German chancellor  Angela Merkel. “In Europe austerity policies have been driven less by economic analysis than by Germany’s moral indignation over the notion that irresponsible borrowers might not face the full consequences of their actions.” Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the world economy appears to be stumbling. For a while things seemed to be looking up, and there was talk abou(...)

Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee and the GOP’s de facto intellectual leader, is an expert at sounding like he knows what he’s talking about. Photograph: Reuters

So it’s comical, in a way, to see Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “cultur(...)

House Speaker John Boehner was among  House leaders who worked late last week to help pass the monstrous farm bill. Photograph: Christopher Gregory/The New York Times

Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party in the United States. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone bey(...)