- President Obama is back from last week’s visit to the Middle East. One of the countries in his tour was Jordan – a country that has yet to see any changes as a result of the so-called Arab Spring. We talk with about Jordan with Pete Moore, Professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University
- It appears that Democrats are paving the way for cuts to Social Security and Medicare. In an article titled “Selling the Store: Why Democrats Shouldn’t Put Social Security and Medicare on the Table“, Robert Reich says: “Prominent Democrats — including the President and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — are openly suggesting that Medicare be means-tested and Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation. This is even before they’ve started budget negotiations with Republicans — who still refuse to raise taxes on the rich, close tax loopholes the rich depend on (such as hedge-fund and private-equity managers’ “carried interest”), increase capital gains taxes on the wealthy, cap their tax deductions, or tax financial transactions. It’s not the first time Democrats have led with a compromise, but these particular pre-concessions are especially unwise.” With us to talk about this issue is Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
More about this week’s guests:
Pete W. Moore is Professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University, and is author of Doing Business in the Middle East: Politics and Economic Crisis in Jordan and Kuwait.
Quote: “Despite comparative quiet in Jordan, the same socio-economic discontent that drove protests in 2011 remains a fact of life in the Hashemite Kingdom. There are numerous factors why Jordanians have not followed in the 2011 footsteps but political leaders in Amman and Washington have good reason remain fearful.”
Pete’s research interests include Economic development and state-society relations in the Middle East and Africa; specifically, Gulf Arab States and Levant; business-state relations, privatization, and decentralization; sub-state conflict and regional security. He also co-authored Beyond the Arab Spring: Authoritarianism and Democratization in the Arab World, with Rex Brynen, Bassel F. Salloukh, and Marie-Joelle Zahar.
A former staff director of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and 16-year veteran of Capitol Hill, Max Richtman is President/CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the nation’s second-largest senior advocacy and education organization. Richtman, who joined the organization in 1989 as director of government relations, was named executive vice president in 1991. He also serves as director of the National Committee’s political action committee.
During his congressional career, Max Richtman directed a lengthy investigation of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s enforcement of age-discrimination statutes and played key roles in reforms of the multi-billion-dollar federal and Indian oil and gas royalty collection system and Indian health care system.
Max Richtman began his career on Capitol Hill in 1975 as a staff assistant and counsel to the American Indian Policy Review Commission, chaired by Senator Jim Abourezk (D-SD). In 1977, Abourezk selected him as counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, which Abourezk chaired. In 1979, he assumed the position of staff director of the committee under new chairman, Senator John Melcher (D-MT).
In 1987, Max Richtman was named staff director of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, a position he held until 1989, when he joined the National Committee.