Monetary Policy, Taxation, and International Investment Strategy

By Victor A. Canto; Arthur B. Laffer | Go to book overview

15
Are We Climbing the Wall of Resistance toward National Health Insurance?

JAMES BALOG

The issues surrounding health care policy are extremely important to the future of our country, not only on social grounds but on economic grounds as well. We must deal with the problem of health care spending in order to maintain our competitive standing in the world. The United States is now spending a larger proportion of its GNP on health care than any other country. American business is now devoting 50 percent of its corporate operating profit to health care for its employees and retirees. Estimates of these hidden liabilities range from $169 billion to $2 trillion and could equal all other liabilities on the balance sheets of American corporations. The Financial Accounting Standards Board wants the hidden liability of corporate health care expenditures brought into the open. The current proposal calls for accrual accounting on the profit and loss statement by 1992 and the recording of a "minimum" liability on balance sheets by 1997. Health benefit costs may be as important to American business as the economic integration of Europe in 1992 or the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong in 1997. How did the problem get so big and how might it be resolved?


HISTORY

The idea of government sponsored health care, retirement systems, and other social programs began in 1883 in Bismarck's Germany. The entry age was established at 65, a sufficiently high level since life expectancy was then under 50 years. Not many people were expected to be able to take advantage of the

-209-

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Monetary Policy, Taxation, and International Investment Strategy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xiii
  • Introduction xix
  • Note xlii
  • PART ONE MONETARY POLICY 1
  • 1: Capacity Utilization and Inflation 3
  • 2: World Money and U.S. Inflation 13
  • 3: Alternative Monetary Theories of Inflation 25
  • 5: The Quality of Inflation Indicators 80
  • 6: The Yield Curve 87
  • PART TWO - FISCAL POLICY 93
  • 7 - Bush's Economic Agenda within a Supply-Side Framework 111
  • 8: Tax Amnesty: The Missing Link 113
  • 9: Fifteen Percent is Fine, but Indexing is Divine 123
  • Notes 144
  • 10: Stylized Facts and Fallacies of Capital Gains Tax Rate Reductions and Indexa tion 147
  • 11: Friday the 13th 157
  • 12: Debt and Taxes Are the Only Certainty 165
  • Note 173
  • 13: Borrowed Prosperity 175
  • Notes 187
  • 14: The Savings Monster 189
  • 15: Are We Climbing the Wall of Resistance toward National Health Insurance? 209
  • PART THREE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ISSUES 219
  • 16: Tax Rate Reductions and Foreign Exchange Rates 221
  • Notes 230
  • 17: The Trade Balance 233
  • 18: National Paedomorphosis 241
  • PART FOUR PORTFOLIO STRATEGIES 255
  • 19: Part I: The Legend 257
  • Notes 267
  • 20: Part II 269
  • 21: The Small-Cap and State Competitive Environment 283
  • 22: International Stock Returns and Real Exchange Rates 301
  • Notes 320
  • Index 321
  • About the Contributors 327
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