If voters want a better understanding of which candidate makes better economic sense to help our country dig out of its current hole, then we should be looking to experts (and of course measuring their words as well against our own experiences). Just blindly accepting a candidate for any office as we have seen has been a disaster. Staying up on topics of course for most of the country is less than enthusiastically received. But, sometimes like important elections we had better be informed before we blindly place our trust in any want-to-be leader. So I went to one of the most prestigious think tanks to see what their opinions might be.
The Hamilton Think Tank is the one I chose because of their long years and impressive awards for economics. They have available many topics that more inquisitive minds might be interested in.
Obviously I believe our government especially under the current leadership falls far short and has created much of the crisis we are in today. It’s a shame that we have allowed political agendas, snake oil salesmen, criminals, front men, and wannabe dictators to make laws that have little basis in sound thinking and long-term vision of consequences.
The fact is, we’ll never build a lasting economic recovery by going deeper into debt at a faster rate than we ever have before… Ronald Reagan
The Hamilton Project
Our nation needs to act now on three fronts.
– First, our nation must make the right long-term investments to promote economic growth that is both strong and sustainable.
– Second, it is necessary to put in place economic policies that will better achieve broad-based participation in that growth.
– Third, for growth to be sustainable,it is necessary to restore sound fiscal policy, moving on a multi-year path to a sustainable fiscal position.
Their thoughts on economic recovery:
1- Our economic performance should be measured by how well economic growth is raising the living standards of all Americans.
2- Today, America’s long-term economic growth is imperiled because we are not making the right long-term investments.
3- As we invest in our nation’s future, it is critically important that we restore fiscal responsibility, both to increase economic growth and to make it more sustainable.
4- Government policies that are targeted to those most in need should be well designed, based on evidence and real-world experience about what works.
5- Our future work will continue to advance innovative ideas critical to achieving opportunity, prosperity, and strong, broad-based economic growth.
The Hamilton Project has for the past two and a half years (2006-2008) put forth an overarching economic strategy, and policy options consistent with that strategy, or promoting strong economic growth, broad-based participation in that growth, and increased economic security. The project’s proposals and policy discussions span a wide range of policy areas related to achieving strong economic growth and helping the gains of that prosperity to be more broadly shared—education,health care, income security,science and technology, tax policy, climate change, energy security, infrastructure, workforce training, housing and financial markets, and poverty reduction, among others.
“Recommendations for federal budget policy” – Douglas W. Elmendorf – October 7, 2016
This brief is part of Election 2016 and America’s Future— an institution-wide initiative in which Brookings scholars have identified the biggest issues facing the country this election season and are providing individual ideas for how to address them.
A – Federal Debt
Under current law, federal debt is projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to rise from 77 percent of GDP currently to 86 percent by the end of the decade and more than 100 percent 25 years from now.
Federal debt cannot increase indefinitely relative to the size of the economy, so current law regarding federal spending and revenues is not sustainable…Federal debt can crowd out private capital investment…we should enact policy changes now that will reduce debt relative to GDP in the long run so that the changes can be phased in gradually and with a lot of advance notice.
B – Increase Federal Investment
The traditional categories of federal investment are infrastructure, education and training, and R&D. Under the current caps on annual appropriations, federal non defense investments of those sorts soon will be smaller relative to GDP than at any time in at least 50 years.
… we should raise the caps on non defense appropriations substantially, in order to maintain federal investment as a share of GDP…we should increase the role of careful cost-benefit analysis in deciding which specific investments to undertake.
C – Retirees
By the time the last baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, there will be more than 75 million beneficiaries of those programs, two-thirds more than the number just before the first boomers became eligible for early retirement benefits.
… we should reduce benefits for higher-income retirees but not for lower-income retirees or working-age people…Those beneficiaries will be more than one-fifth of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, defense spending is declining relative to GDP and in a few years will be a smaller percentage of GDP than anyone can remember.. we should avoid cutting benefits in programs like Social Security and Medicare in across-the-board ways, because such cuts would significantly reduce total retirement income for many lower-income people…
(Obamacare)there are no policies that would achieve the substantial increase in insurance coverage occurring under the ACA without subsidies and rules similar to those of the ACA—or an even larger federal role.
D – Tax Revenue
Over the next 25 years, spending for Social Security and Medicare is projected to increase by 3½ percent of GDP, which would represent, for current GDP, more than $600 billion a year.
There is no realistic way to reduce debt as a percentage of GDP that does not involve more revenue…At an abstract level, many people want government spending to be cut, but when one drills down to the level of individual programs within that broad category, cutting becomes much more difficult…To raise revenues, the natural places to start are: one, to tax carbon emissions; and two, to reduce the deductions and exemptions that narrow the tax base and thereby lower the revenue collected for any given tax rate.
We should build automatic fiscal stabilizers that are more powerful than existing stabilizers and respond very rapidly, and we should develop plans for discretionary fiscal policies that can be enacted when needed.
…when the next recession begins, the Federal Reserve will be unable to ease monetary policy nearly as much as it did in each of the three previous recessions… It could employ greater amounts of quantitative easing when the funds rate reaches zero, it could push the funds rate below zero, and it could raise inflation and thereby raise equilibrium interest rates before the next recession hits…responses along those lines will probably not be sufficient to eliminate the limitation on countercyclical monetary policy… we will need more powerful countercyclical fiscal policy than we have needed in the past.
[Brookings named “Think Tank of the Year,” “Best Think Tank in the World,” and “Best Think Tank in the U.S.A.” also named best think tank for “Domestic Economic Policy” and “International Development,” in addition to being “Best Managed,” having “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies,” and having the “Most Significant Impact on Public Policy.” Wikipedia.]
Hillary’s economy platform can be read HERE.
Trump’s economy platform can be read HERE.
I am not saying economists are right – no one can envision tomorrow accurately. However, for a very long time they have offered information and politicians have done their best to ignore their findings. I don’t know if that is blind ignorance or arrogance that should receive the blame. Obama, as we have seen came in with his orders and never even bothered to open the manual.
However, for myself, I see that everything Hillary is proposing is mostly the antithesis of what the economists are proposing. Spend, spend, spend. Tax, tax, tax. Her way only burdens everyone and runs business into the graveyard leaving nothing but starving, government dependent families to subsist on and not be motivated by personal gain in self-fulfillment or work ethics. Raising wages beyond what the economy can bear too rapidly is guaranteed to harm everyone. Nowhere have I seen her talk about paying off the debt, only adding more. Equally true, nowhere has Hillary mentioned a reduction in government rules and regulations. Those proposals on her platform would simply be multiplying regulations faster than rabbits procreate. Inevitably the top wealthy like her will find ways around, through, over, or out of the system to keep doing what they have been doing all along. And again, what is left of the middle class will find themselves beggared.
Trump on the other hand appears to be more in line with the economists on what needs to be done though maybe not yet on the mechanics of how to achieve it. Running a corporation is a lot of experience in many ways but in that management position there are many below him to carry out his wishes. Top governmental positions, however, appear to be more like a hungry pack of megalodon sharks looking for their next meal. Some act independently of the top dog, others follow his dictates closely, and then the unlucky get to become that next meal.
Time is short and as the fishermen say “time to fish or cut bait”. It’s past time to drop all the personal vicious attacks from everyone in politics, media, and on social blogs. You either are part of the growing citizen consciousness of moving into a better position as a country and out of the socialist dogma and agenda of destructive actions of the last eight years– OR –you are the problem and need to fall in a pit and live with the denizens there.