Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic, thanks for your post on my interview with David Stockman and Robert Reich.Canada Goose expedition størrelse Cohn’s article is entitled «What an honest economic debate looks like». And I agree, Stockman and Reich were superb on GPS yesterday. The transcript of the conversation is below and the video is above.Joining me now to talk about the nation’s jobs problem and much more, David Stockman, was Ronald Reagan’s budget director; and Robert Reich was Secretary of Labor under President Clinton. They both have many more glittering credentials, but that will do for now.
Welcome back to you both.
Bob, let me start with you.Canada Goose expedition størrelse The administration is now thinking about further tax cuts, payroll tax cuts and things like that. Wouldn’t it be sensible, if the great problem is jobs and the large part of that problem is in the construction industry, wouldn’t it be sensible for the government to simply try to employ these people directly?I don’t mean the government employing them, but do roads, bridges and highways, which puts private contractors back into the hiring business and effectively create jobs directly rather than hoping that people who get tax cuts will start spending again?I think that’s right, Fareed. I think that it is useful, because I think it’s possible that the Republicans would agree to exempting, let’s say, the first $20,000 of income from the payroll tax for a year. That would put money directly in people’s pockets and they would arguably spend at least 50 or maybe 60 percent of that. That would be a direct stimulus.
But, as you point out, I think it is also very useful to extend large public projects or even a WPA, you know,Canada Goose expedition størrelse as we had during the depression, works projects administration, to put the long-term unemployed directly back to work. Or a civilian conservation corps to put millions of young people who are jobless directly to work.We have public parks, for example, that are closed. We have all kinds of needs with regard to teachers’ aides, and in hospitals, many things that are – jobs that are not filled because we – nobody can afford them. The public cannot afford them.Well, better to have people do these jobs directly than to have people sitting home, collecting unemployment insurance.David Stockman, do you think this may – or, you know, can we afford this? Obviously, there is the cost involved. A lot of this would be long-term borrowing. But it would put people back to work and they would start paying taxes. Would that help?