Ben Cohen’s Interview on the Failure of Austerity Measures
By Ben Cohen: Yesterday, I went on Abby Martin’s new show on the RT network to talk about the failure of austerity economics in Europe, and why the US must not follow the same route. Check it out below:
I discuss Paul Ryan’s plan for the economy in the segment, and I urge everyone to go and check it out. It’s extremely dangerous and if enacted, would cause untold damage to the US economy. Firstly, the numbers don’t actually add up, but even if they did, it would create a decade of recession and economic stagnation. We’re watching it play out in Europe, and the US could go the same way if Ryan’s plan sees the light of day. The main aim behind the plan is, of course, to severely cut government spending across the board. Writes Ryan:
Our budget, which we call The Path to Prosperity, is very different [to the President’s]. For starters, it cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president’s budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. Our proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion.
Scarily, Ryan has also built in a mechanism to subsidize the health insurance industry even further with funds from Medicare – another step towards the complete dissolution of government run health insurance:
This budget’s reforms will protect health and retirement security. This starts with saving Medicare. The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. This budget takes action where others have ducked. But because government should not force people to reorganize their lives, its reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way.
Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy. Future Medicare recipients will be able to choose a plan that works best for them from a list of guaranteed coverage options. This is not a voucher program but rather a premium-support model. A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost.
Anyone who reads the Ryan’s ‘Path to Prosperity’ plan should be extremely alarmed. Just as George W. Bush’s ‘Clean Skies’ initiative actively damaged the skies, Paul Ryan’s ‘Path to Prosperity’ actively damages prosperity. Romney has signed his name to it and should he win in November, you can bet it will be the centerpiece of his plan for the American economy. It’s a bleak vision for the future and one that cannot be allowed to win.