The New York Times just posted David Leonhardt's latest interview with President Obama. It's full of fascinating material and well worth reading in full. But, naturally, it was the discussion on health policy that caught my attention. The discussion--and it's really more a discussion than an interview, which is one of the reason's it's so revealing--doesn't dwell on expanding insurance coverage and access to care. Instead, it focuses on why health care is getting so expensive and what can be done about it. Along the way, Obama makes two crucial points.
From David Leonhardt's interview with Obama for this Sunday's Times Magazine: [Leonhardt]: When you and I spoke during the campaign, you made it clear that you had thought a lot about the economic debates within the Clinton administration. And you said that you wanted to have a Robert Rubin type and a Robert Reich type having a vigorous debate in front of you. ... THE PRESIDENT: ...
The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression By Amity Shlaes (HarperCollins, 464 pp., $26.95) Herbert Hoover By William E. Leuchtenburg (Times Books, 208 pp., $22) Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America By Adam Cohen (Penguin Press, 372 pp., $29.95) A generation ago, the total dismissal of the New Deal remained a marginal sentiment in American politics. Ronald Reagan boasted of having voted for Franklin Roosevelt. Neoconservatives long maintained that American liberalism had gone wrong only in the 1960s.
In today's New York Times, the inestimable David Leonhardt gives voice to what everyone (or every sane person) already knows, but is afraid to say: After decades of tax cuts, after piling up massive debt beholden to foreign creditors, and with the public firmly behind larger government programs, taxes are going to have to go up. The problem is, Leonhardt explains, higher taxes on just the tippy-top of American households (as President Obama promised last night) won't be enough: "The problem can't be solved just by taxing the rich.
In his otherwise excellent (to my inexpert eyes, at least) column on the stimulus today, the Times's David Leonhardt asks: The most serious charge against the stimulus package is that it does not pack enough punch.... Why isn’t [Team Obama] pushing for a bigger package?
David Leonhardt has yet another solid piece in today's New York Times, taking a look at Hillary Clinton's economic worldview. The bottom line is that despite her centrist reputation, she's not as big a believer in free markets as her husband is. It's worth reading the whole thing, but an especially interesting part is where she explains her view of why income inequality has increased over the past three decades.