Cass Sunstein

  • Aired:  04/11/13
  •  | Views: 6,726

Obama's former Regulatory Affairs Administrator describes government health and safety nudges, like the USDA's "MyPlate." (5:20)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT WAS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S REGULATORY CZAR.

I DON'T CARE WHAT HE SAYS I'M GOING TO RUN OVER THERE WITH THE SCISSORS.

PLEASE WELCOME CASS SUNSTEIN.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

HEY, MR. SUNSTEIN THANKS FOR COMING ON.

ALL RIGHT.

YOU HAVE BEEN A BIT OF MY WHITE WHALE FOR A FEW YEARS.

I'VE BEEN READY TO BRING IT HOT AND HARD TO YOU BECAUSE --

[LAUGHTER]

-- BECAUSE IN 2009 TO 2012 YOU WERE ADMINISTRATOR OF WHITE HOUSE OFFICE FOR INFORMATION AND

REGULATORY AFFAIRS, UNOFFICIALLY KNOWN AS OBAMA'S REGULATORY CZAR.

THOSE ARE TWO EXTREMELY UNAPPEALING WORDS.

REGULATORY CZAR, OKAY?

COMMUNIST KING.

NOW YOU HAVE A BOOK EXPLAINING YOURSELF OVER HERE.

IT'S CALLED: "SIMPLER THE FUTURE OF GOVERNMENT." WHAT WAS THAT LIKE TO BE THE REGULATORY CZAR YOU ARE THE GUY

WHO STRANGLED THE ECONOMY IN ITS CRIB, AREN'T YOU?

>> THE GOAL WASN'T TO STRANGLE THE ECONOMY.

>> Stephen: THAT WAS JUST A BONUS.

>> THE ECONOMY IS DOING A LITTLE BIT BETTER NOW THAN IT WAS BACK THEN AND THE GOAL WAS TO MAKE

SURE THAT THE RULES WERE SENSIBLE, THAT THEY STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE AND YOU PROTECT

PEOPLE AGAINST UNSAFE FOOD OR DIRTY AIR OR DIRTY WATER OR NATIONAL SECURITY RISKS WHILE

PROMOTING ECONOMIC GROWTH.

>> Stephen: YOU WASH OUT YOUR MOUTH, SIR.

DON'T YOU DARE USE REAGAN'S MAKE NAME WHY YOUR ARGUMENT.

YOU WANT TO MAKE THINGS SIMMER.

WHAT IS THE SIMPLEST POSSIBLE GOVERNMENT?

AN ARMY THAT BUILDS ROADS.

WHY DO WE NEED ANYTHING ELSE?

>> THAT IS IMPORTANT, ROADS AND AN ARMY BUT IT'S PRETTY IMPORTANT TO HAVE AIR THAT IS

CLEAN AND WATER THAT IS SAFE TO DRINK.

>> Stephen: WHY DON'T WE LET THE FREE MARKET DECIDE WHETHER MERCURY IS BAD FOR ME.

>> IT DOESN'T ENTIRELY WORK.

IT COULD HURT KIDS NEUROLOGIC ALLY AND WHY BUSINESSES ARE TRYING TO REDUCE POLLUTION

LEVELS THEY HAVEN'T SUCCEEDED.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF SIMPLIFYING THINGS.

IT ZNLT SEEM LIKE IT'S SIMPLER THAN IT USED TO BE.

>> UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA THE PAPERWORK BURDEN ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IS LOWER.

>> Stephen: THEY ARE CERTAINLY CASHING FEWER CHECKS.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

IS THERE A GOVERNMENT MANDATED AT THE TIMEOUS SHOT BECAUSE -- TETANUS SHOT BECAUSE YOU JUST

GOT NAILED, MY FRIEND.

>> I'LL GIVE YOU SOME NUMBERS WHICH ARE THE HIGHEST COST YEAR WAS 2007 UNDER THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENT.

>> Stephen: HIGHEST COST YEAR?

>> FOR REGULATION.

THE NUMBER OF RULES ISSUED IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SMALLER.

THE NUMBER OF RULES ISSUED THAN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

THE NUMBER OF RULES DOWN, COST OF RULES DOWN.

>> Stephen: YOUR RULES ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S IMPLEMENTED BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE IDEA OF THE BOOK IS YOU WANT TO NUDGE

PEOPLE LIKE NASA WANTS TO NUDGE THE ASTEROID.

YOU WANT TO NUDGE PEOPLE?

>> IT'S A FREEDOM PRESERVING LOW COST REMEDY.

IF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE RISK THEY ARE TAKING WHEN THEY ARE TAKING A LOAN OUT OR CREDIT

CARD A NUDGE WOULD INFORM THEM.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS A NUDGE THAT EXISTS NOW.

>> SOME OF THE REALLY GOOD ONES ARE DISCLOSURES THAT TELL PEOPLE STUFF.

THERE WAS SOMETHING THAT THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAD CALLED THE FOOD PYRAMID.

IT WAS REALLY COMPLICATED.

THERE'S A GUY WITHOUT SHOES WALKING TO THE TOP OF PYRAMID AND THERE ARE FOODS BUNCHED

TOGETHER AT THE BOTTOM.

ONE OF WHICH LOOKS LIKE A SHOE.

THAT'S NOT A GOOD NUDGE IT'S A BAFFLING THING IT'S A BAD NUDGE.

>> Stephen: YOU SAY THE GPS IS A GOOD NUDGE.

>> WE GOT RID OF A FOOD PYRAMID IT'S MORE LOOK A FOOD PLATE.

PEOPLE CAN EAT STEAK AND CHOCOLATE BUT THE PLATE SAYS MAKE HALF YOUR PLATE FRUITS AND

VEGETABLES YOU'LL PROBABLY BE ON THE RIGHT TRACK.

IT'S LIKE A GPS.

IF YOU WANT TO MEANDER ON THE STREET AND GET LOST, YOU CAN IGNORE YOUR GPS.

>> Stephen: RIGHT, RIGHT AND THEN GPS ALSO JUDGES YOU.

IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW THE GPS' ROUTE IT GOES RECALCULATING.

>> THE FOOD PLATE DOESN'T JUDGE YOU.

>> Stephen: IT DOESN'T?

RECALCULATING YOUR WEIGHT.

NO?

CASS SUNSTEIN THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

THE IDEA IS SIMPLE.

THE BOOK IS

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