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November 29, 2005

Glenn Hubbard Is Off Message...

Mark Thoma quotes from a debate between Glenn Hubbard and Bob Reich, which reveals that Glenn Hubbard is no longer under Bush message discipline. Glenn says (a) that Bush's prescription drug program without a funding source was "unwise," and (b) that "we will have to raise taxes" if the rate of growth of spending on health care and other entitlement programs isn't greatly reduced.

Economist's View: Guns, Butter, and Retired Boomers: MR. HUBBARD: The problem is not the next three or even five years; the problem is the long-run fiscal picture.... [T]he Medicare expansion without substantial reform of the system was unwise fiscal policy. The current Social Security and Medicare systems are on an unsustainable path.... If we cannot bring these deficits... under control, we will have to raise taxes.... I believe we should and will scale back the growth in the entitlement programs that are the clear and present fiscal danger. I would like to see the government spend more on basic research and on training (because our employment policies are outdated) -- but these $$$ are not large in the context of the overall federal budget.... [T]he real area for spending restraint is the entitlement programs.... I couldn't agree with you more on Medicare being the more significant problem and that reform of health care markets is central....

Welcome back to the reality-based community.

Posted by DeLong at November 29, 2005 01:20 PM