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Bernie’s problem: Lack of credibility with policy experts

 

As Bernie Sanders’ credibility at the polls has become real, the details of his policies have begun to be questioned.

Toni Seger FACEBOOK (excerpted)

On Wednesday, the criticism took the form of a joint letter from four people who led the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton and Obama administrations. They criticized projections by Gerald Friedman, an economist who has advised Mr. Sanders, of what the candidate’s policy proposals would achieve. Their comments were quickly echoed by the liberal economists Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman. The health care experts Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University and Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution have also been tough on Mr. Sanders’s health care plan.

The letter reflected a naivete also seen on the demagogic  Republican side.  Populist rhetoric and numbers usually do not !1agree. Like a Tea Party demagogue, Bernie claims that he will pay for his plans by creating increased economic growth, reducing health care costs, upping the value of American workers and making deep cuts in the military.    The letter sees all this as the free lunch hypothesis.  Bernie’s chief adviser  projects a growth rate of 5.3 !1percent a year, an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent and a 3.2 percent annual productivity growth.  These are wildly enthusiastic numbers that would far outstrip any other developed world economy.   The growth rate is more than double the Congressional Budget Office projection and the unemployment rate is lower than anything since Kennedy.

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winning avatar of progressive economics, says much the same thing, “[T]here’s no way to justify this stuff. For wonks like me, it is, frankly, horrifying.” …. “fuzzy math from the left would make it impossible to effectively criticize conservative voodoo,”

 


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