Joseph Stiglitz refused to sign a letter from former member of the President’s Council on Economic Advisors supporting the Bowles Simpson deficit reduction proposals. Why? Because…..
I believe the Bowles Simpson recommendations represent, to too large an extent, a set of unprincipled political compromises that would lead to a weaker America — with slower growth and a more divided society.
And regarding health care spending:
The health care reform bill did little to eliminate the trillion-dollar giveaway to the drug companies, resulting from restrictions on the ability of government (the largest buyer of drugs) to negotiate prices. In contrast to every other government in the world. While much more can, and should, be done to control health care costs, this little change would make a big difference.
Eliminating corporate welfare, both that hidden in our tax systems and in the hidden give-aways of our country’s natural resources to oil and gas and mining companies; eliminating the unjustifiable and harmful tax breaks for speculators and companies that keep their money out of the country, and taxing activities that generate large negative externalities—whether the environmental pollution that threatens our health and our children’s future, or the financial transactions that brought out country and the world to the brink of ruin—could all easily generate trillions of dollars in revenues. (Medicynical Emphasis) At the same time, they could also create a fairer society, a cleaner environment, and a more stable economy.
Medicynical note: It’s fascinating to watch the erosion of concern for citizens being replaced by concern for our “new citizens” corporations–an emerging oligarchy. (See Citizen’s United). These new royals exert their influence on their willing supplicants through campaign and other contributions. Check out the anti union, anti environment, anti tax, anti de-regulation attitudes of the Koch brothers, bankers, oil companies, Walmart et al.
Individual rights and freedoms are a nuisance to be compromised for the good of business. Amazing to watch, a country forsake 70 years of progress and prosperity.