The Institute Blog

US Economy on Cliff's Edge: INET's Rob Johnson on the Fiscal Cliff

INET's Executive Director Rob Johnson appeared on CNBC today to talk about the fiscal cliff. He called the proceedings in Washington "appalling" and pointed to the real problems the U.S. has in private health care costs. Click below to watch what he had to say.

US Economy on Cliff's Edge - CNBC

Comments

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Thank you Mr. Johnson for speaking the Truth on CNBC. How did you make it on the program :-) You must have some really good connections. That lady that debated you was so sure of herself. Thank you for standing up to her. I always get depressed almost when faced with such ignorance, cruelty towards the less fortunate and short term thinking as displayed by her. I do not agree with Mr. Soros on certain issues, but I am very grateful to him for having funded INET from the start. INET to me is one of the few beacons of hope and sanity and you are doing a great job leading it.
I am always thinking about how we can best make it out of this economic and political depression and the best way of achieving it, is probably to repeal Citizens United first and then go from there and see which next steps to take. I am in favour of an annual at least 1% net worth/wealth tax on all private fortunes, foundations, endowments and trusts that exceed 1 billion dollars, or maybe even only 500 million dollars. The revenues from this taxation would only go to social causes and programs i.e. public housing, food stamps, public health care etc. But that will probably not happen till many years down the road.
Thank you again to you Mr. Johnson and all other supporters of INET for doing this this most important work.

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Great to see another INET Truther Teller team member on CNBC. Way to go :-)

Economist Galbraith on Why Public Welfare Programs Are Sustainable (Check the Link for the full video at the bottom of the web page)

Link: http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/economist_galbraith_on_why_public_w...

''Posted on Jan 18, 2013
cnbc.com

James Galbraith.

Is there ever a good time to cut “entitlements”—the code word used by austerity hawks to refer to and demean publicly funded social welfare programs—host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked University of Texas economist James K. Galbraith on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea from the standpoint of the future of the American economy, to reduce the security that people expect in their old age,” Galbraith responded. “We’re talking about Social Security here, we’re talking about Medicare, we’re talking about Medicaid. These are foundations for the future life of most of the working population of the country at the moment. If you cut them, people will draw back in their current activity, at least to some degree. So you’re basically saying ‘We’re gonna do something which will squeeze people’s living standards out in the future.’ It will not have any direct effect today on economic activity except to the extent that people will react to that by deleveraging more and saving more.”

But can this arrangement be maintained?

“If the average American is putting into the system, let’s say $100,000 to $130,000 in their lifetime,” Sorkin said, “and yet through Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements is taking out something on the order of $300,000 to $400,000—that’s clearly an unsustainable model, right?

“No it’s not unsustainable,” Galbraith answered. “Because when they take that out in the future, they will be taking it out from a much more productive economy that we expect to have at that time. So there’s really no reason to be scared by that kind of comparison, in fact.”

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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.''

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