Professor of Economics Pat McGuire HON’10 was recently interviewed for an article in the Messenger Post about the 2011 federal budget. The article focuses on the two hot-topic issues of reducing funding for programs such as Medicare and on the tax break for the wealthiest Americans.
The article states McGuire believes “curing the nation’s economic ills would be best accomplished by causing the least upheaval and harm to those who depend the most on government help. Eliminating the tax break for the wealthiest Americans is a way to help keep many programs intact, he said, while addressing the deficit.”
“The economy will continue to grow when the wealthiest are taxed and the confidence will be maintained,” he said.
It goes on to note McGuire believed Medicare could be trimmed: “Tinkering needs to be done to drive down costs,” he said. “Subtle changes in the health care system could be made and we will see a drop in cost.”
Recently named interim provost and dean of the faculty, McGuire was educated at St. Peter’s College before receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. from Fordham University. McGuire co-founded the Colleges’ Public Policy program in Washington, D.C., and has co-taught the “Two Cities” bi-disciplinary course for more than 20 years. He has led several off-campus programs in Ireland, England and Central Europe as well as a Semester at Sea. McGuire has held leadership roles on several faculty committees and served as chair of the department of economics. In collaboration with his students, he recently completed an economic impact report that tracks the Colleges’ effect on the Geneva community.
The full article follows.
Different views on federal deficit
Julie Sherwood • staff writer • April 14, 2011
While few would argue with President Barack Obama’s statement Wednesday that the nation’s $14 trillion debt shows “we lost our way,” political battles over how to fix the problem continue.
As in Washington, those in Ontario County hold different views on a solution.
Retiree Betty Henry of Victor said spending cuts are a must. But programs such as Medicare and those that help the neediest Americans should be left alone, she said. Henry believes the government can trim spending in areas that don’t directly affect taxpayers and the tax break should be left intact for all citizens, regardless of income.
“Don’t eliminate the tax break from the wealthiest Americans,” she said: Those taxpayers are often the ones providing jobs through their businesses and lifestyle, she said. Even certain small businesses fall into the so-called wealthier income level, she added, and they shouldn’t be denied the tax break.
Sharing a different view is Adrienne Johnston of Webster, a single mother who grew up in Canandaigua and works as a regional manager in the hotel industry. She supports eliminating the tax break for the wealthiest Americans, she said, because it’s one area she believes the government can raise revenue to help drive down the deficit without hurting people.
“It seems like it’s always aid for schools and health care that gets cut,” she said. Johnston added she would trim defense spending and focus on helping the most needy in our country.
“We are always watching over other countries,” she said, “but who is taking care of us?”
Pat McGuire, professor of economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, said curing the nation’s economic ills would be best accomplished by causing the least upheaval and harm to those who depend the most on government help. Eliminating the tax break for the wealthiest Americans is a way to help keep many programs intact, he said, while addressing the deficit.
“The economy will continue to grow when the wealthiest are taxed and the confidence will be maintained,” McGuire said.
Simply cutting programs to reduce the deficit “will hurt across the board because these are programs people depend on,” he said. “It will dramatically affect the capacity of people’s pattern of living.”
McGuire said one area that could be trimmed is Medicare.
“Tinkering needs to be done” to drive down costs, he said. “Subtle changes in the health care system” could be made and we will see a drop in cost.
Even such proposals as raising the retirement age, said McGuire, are “reasonable to consider.”
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