“Friedrich Hayek is not an important figure in the history of macroeconomics.”
“[Republicans are] simply standing back while trying to design the bumper sticker for the 2012 election instead of designing the economy to put Americans back to work.”
“When we talked about increasing fuel efficiency standards, the industry responded, and they need engineers and designers and manufacturers, and they need actually more people to help respond to the new requirement.
I believe if the government says, look, we have got to reduce our carbon footprint, you will kick into gear a whole number of people that know how to do that or have ideas about that, and that will be a job engine.”
“You do so well, why are you against capitalism. I’m going to say, well, clearly you don’t know what capitalism is these days. It’s about the upper 1 percent owning the majority of this country and everybody else scrambling for the crumbs.
And I look forward to the day when I really don’t have to make another one of these films or do any of this because that would be — that would be the ultimate best thing to happen.
…We’re against greed, and we’re against the fact that 1 percent could get nine slices of the pie and the other 99 percent are supposed to fight over the last slice. That is un-American, that is not democracy.”
“In the first 100 hours [of the 110th Congress] we raised the minimum wage. It was the first time the minimum wage was raised in 11 years.
…It was kept down for the purpose that people would not be able to live on that. They’d have to borrow, get home equity loans, against their mortgage. They’d have to live on credit cards, and what are they doing when they do that? They’re paying fees to the banks. They’re paying fees to the banks. So it was a contrived dependence on private credit for millions, tens of millions of working people in our country. …Keep people dependent on penny fees to banks for the use of their own money.”
“[Y]ou don’t want people taking advantage of poverty. The guy from Texas, he’s got the highest job accomplishments in the country, Governor Perry, but it’s one stage away from slavery, from what I understand the salaries are.”
“Obviously, [the food stamp program]’s putting people to work…
[W]hen you talk about the SNAP program or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it’s also an economic stimulus… It’s the most direct stimulus you can get into the economy during tough times.”
“And for governments, the real problem is that there’s this tremendous political pressure to get smaller, and everything we know about economics tells us that they should be doing the opposite, they should be getting bigger right now.
…I could get you 100 economists, and 95 of them would tell you the same thing, which is that right now is a really good time for the government to go out and borrow money, it’s as cheap as it’s ever been to borrow money, invest it in infrastructure, invest it in things that will pay off in the long run, and help out the economy.”