Robert Reich: The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. Medicare offers a means of reducing these costs — if Washington would let it.
Steve Ybarra: Now that Boner blinked, all this talk about the budget got me to thinking, just how much money do we spend on military bases, where are they, and what difference do they make to the average American?
Sy Slavin: While economists and national policymakers discuss economics in coldly statistical terms, research has shown that social costs of economic downturns, particularly rising unemployment rates have personal and social costs not previously discussed.
Tom Hayden: It is time for our most prominent liberal economists to broaden their analysis of the domestic crisis to include spending for these unfunded wars. Only Joseph Stiglitz has done so.
Seth Hoy: As many states face budget deficits in 2011, lawmakers might be asking their constituents the same question as those Capitol One commercials, “What’s in your wallet?”
Andrea Nill: Senate Bill 6 would cost Kentucky a net $40 million a year in court, prison and foster-care costs. Yet, the Kentucky senate voted 24-14 last week to pass the bill without knowing its cost.
Tina Dupuy: Obesity and the hidden costs behind it are a classic example of privatizing profit and socializing losses. The more successful the food industry is, the fatter we become and the more society has to absorb those costs. The military has reportedly turned away over 48,000 recruits since 2005 for being too fat to serve. And if they can’t pass the military’s standard of 26% body fat, they’re not likely to make it as a civilian first responder either.
Norman Solomon: While the escalating disaster of war in Afghanistan keeps setting deadly blazes, the few anti-war voices on Capitol Hill usually sound like people whispering “Fire!”