Summary of discussion of what's in the reconciliation bill (conservative perspective)

9:45: The biggest item in the bill is the expansion of ObamaCare along with increased disincentive to work.

10:40: Cochrane makes the point that the limit on rent for subsidized housing of 30% of income makes for an implicit 30-percent tax on each additional dollar of income for those who are rent-subsidized. (That’s already there, even without this bill.)

11:10: Casey says that food stamps are essentially an unemployment program.

16:30: The child care tax credit in the bill doesn’t require you to work. DRH comment: That seems counterintuitive, but that’s if you care about people working.

21:00: Employers who have 5 or more employees must fund an IRA for their employees. State governments get to decide what the IRA can be invested in.

26:30: $10 per day fine if you don’t enroll your employees in an IRA. Per employee not enrolled? He doesn’t say but I think so.

27:00: $220 billion for affordable housing.

27:45: Casey’s comment on the subsidies for housing: “Here, you can have this as long as you remain poor.”

32:20: Casey estimates the value of the housing subsidy to tenants at about 30 cents on the dollar.

33:40: Somewhat good news on transportation. Casey finds that the spending is about 20% of the amount he expected based on Biden’s promises during the campaign.

34:20: $30 billion for rail; $30 billion for mass transit, which, Cochrane points out, is for things like the commuter rail that goes by Stanford every day almost empty.

35:18: $150 billion in spending for climate. This does not count tax credits. For things like climate-resilient housing and USPS purchase of electric trucks.

36:40: Given the amount of carbon reduction the climate subsidies will lead to, they are way overpaying.

37:40: Pro tip: if you’re thinking of buying an EV, then wait. This bill just might pass.

38:50: Family medical leave. Government will pay for some. Unclear to what extent employers will be reimbursed by feds if they already provide it.

43:20: New taxes on marriage. Casey points out that the late James Tobin of Yale University, who was a member of President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisers, was critical of government programs that discouraged marriage. Tobin’s comment: We’re subsidizing desertion. (Here’s my bio of Tobin for The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.)