It's interesting to watch "boy wonder" Rep. Paul Ryan when he tries to peddle his voodoo economics to, you know, a real economist. (Squawk Box viewers tend to embrace free-market theology, so it may not have changed anyone's minds.) Jared Bernstein, who until recently was a White House economic adviser to Joe Biden, is now working as a senior fellow at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Here's what he posted about his appearance:
Debated Representative Paul Ryan this AM on CNBC. We agreed that there’s a lot to like about Wisconsin but that was it. To me, his program is an amalgam of trickle down, whack the poor, further enrich the wealthy, weaken social insurance, and push YOYO over WITT (“you’re on your own” versus “we’re in this together,” see here). Other than that, I like it.
Anyway, in the part of the argument where Rep Ryan argued that market forces would drive down health care costs, I pointed out that, in fact, health care spending has been growing more slowly in the public (Mcare, Mcaid) versus the private sectors (yes, too fast in both, but you get the point). He and others said no.
Clearly, they’re not reading Krugman, which is their first mistake. Here’s another look at average annual price growth over the past decade (sources below).
This stuff ain’t hard to find, unless you’re trying not to run into it.
I attended an on-the-record interview with Bernstein at Netroots Nation, where he said Obama's economic policies were aimed at controlling healthcare costs. I asked him if that was the case, why was the administration considering trading cuts in Medicaid spending to get the debt ceiling raised, when it's the backbone of the Affordable Care Act? (He said it was a good question -- but he didn't know.)
Steve Clemons of the Atlantic was there, too:
At Netroots Nation 2011 this past Friday in Minneapolis, I asked Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Biden, whether he worried about 1937-like scenarios, and he said "Of course, I bring up 1937 with everyone in the White House I can."