Announcement
January 23, 2012

Mercatus Scholars on How to Fix the Economy in 2012

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Jobs: There is a fundamental misunderstanding in this country about how real jobs are created.
“Jobs are only sustainable if people are willing to pay for the services the jobs provide. Government is not the right tool for job creation because government doesn’t ask people what they are willing to buy; it tells people what they are going to buy. We need to stop subsidizing industries and allow people decide for themselves whether and how to spend their money.” --Antony Davies, Mercatus Center Senior Scholar

“Taxing the rich is a tricky concept, since non-millionaires will likely ‘pay’ for it in the form of lower wages, higher prices, and fewer jobs. The current tax code already pits taxpayers against one another through credits, exemptions, and deductions, which is why we need fundamental tax reform, not a millionaire surtax.” --Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow

American Competitiveness: Quick fixes will not bring the economic growth America needs.
“The U.S. corporate tax rate must be reduced to at-or-below the OECD average of 25 percent, and we’ve got to move to a territorial system to end the ridiculously anti-competitive practice of double-taxing our own exports. As far as improving America’s competitiveness, the current corporate tax code is about as helpful as shooting yourself in the foot.” --Jason Fichtner, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow

Health care: Health care costs, especially from entitlement programs, will still bankrupt the U.S. even with Affordable Care Act.
“The average family health care policy costs more than $15,000 a year right now, and the average worker earns less than $50,000. So every dollar that an employer is paying for health benefits is a dollar they didn’t pay in wages, and that affects virtually every working family.” --Christopher Conover, Mercatus Center Affiliated Senior Scholar

“Savings from the health care law will not materialize, because they would require a 29 percent cut to doctors’ reimbursement fees which lawmakers refuse to implement year after year. Even if these cuts were implemented, doctors will likely see fewer Medicare patients or stop altogether. Spending would be reduced, but at the expense of lower income seniors who don’t have many options other than to put up with the system. Is that really the plan?” --Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow

National Debt: The national debt is a result of the U.S. government systematically choosing spending over taxing for the past 40 years.
“The deficit is so large that shutting down everything except for Social Security, Medicare, and the interest payments still wouldn’t balance the budget. Debating whether we can afford community block grants or ethanol subsidies or bailouts is a waste of time. We can afford the welfare state or we can afford the government--that’s it.” --Antony Davies, Mercatus Center Senior Scholar