Bob Schieffer interviewed Rep. John Boehner on Face the Nation this morning. I issued the following comment to the show. Although the content might be a bit redundant for the readership, the point here is that this is an example as to how information can be used to combat partisan soundbites. Part of the purpose of this blog is educational, so feel free to use various charts, graphs, and other information in questioning or challenging opinion. It is important that we form opinion based upon an assessment of available information, blind party loyalty or ideology.
September 12, 2010
Mr. Boehner’s comments about the health care reform bill:
- His claim that the Democrats have not been listening to Republican ideas – the legislation removed the public option and the buy-in to Medicare to age 55, both objectionable to the Republicans, it contains the top 3 Republican priorities as defined by Mr. Boehner himself (an exchange, ability to buy across state lines, and the ability of individual states to opt out), and the mandate has been a Republican idea and is part of Mitt Romney’s MA plan; and,
- His claim that the legislation would bankrupt America, the CBO estimates this to be one of the largest, if not the largest, piece of deficit reduction legislation in the history of our country.
Regarding tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
Under supply-side theory the tax cuts heavily weighted to those with high savings rates (the wealthy) were not intended to go into consumption (the key driver of our economy), and they didn’t (some of this benefit was also taken abroad). They were supposed to result in capital accumulation that would stimulate investment and thus increase and diversify supply which would drop price and stimulate the economy. The 1990’s where supply-side policy was reversed, however, had greater than 3X the level of gross investment than either of the Republican tax cut periods. Without realizing an increase in gross investment it is difficult to ascribe any of the recovery noted in the 1980’s and 2000’s to that tax policy. So without economic benefit and a history of increasing debt, I am baffled as to why there is any disagreement about letting the tax cuts to the wealthiest expire (I was in that income class in the 1990’s and I find the policy objectionable). I attach 2 graphs for your information regarding our national debt – I am surprised the Republican Party is opening its mouth about tax policy and debt.