Paul Krugman: ‘Death panels and sales taxes is how we do this’

There is no doubt that the United States is in financial disarray and the future seems quite bleak. In the next decade or so, the U.S. will face extreme difficulties paying for healthcare, making Social Security payments and pretty much keeping entitlement programs afloat. What is the solution?

In a speech made earlier this year in D.C., world-renowned Keynesian economist Paul Krugman concurred that the federal government does have a financial problem. When you add an aging population and rising healthcare costs, the government lacks the necessary revenue to pay for pretty much anything.

According to the Nobel Laureate, the answers to the nation’s problems are death panels and sales taxes.

Here is a snippet from the video, which only recently began to make the rounds after Austrian economist Robert Murphy posted it, Economic Policy Journal cited it and Policy Mic reported on the dangerous remarks.

“Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising…there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give….We’re going to need more revenue….We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes…on the middle class, maybe a value added tax….And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits. So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble, is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”

Death panels initially became a media sensation after former Republican Alaskan Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin claimed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, would establish death panels. She was heavily criticized in the media and PolitiFact named it “Lie of the Year.”

The question is: do death panels really exist? Many countries do in fact have death panels: Canada, the United Kingdom, to name a couple. But mainstream media outlets are continuing to promote the idea of death panel rationing.

Slate published an article about how it’s “a good thing” the Great White North has death panels. Here is a brief statement from the piece:

“When taxpayers provide only a finite number of acute care beds in public hospitals, a patient whose life has all but ended, but whose family insists on keeping her on life support, is occupying precious space that might otherwise house a patient whose best years are still ahead.”

Sales taxes, meanwhile, will be another failed economic policy generated to grow the size and scope of government without actually addressing the budgetary matters and the national debt. Canada also has sales taxes at the federal and provincial level – some mayors and local politicians have been proposing municipal sales taxes for years.

Of course, when a politician proposes a federal sales tax, he or she will start off with a low figure. Indeed, as history has shown with the income tax, as soon as a tax is instituted it will go up year after year.

This is just another example of how Krugman and others want to enlarge the federal government. Remember, the intellects of our society think they know what’s best for the low, common citizenry.

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  1. While the admittedly “snarky” comment about “death panels” is sinsational the inevitable value added tax (VAT) is the important economic news. Replace the worst tax (payroll) with a much better tax (VAT) to create full employment and future tax revenues that grow in proportion to sales rather than wages.

    • Rafael Yanushevsky says:

      To understand better what is going on with our economy and whether Prof. Krugman and his supporters recommendations can boost the economy read the following papers by C.Yanushevsky and
      R .Yanushevsky “ Spending and Growth: A Modified Debt to GDP Dynamic Model “ and “Is Infrastructure Spending an Effective Fiscal Policy?”

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