Tag: Cato Daily Podcast

New Podcast: ‘A More Transparent Federal Government’

Online technology offers President Obama more opportunities to increase government transparency than any president before him, says Jerry Brito, creator of StimulusWatch.org and senior fellow at the Mercatus Center.

In today’s Cato Daily Podcast, Brito says that although Obama has taken positive steps toward increasing transparency, there are hurdles in place that are restricting open access to government data.

President Obama has been very clear about making sure that Americans know where every dollar goes…the problem though so far, is that we have a Web site called Recovery.gov, but there isn’t much there yet.

What Did the New Deal Do?

There has been much recent debate about whether or not President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies increased the nation’s economic pain during the Great Depression or led to its end. In today’s Cato Daily Podcast, Regulation Magazine managing editor Thomas A. Firey reveals why erroneous stories about the effects of the New Deal survive despite decades of economic research that tell a different, more nuanced story:

Listening to the fight today among commentators on the left and the right talking about the New Deal and making various claims about it, as far as a stimulus—they’re almost all wrong, and what’s most disturbing to me as an economic historian is this is actually pretty well-plowed ground, so I don’t know how they can be wrong and how no one’s calling them out on it….

…The two stylized stories, the one that nothing got better and the other that the New Deal miraculously fixed everything—both are very clearly wrong when you look at the numbers. But no one wants to tell the real story, because, first of all, it doesn’t fall nicely in an ideological story on either side, and, second of all, it requires work. You have to read stuff and do research and care about the facts, and, let’s be honest, in this political environment, very few people do those things or care about the facts.

More from Firey on the effects of the New Deal.

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How Will Barack Obama Reform Social Security?

Barack Obama says he will make entitlement reform a central part of his attempt to control government spending. Just how serious is President Obama about entitlement reform? Are private accounts for Social Security on the table? In today’s Cato Daily Podcast, senior fellow Michael D. Tanner weighs in on Obama’s plan for the future of entitlement programs.

“The fact is, of course, private investment would still be a better deal than Social Security, but you have to face the fact that people are scared of the market right now,” Tanner says. “But I think you’ve got to give Barack Obama points for political courage. In addressing the need for entitlement reform he is taking on one of the mainstays of his party.”

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Cuba: 50 Years Later

January marks 50 years since the Cuban Revolution. In today’s Cato Daily Podcast, Project Coordinator for Latin America Juan Carlos Hidalgo discusses Fidel Castro’s takeover, the result of the revolution and offers advice to the Obama administration on reengaging with the small island nation.

“Cuba went from being one of the richest countries in Latin America to one of the poorest,” Hidalgo says. “After 50 years, the revolution has failed the Cubans.”