in-depth. he is the editor and chief of forbes magazine and a republican candidate in the 1996 and 2000 presidential primaries. he is the author of many books. the recent titles include power, ambition and gloery comparing great leadards of the ancientworld with modern business leaders. and money which he argues for a return to the gold standard. he recently appeared on booktv to discuss reviving america. >> the rut we are in today which is having profound implications around the world, bad economies lead to bad politics, we see that everywhere and it comes from mistake. the nice thing about policy errors is they can be corrected. those errors can be corrected. we are focused on three big reforms. there are others that have to be done but you have to have priorities. so we prioritized on health
care, a new tax code and getting our monetary system back on track for the first time in almost half a century. >> steve forbes, live on booktv's in-depth sunday june 5th, noon eastern time. >> peter ferrara's newest book is called "power to the people." is it possible to reform the entitlement programs politically? >> yes, only the way described in this book. it is possible. these reforms are positive, poplar, pro-growth, the book decides how to reform every major entitlement program. social security, medicare, welfare, obamacare, medicaid, medicare. this is based on 30 years of experience starting with the reagan white house, heritage,
cato, contributed to the cain-ryan roadmap. some of these reforms, after you reform social security seniors get higher benefits not lower. poor people get higher incomes not lower. and sick people are able to get better health care not less. that is because these reforms are not based on cutting benefits. you cannot get anywhere cutting benefits for poor people, senior citizens who are retired and poor people. they are based on structural reform and changing the way the programs operate so they contribute to the economy. they are pro-growth and make the beneficiaries of the program able to become self-sufficient, self-financing. so a lot of this government spending and these tax redistribution programs are shifted into the private capital
market and labor market. instead of working people today, we spend a trillion dollars a year in taxes. taxpayers have taxed a trillion a year basically to pay the bottom 20% of the income ladder not to work. that is very unproductive and counter productive. we have the acceleration under obama because these programs have been expanded. when you pay people not to work, you are detracting from the economy, not contributing to the economy. one of the reforms involves empowering workers to chose, personal saving and investment accounts to finance social security benefits, rather than tax redistribution which is what social security is. you get far higher benefits from a lifetime of savings and investment than from no savings and investment. there is no saving investment
anywhere in social security. people participating in the program lose the benefit of that accumulating return. when they asked albert einstein what the most powerful force in the united states was he said compound interest and that is what you will have working for you if you do a lifetime of saving and investments. this is why you will have middle class couples able to retire as millionaires if they are able to take twhat and their employers pay into social security into a stage of investment and get compound interest over their careers. all of that money continues to work for you even after you retire. you have something working on your side and that is why these reforms can be poplar and populus even. they would all be pro-growth because of the change in capital and those people not working
today would go to work and contribute to the economy. this is a renewed prosperity for the entire country. >> host: what about the risk factor? when you are a little bit older sometimes people are not as willing to be risky with their money. >> guest: this doesn't require you to be risky with your money. you can make your own choices but you are backed up. when i sat down with paul ryan we wrote the legislation for that part of the reform, 2004-2005, that became the foundation of the ryan roadmap and that bill provided that you will be backed up by a federal guarantee you would not get less than promised by social security. so you can gain but you cannot lose. these personal accounts are so obviously a good deal it was said he would assume hundred percent of workers would chose the personal accounts because they are a better deal than social security.
this is a lifetime career numbers guy. he wrote support of the ryan bill and it is still posted at the social security administration website. we are hoping to generate new legislation that will provide for that that will rally working people krooz the country to say yes, give us power over our own money. it is power of the people. >> host: peter ferrara, does your approach, in your view, reduce america's debt? >> guest: yes. this is a path forward to paying off the national death because that is the other part of this -- debt.
after all of the advantages of the reform this is the kicker left out. federal spending percentage of gdp is less than half of what it would be otherwise. if people are in favor of smaller government and want to reduce federal spending, this book explains how to do it. it is the only way to reform entitlement and make government smaller. it is described in this book. it isn't very long. but once you get the idea you see it applies. these are all ideas that have been proven to work in the real world. all tried in america or elsewhere and have been proven to work spectacularly. let's take what true and do more of it. >> host: what is the heartland institute? >> guest: that is the free market, libertarian think tank that promotes what the theme of this book is power of the people, economic prosperity, and growth for everybody.
we want economic and prosparity to spread to the poor, seniors living on retirement, to sick people. we want all of this prosperity and this is a roadmap of spreading that to the most vulnerable in society. that is why the subtitle is the new road to freedom and prosperity for the poor, seniors and those most in need of the world's best health care because that is exactly what it is. the new road to freedom and prosperity. >> host: so-called obamacare, isn't that a free market approach to health care? >> guest: no, it is a government approach. government is controlling everything in obamacare. it takes away power to the people and gives it to the bureaucrats. the government tells you what insurance you must guy and the government tells the insurance companies what they must sell, tells your employer what insurance they have to buy for you.
telling doctors and hospitals what health care they can give you. obamacare is not a free market system. that is misleading rhetoric for people who are gullible and easily misled. obama's approach is opposite of the power of the people. it is power to him and his buddies in washington because they think they are smart than everybody. we are the smartest people, and moral and we know what needs to be done, you just shut up and do it. this is opposite of that. >> host: the george w. bush had a reform that got shot down. >> guest: he never proposed the
plan. he talked about it during the election, won and carried florida which he would never have been president without that. when they ran for president, they used the formula exactly as i described it and it worked spectacul spectacularly. then they got elected and tried to implement it and the people inside washington said are you nuts? we cannot shift power to the people. we will have to give away all of this power. we have to have power in washington. that is the real battle going on. where do you stand with power of the people or power to the bureaucrat and central government. >> host: entitlement reform is the topic of "power to the people: the new road to freedom and prosperity for the poor, seniors, and those most in need of the world s best health ca " care". peter ferrara is the author.