He was, and is, but he is not alone. Writing in Time magazine (January 19 issue, online here), Jeffrey Sachs, in an article called “The Case for Bigger Government,” makes the case for, what else–bigger government. We need to “restore national prosperity and security with a smartly rebalanced partnership between the public and private sectors.” We also need “expanded spending by government–for health care, climate change, energy security, education, infrastructure and peaceful diplomacy.”
To pay for this government: “We’ll need to raise taxes relative to GDP over time.” Taxes like those on “carbon emissions from coal, oil and gas to hasten our transition to sustainable energy.” Instead of letting gas prices tumble: we could “set a floor on prices at the pump and collect the difference between the wholesale and retail prices in federal revenues.” Sachs proposes taxing health care because “the public will also probably accept taxes on health care if they convincingly help save even more in private outlays on health insurance.” In the end, “the U.S. will probably have to follow Europe down the path of the value-added tax.”
And of course, “the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be rolled back this year, not next,” as if the poor actually pay any taxes. Any permanent tax cut by Obama “would be a huge error.” Even “short-term tax cuts are an unnecessary risk.”
No wonder I haven’t bothered to read Time magazine for 25 years.
The only sane thing Sachs says is that “the spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should be ended, not prolonged.” But is this because they are too expensive or because they are unjust wars?