Journalist Michael Grunwald discusses his book, THE NEW NEW DEAL: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It’s about the big, but little-known, impact of the Obama stimulus. And investigative reporter James Steele talks about the latest book he co-authored with Donald Bartlett, THE BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN DREAM: What Went Wrong.
Did Obama’s stimulus package really deserve the bad rap it got from the press, the public and Republicans? Not according to journalist Michael Grunwald. He lays out a convincing case for how much good the stimulus actually did in his fascinating new book, THE NEW NEW DEAL: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era [Deckle Edge, 2012]. Grunwald says that Obama’s stimulus not only kept the U.S. from falling into a deep depression after the financial collapse of 2008, it also laid the foundation for the economy of the 21st century.
Grunwald predicts that when people look back at the stimulus in thirty years, they’ll say it began our transition to the low-carbon economy. It doubled U.S. wind power generation and increased solar by 600%, weatherized thousands of homes in low income neighborhoods, and promoted efficiency programs in commercial buildings. He writes that the stimulus included America’s biggest foray into industrial policy since FDR, the biggest expansion of antipoverty initiatives since Lyndon Johnson, the biggest middle-class tax cut since Ronald Reagan, and the biggest infusion of research money into clean energy, ever.
Michael Grunwaldworked for the Washington Post for 9 years and now writes for Time Magazine. He’s also the author of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise
Read an excerpt from The New New Deal
Much has been made of the declining American middle class in this election cycle. Each presidential candidate is vowing to bring back the middle class. But how did we get to the point in which the middle class needs rescuing? Who’s to blame for the collapse of the middle class and what can be done about?
Investigative reporters Donald Bartlett and James Steele have written a disturbing and heartbreaking answer to these questions. Their new book, THE BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN DREAM [Public Affairs, 2012], chronicles how, “for more than thirty years, government and big business have conspired to roll back the American Dream.” Using clear and indisputable data, Bartlett and Steele craft a narrative of how the economic elite have co-opted the legislative process, manipulated the tax code and used outsourcing and globalization to destroy the American dream for millions of Americans.
James B. Steele and Donald L. Barlett are one of the most widely acclaimed investigative reporting teams in American journalism. They are the only reporting team ever to have received two Pulitzer Prizes for newspaper reporting and two National Magazine Awards for magazine work. This is their eighth book together.
Drew Adamek spoke to James Steele about the decline of the American middle class, who is responsible for it and what, if any, choice voters have in the next election.
Listen to the unabridged, one-hour version of this interview.