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My Latest American Prospect Online Article is Up

The Permanent Raw Deal
We know liberals face trouble if Kerry loses. But here's the tough choice they face if Kerry wins.

Keeping with the historical theme of the column, this one goes back to the decision by liberals to make entitlements -- or "The Permanent New Deal" -- the cornerstone of the agenda, how that promise has been eroded, and how the far right is on the verge of creating a system of "anti-entitlements" that will similarly constrain government for many decades to come.

It's pretty dense, because it's a huge topic. I think this might actually be the kernel of the book I'd like to write, although a book with the word "entitlements" in the title is probably guaranteed to have max 500 readers, and that's before they get to the chapter on the history of budget reconciliation!

Posted by Mark Schmitt on June 9, 2004 | Permalink


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That about as interesting a piece as I've read in a while. It puts me in mind of John Dewey's early efforts (pre-Depression) to mold liberalism as the political embodiment of the "experimental attitude" particularly in regard to education. Maybe this is similar to Stockman's call for innovation. We must get past warmed-over New Dealism and dedicate ourselves to pragmatic liberal outcomes rooted in the needs of the day, not so-called "liberal" programs designed to be immutable.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 9, 2004 11:27:30 AM

If you include a good explanation of the entire budget process that those of us with some desire to be back in government would understand you would be guaranteed one buyer.

Posted by: CalDem | Jun 9, 2004 4:15:34 PM


Great article in the Prospect, except for one key error. If Stockman's article was published in 1975, it was published before he was elected to Congress (1976). The article may have catapulted him from obscurity, but only into Congress. Once in Congress, he captured the attention of the Reagan people, particularly when he participated in Reagan's debate preparation.

Posted by: Ray Lodato | Jun 9, 2004 5:57:52 PM

The previous comment is correct. At the time of the article (in the Spring 1975 issue of the Public Interest), Stockman was executive director of the House Republican Conference, not yet a member of Congress. And, indeed, it was his role in the Reagan debate preparation that secured him his position.

Posted by: Mark Schmitt | Jun 10, 2004 2:26:13 PM


i haven't gotten to the article yet, but i just want to say that that book could and should be written in a way that lay people that myself would also find entertaining and informative.

you need to think of a clever title!

the readers are there.

you just have to speak their language.

you make lots of great points.

a book written by you would be a good thang.

Posted by: neal in long beach | Jun 11, 2004 3:24:42 AM