On June 4, my Hoover colleague Bill Whalen interviewed me about my latest article for Hoover’s Defining Ideas, “Just Say No to State & Local Bailouts,” June 3. I had heard and seen a talk by Bill on Zoom a week earlier and was impressed with his deep knowledge of California politics. His show is titled “Area 45.”
The interview was really a conversation, something I prefer to a standard interview. Bill has a charming personality, with just the right amount of humor.
In the first 20 or some minutes I make the case that I made in my article, in response to Bill’s questions. But he also raised an issue I hadn’t addressed in my article: whether on grounds of emergency aid, California’s state government should be given a bailout. I said no and I said why.
Some highlights from the rest of the conversation:
23:20: Why I worry that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will go along with some kind of bailout.
36:00: My case for bonds instead of tax increases. (My first choice, of course, is budget cuts.)
37:10: Why, if the feds do bail out California’s government, I would prefer aid with no strings over aid with strings.
38:30: States going their own way on coronavirus policy and why that’s important.
41:00: Related to what’s directly above: The states as laboratories of democracy and why that’s so important.
41:27: Why economists and other social scientists are almost orgasmic about the forthcoming data.
45:20: Eat the rich.
45:40: I’m seeing it as rich people saying “eat the rich.”