|By SIMON JOHNSON|
The conventional wisdom in American presidential politics is that once a candidate has secured a party's nomination, he tends to move away from articulating the views of the party faithful toward the political center. This makes sense as a way to win votes in the general election, and there has been a presumption that
However, in a panel discussion on Tuesday,
The idea behind this C.B.O. scoring is simple. At present the government buys health care for about 100 million Americans. Certainly, the government could use this buying power more effectively as a way to hold down costs. The government has much more market power than you or I would have relative to health care providers and insurers when we are in our 70s, 80s and 90s.
The C.B.O. scoring is based on actual experience, including administrative costs in
The federal government provides a minimum level of social insurance to all of us, in case we outlive our assets and our families' ability to support us.
According to the C.B.O., the net impact would be to increase what you pay for health care. The government-provided piece would decline, but your insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses would increase.
Just as striking is
This now represents about 20 percent of federal government activity. The federal government is roughly a
I'm all in favor of bringing the federal debt under control – and stabilizing it at a reasonable level relative to the size of the economy (say, 40 or 50 percent of G.D.P.). But there is no need to eviscerate the federal government to achieve this over a reasonable time frame.
Big private companies will no doubt do well under this approach; there will be fewer restrictions on what they do (e.g., as the
This is bad news for entrepreneurs or anyone seeking to invest in start-up companies. The playing field will become ever more uneven – just as it was when
From the perspective of too-big-to-fail banks, the news from
Without this, we are back at the situation of fall 2008, where big banks can blow themselves up, inflict great damage on the economy and also receive large-scale bailouts (see my recent post in this space for more on exactly how that works).
None of these Republican proposals should be dismissed as pure rhetoric. For many Republicans in
Under such a Ryan-Romney approach, big risks – such as severe ill health and the danger of other calamities – would be shifted from society to individuals. Large corporations in health care and finance and perhaps in other sectors would benefit. So, too, would the people who control those favored legal entities.
This is a return to the way
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|Source:||New York Times Digital|