I was a guest on a segment of the Peter Schiff radio show this morning, guest-hosted today by Mike Pento. The show takes a libertarian/conservative point of view, and I welcomed the opportunity to contribute an alternative perspective. We need more like this to get a range of ideas out there, and I do a weekly segment on a show that tries to have this discussion, the Fairness Doctrine radio show (also here) (you can listen live and even watch at CyberStationUSA) I am on Mondays at 2:30pm EDT / 11:30am PDT.
On today’s Peter Schiff show Mike wanted to talk about my recent posts, Budget Cut Job Losses Will Undo 2010 Job Growth and especially Cutting Government Creates Jobs Like Cutting Taxes Increases Revenue. In those posts I made the point that cutting government the way the conservatives are proposing doesn’t help our economy and doesn’t end up cutting our debt, it instead cuts the things that make the economy grow, which then hurts our ability to grow our way out of the borrowing.
Mike was aghast that someone would want to talk about taxing people to pay for government! But overall I think it was a good exchange. I am proud to say I likely exploded a few heads in the listening audience when I said we need to move to a single-payer government-run health care system because that is what has been shown to actually work in other countries (“Like Cuba? You want to have what Cuba has?”)
My list of points I wanted to try to make on the show were:
• The deficit is first health care costs, then military, interest on the debt and tax cuts for the rich.
• Conservatives are cutting the very things that grow the economy – investment in infrastructure, education, new technologies.
• Get us off oil, it drains money to Middle East, instead grow the green economy.
• TRADE policies are sinking us – million of jobs, 50,000 factories just the last 10 years, we switched from biggest creditor to biggest debtor nation under Reagan.
• China and others have government thumbs on the scale, we need national policies to level the playing field.
• Taxes at the top not JUST to restore budgets but to address inequality and the consequences (didn’t get to this point)
• Stimulus worked, wasn’t enough (didn’t get to this point)
I made the point that American businesses are at a competitive disadvantage in the world because our businesses have to shoulder the costs of:
1) a huge military that costs more than all other countries in the world combined;
2) health care costs that government covers in other countries; and
3) debt interest payments from the borrowing caused by the tax cuts.
These three items are a drag on American companies that are trying to compete in the world economy against companies that don’t have to cover health care or help pay for a huge military.
The larger point I made on the show, and want to share here, is that we need to INVEST to GROW our way out of the budget problems. I was able to make this point, and most of the points on my list.
And the reason I am writing about this is to help you when you find yourselves in arguments with conservatives who just want to cut and pull back and let the big corporate agenda take over. That agenda doesn’t even help them, it just helps a few get rich quick so they can take off.