John Cogan of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Cogan's book, The High Cost of Good Intentions, a history of U.S. entitlement policy. Cogan traces the evolution of government pensions beginning with Revolutionary War vets to the birth and evolution of the Social Security program. Surprises along the way include President Franklin Roosevelt as fiscal conservative and the hard-to-believe but true fact that there is still one person receiving monthly checks from the Civil War veterans pension program. The conversation concludes with Cogan's concerns over the growing costs of financing social security payments to baby boomers.
Russ Roberts talks with Stanford University's John Cogan about what's wrong with America's health care system and how to make it right.
Along the way they discuss economics of health care, the tax treatment of employer-provided insurance, the role of state-mandated insurance requirements and the political economy of health care reform.