pressure from Congress.)

2. Antagonize Europe, especially Angela Merkel. She’s the strongest leader in the West other than Trump, and you’d love to drive a wedge between the United States and Germany. Your larger goal is for Europe to no longer depend on the United States, so you can increase your influence in Europe. Trump has almost delivered on this, too. Merkel is already saying Europe can no longer depend on America.

3. Take the United States out of the Paris accord on the environment. This will anger America’s other allies around the world and produce a wave of anti-Americanism – all to your advantage. You’d also love for the whole Paris accord to unravel because you want the world to remain dependent on fossil fuels. Russia is the world’s second-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia, and biggest exporter of natural gas. And the oil and gas industry contributes about half the revenues to your domestic budget. And, hey, there’s also all those Arctic ports that are opening up now that the earth is warming. Trump has delivered on this. 

4. Embark on a new era of protectionism. Or at least anti-trade rhetoric. This will threaten the West’s economic interdependence and loosen America’s economic grip on the rest of the world. Trump is on the way to delivering on this one.

5. End the economic sanctions on Russia, imposed by the United States in 2014. Oil production on land is falling so you want to tap the vast petroleum and gas reserves offshore in the Arctic. In 2011, you and ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, signed a $500 billion deal to do this. But the sanctions stopped it cold. Trump has promised to lift them, but he hasn’t delivered on this yet, because he has got to cope with all the suspicions in America about his deal with you. Once it dies down, he’ll end the sanctions. In the meantime, he’ll give you back the two compounds that were seized by the Obama administration when the U.S. intelligence discovered you’d interfered in the election.

And what might you have agreed to do for Trump in return? 

Two things: First, you’d help him win the presidency, by hacking into Democratic Party servers, leaking the results, sending millions of fake news stories about Hillary to targeted voters, and tapping into voter lists. 

Second, after he was elected, you’d shut up about your help so Trump wouldn’t be impeached and convicted of treason.

In other words, if you did a deal, you both still have every incentive to fulfill your side of it. That’s the art of the deal.

POLITICAL JUJITSU: NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs...

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 16:33


POLITICAL JUJITSU: NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill.

With health care emerging as the public’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders.

And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money.

These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes.

Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”

That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican.

If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

Trump’s Escalating Assault on the Press

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 17:05
On Sunday morning Trump seemed to promote violence against CNN. He tweeted an old video clip of him...

NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Republicans in Congress...

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 13:27


NOW’S THE TIME FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving in the opposite direction, toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. Both California and New York state are moving towards single-payer plans.

With health care emerging as the pubic’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders. 

And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money. 

These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes. 

Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. 

An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican. 

If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

It’s Time for Medicare for All

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 16:25
Mitch McConnell is delaying a vote on the Senate Republican version of Trumpcare because he doesn’t...

The Secret Healthcare Bill

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 15:04
The Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is not a healthcare bill. It’s a tax cut for...