Jeffrey Selbin Faculty Director of East Bay Community Law Center, Clinical Professor of Law

White House Burning by Simon Johnson and James Kwak

White House Burning

Authors of 13 Bankers, a best-selling book about the financial crisis, and co-founders of The Baseline Scenario, a leading economics and public policy blog, Simon Johnson and James Kwak bring the same level of smarts and clarity to the subject of our national debt. Implausibly, by locating the debt debate in history and context, they’ve also written a real page-turner (disclaimer: James was a clinic student of mine). Even though the numbers are too big for most of us to comprehend, we all know that the national debt is staggering. Johnson and Kwak do not suggest otherwise, but tell us how we got here. Most importantly, they tell us what we can do about it, proposing concrete steps to stabilize the debt, maintain key government functions, and rebuild the economy. If that sounds like a tall order, it’s because it is, but Johnson and Kwak provide a lucid and compelling roadmap to get there.