Second Term Policies
By Arnold Kling
Marginal Revolution offers advice for economic policy for the second term of President Bush.
7. Take in more immigrants, but demand higher levels of skills and education. At the very least, take in any revenue-positive immigrant.
8. Abolish the Department of Education.
9. Abolish the Department of Energy.
Many of the suggestions would appear to be non-starters politically.
I think that the over-riding issue is how to limit/reduce government’s involvement in the economy. The three areas where this is most important are retirement security, health care, and education.
I believe that the optimum policy on retirement security is to raise the retirement age and index it for longevity. However, I also favor private accounts.
I believe that for health care it is important to try to have more of the health care spending of the elderly funded by their own saving rather than by taxes. Maybe health savings accounts are the answer, but I think that simply getting the public to understand the general principle that health care is something you should provide for yourself is an uphill battle.
On education, the President seems committed to trying to reform public schools by focusing on performance. I am skeptical of this policy. Why not try to enact vouchers now, when there is a solid Republican majority?
For Discussion. What should be the top economic priority in the second term?