Lee Drutman

Lee Drutman is a senior fellow and the managing editor for the Progressive Policy Institute.



By / 4.22.2011

It’s Earth Day, but as far as problems go, the environment now ranks last among 15 issues that the public thinks Congress and the President should deal with this year. Only 24 percent of Americans think the environment is an “extremely important” issue. On this score, the environment comes in behind “the situation in Iraq” […]


By / 4.21.2011

In today’s Washington Post, David A. Fahrentold marvels at what he calls the “Line Items That Won’t Die” – federal programs that benefit narrow interests, but somehow manage to keep getting funded: “One spends federal money to store cotton bales. Another offers scholars a chance to study Asian-American relations. Two others pay to market U.S. […]


By / 4.19.2011

As President Obama begins taking the budget deficit battle show on the road, he faces a number of obvious challenges. But perhaps the most pressing one is this: In the hyper-polarized political environment, how does a President whose approval ratings are stuck in the 40s successfully make the public case for a serious deficit reduction […]


Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in AEP v. Connecticut, a case that will decide whether eight states have the right to sue American Electric Power (AEP) Co. and several other utilities for greenhouse gas emissions. The states have argued that carbon dioxide emissions are a “public nuisance” because they contribute […]


By / 4.14.2011

I’ve been mulling over a Gallup Poll that came out this week on who has too much power. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that majorities of Americans think that the following three groups have too much power: lobbyists (71 percent); major corporations (67 percent), banks and financial institutions (67 percent). The assessments are […]


By / 4.13.2011

Today, President Obama is speaking on long-term deficit reduction. He’s expected to embrace the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s general framework (also known as Bowles-Simpson). Yesterday, the Progressive Policy Institute joined forces with the Moment of Truth Project to host an event to discuss what comprehensive tax reform should look like, and what […]


By / 4.8.2011

Book Review: Age of Fracture, by Daniel T. Rodgers The Princeton Historian Daniel T. Rodgers has written a fascinating new book about how the U.S. has gone from being one big beacon of light to a thousand little points. The title gives it away. We are in an Age of Fracture. We’ve gone from shared […]


By / 4.6.2011

As the budget negotiations grind to a halt, it’s helpful to keep in mind two important characteristics of the American electorate. The first is that voters tend to like compromise. In poll after poll, solid majorities of voters say they prefer leaders who compromise over those who stick to their guns. The latest Pew poll […]


By / 4.5.2011

So, surprise, surprise, Barack Obama is officially running for re-election in 2012. As someone who knocked on doors in 2008, I watched the official 2012 announcement video with some eagerness, hoping to be inspired anew. Perhaps he would say something akin to his 2007 speech in Springfield, which launched his then long shot campaign with […]


By / 3.31.2011

Maybe the Tea Party is finally starting to boil over, after all. According to CNN’s latest polling, 47 percent of the public now views the Tea Party unfavorably, a new high (up four points from December, and up 21 points from January 2010). By contrast only 32 percent now view the movement favorably, down five […]