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Joe Biden championed the Iraq war. Will that come back to haunt him now? | Mark Weisbrot

Þri, 18/02/2020 - 01:01

The Iraq war has been a prominent, even decisive issue, in recent US presidential elections. That will make Biden’s history a liability

Joe Biden has an issue that hasn’t played out yet in this election: his role in the launch of the Iraq war.

The Iraq war has been a prominent, even decisive issue, in some recent US presidential elections. It played a significant role in the surprise presidential primary victory won by a freshman senator from Illinois named Barack Obama in 2008. His heavily favored Democratic primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, had voted in the US Senate to authorize the war, and Obama didn’t let her forget it during that contest.

Mark Weisbrot is co-cirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He is the director of Worth the Price? Joe Biden and the Launch of the Iraq War (2020)

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Politicians have lied about social security. The US must elect someone who'll fight for it | Mark Weisbrot

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 11:06

Social security helps millions, but America’s largest anti-poverty program remains vastly misunderstood

Social security has become an issue in the presidential election campaign. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has come under criticism from his competitor, Bernie Sanders, for his past advocacy of cuts to social security benefits. Donald Trump has made headlines for recent comments suggesting he would be open to cutting social security.

There is no doubt that Biden has in the past supported cuts to social security. But there are other reasons, too, that social security should really be a prominent issue in this presidential campaign. Despite the fact that about one-sixth of Americans get a check from social security – and millions more, including poor children, are helped immensely by it – the nation’s largest anti-poverty program remains vastly misunderstood by most of the country.

Social security has paid all promised benefits for more than 75 years, and there is nothing in its finances indicating that the future will be different

Mark Weisbrot is an economist and the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington DC and the co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis

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