Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter spoke on Bloomberg Radio today, mostly to talk about how Europe is still a disaster.
But Buiter saved his choice comments for the U.S. fiscal system.
Unable to contain his outrage with what he perceives is disastrous U.S. financial policy, the normally cool and calm economist launched into a vehement take-down of the federal government’s spending policies:
“I think fiscal policy at the federal level we’re talking about now is a complete disaster. There’s gridlock. The U.S. tax system—of which I am one of the victims, you know. As a U.S. citizen, I had to try and get the data together to give to the person who prepares my tax returns, and I almost had a nervous breakdown collecting the data!
“The US tax system is completely incomprehensible! My wife and I are both PhD’s in economics—both of us!—and we can’t make head or tails of it.
“And of course the U.S. spends far too little at the federal level on infrastructure investments, what they call social overhead capital, roads, power—all these key infrastructure services. It spends far too little funding R&D. Federal funding of education and human capital itself is highly inadequate. And of course there’s no even attempt at cost control on Medicare and Medicaid.
“There is so much wrong with the US fiscal system that a week wouldn’t be enough time to list it.“
Listen to his full radio interview here.