Paul Krugman Misses Richard Nixon
No, I haven’t lost my mind. Nixon was surely the worst person other than Dick Cheney ever to control the executive branch.
But the Nixon era was a time in which leading figures in both parties were capable of speaking rationally about policy, and in which policy decisions weren’t as warped by corporate cash as they are now. America is a better country in many ways than it was 35 years ago, but our political system’s ability to deal with real problems has been degraded to such an extent that I sometimes wonder whether the country is still governable.
As many people have pointed out, Nixon’s proposal for health care reform looks a lot like Democratic proposals today. In fact, in some ways it was stronger. Right now, Republicans are balking at the idea of requiring that large employers offer health insurance to their workers; Nixon proposed requiring that all employers, not just large companies, offer insurance.
Nixon also embraced tighter regulation of insurers, calling on states to “approve specific plans, oversee rates, ensure adequate disclosure, require an annual audit and take other appropriate measures.” No illusions there about how the magic of the marketplace solves all problems.
That says more about the current Democratic Party than it does the Republican Party. The reform they claim to seek is watered down as is. It barely even holds water against a proposal offered by Nixon four decades ago! And to make matters worse, there is rhetoric from the left suggesting that it may be watered down even further.
Anyway, great op-ed piece by Nobel-prize winning economist, Paul Krugman. There’s not much I could add that he hasn’t already said, and better. Why isn’t he an adviser to Obama again? Anybody know?
Read the whole NYTimes piece here.