ANN ARBOR, MI – Deroy Murdock, an editor for National Review online and a political commentator for Fox News, came to campus Wednesday September 14th to speak to the University of Michigan’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.
He spoke about Obama’s presidency and commented on his government spending programs, including, but not limited to, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act, colloquially referred to as the Stimulus and Obamacare, respectively.
Murdock was critical of these programs and recommended adjustments he believes would be more efficient for improving the economy. He noted that at the beginning of President Obama’s tenure, the debt stood at $10.6 trillion and has risen to $19.5 trillion since that time, an 84% increase. Americans who are born today will have a $1.5 million share of the national debt, compared to the $681,000 share held by Americans born 20 years ago.
He proposed five principles to guide smarter spending rather than implementing large-scale government spending:
- We’re out of money
- Money doesn’t flow from geysers
- Targeted relief efforts when necessary
- Vouchers, not massive regulation driven bureaucracies where private charity is insufficient
- First, try economic growth
Murdock stressed the importance of assuring that government aid reaches those whom it intends to reach, rather than people who take advantage of the system. He compared the U.S. technique of aid distribution to “spraying the hose” rather than pinpointing citizens who are suffering from adverse social conditions and making sure they get it. He detailed a strategy used by Chile that involved analysis by social scientists to determine which segments of the population are suffering from extreme poverty and to whom to target government aid.
Murdock expressed disapproval of programs that fail to deliver on their promises, allowing money to end up in the hands of those should not qualify for it. Under the Affordable Care Act, birth control is available to any reproducing woman regardless of her income. He even criticized President George W. Bush’s instituted Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, where the only criterion to qualify was simply though being 65 years or older. Both of these healthcare failures, Murdock mentioned, added to the already massive debt.
Murdock believes that what he describes as inadequate economic growth and a decrease of the labor force participation rate from 67% to 63% during President Obama’s time in office compared to that of former presidents has contributed to racial tension, which he feels is higher than it has been in decades.
Regarding their ideas about improving the economy, Murdock prefers Donald Trump’s stance to Hillary Clinton’s. Murdock noted that Trump “favors regulatory moratorium,” while he feels a Clinton presidency would result in more government spending programs, more red tape, racial problems, and heightened cronyism.