Repealing ObamaCare, Cutting Taxes and Gutting Social Programs Isn’t Pro-Growth

October 23, 2013
87 Views

obamacareAs a business owner I’m enthusiastic about the idea of government policies that promote economic growth. But I’m disappointed to hear the term “pro-growth” used as a label for policies that reduce taxes, restrict social programs, and reject the Affordable Care Act.

obamacareAs a business owner I’m enthusiastic about the idea of government policies that promote economic growth. But I’m disappointed to hear the term “pro-growth” used as a label for policies that reduce taxes, restrict social programs, and reject the Affordable Care Act. I’d like to see the country step back from the strong ideological rhetoric we’ve heard lately about the role of government and be open-minded about how to promote growth and prosperity.

To me, pro-growth policies include:

  • Ensuring economic mobility for the broadest possible swath of the population
  • Encouraging immigration of hard-working people
  • Making sure that basic needs, e.g., shelter, food, health care are met
  • Investing in education
  • Establishing and maintaining a robust, dependable system of governance
  • Ensuring personal freedom
  • Keeping taxes relatively low and progressive

We should be willing to challenge ourselves on these points and to acknowledge when we don’t live up to our ideals. And although we have no need to blindly copy what other countries do, we should be open to benchmarking ourselves and to considering best practices of others.

If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit a few unpleasant things:

  • There are significant barriers to economic mobility, and those barriers are getting higher
  • Immigrants –especially well educated ones– have been the key to innovation and job growth, and that we are making the US less hospitable to immigrants at the same time other countries are doing more to woo them
  • We are needlessly stingy and insufficiently empathetic with the provision of social services such as food stamps
  • The states that invest in education have a higher skilled, higher income workforce than those that don’t –and that the higher taxes needed to pay for that investment are dollars well spent
  • That the willingness to play chicken with the debt limit and shut down the government are a great way to destroy value in the economy
  • That our personal freedoms and way of life are under threat as an over-reaction to 9/11
  • That the tax system rewards those at the top of the income pyramid and punishes the lower middle class

We should have a more open and honest discussion about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some demonize it as a “job killer.” But from where I sit it’s more likely to be a job creator. In particular it increases labor market flexibility by making it easier for people to quit their jobs without fear of losing their insurance, and it decreases the number of people who will be bankrupted by medical bills. Small businesses are exempt from the employer mandate and receive subsidies if they do want to offer insurance.

This is a longer discussion, but one I invite others to participate in. Instead of attacking the law, it would be more interesting to hear about how it could be improved or at least about proposed policies that could be evaluated in terms of how well they deliver.

(cutting taxes / shutterstock)

You may be interested

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software
eHealth
365 views
eHealth
365 views

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software

Robert Cordray - August 17, 2017

The medical sector is one area where technology has had a significant impact, largely by providing tools that simplify many…

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?
Wellness
2 views
Wellness
2 views

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?

Ryan Kh - August 16, 2017

According to research from the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the…