Even Paul Krugman and Mother Jones are sick of Bernie Sanders
[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]arlier this week it was revealed that left-leaning civil rights movements in Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont aren’t “feeling the Bern” by The Daily Beast. At the time, many wrote off these lone civil rights causes as insignificant, given Bernie’s voting demographic in Vermont is mostly white anyways. However, Bernie is also losing support from prominent left-leaning figures on the national level as well. Keynesian economist Paul Krugman has come out against Sanders, an endorsement which could have swayed liberal economists who identify with the Nobel prize winner. In addition, Mother Jones, a website which is notoriously slanted towards the left, has declared Sanders “unrealistic”. Both groups claimed the proposal set forth by economist Gerald Friedman is overly optimistic at best and seriously flawed at worst.
It is important to note that while the Sanders campaign has not officially endorsed the plan in question, their policy director has praised it nonetheless. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume Sanders would implement the plan should he be elected.
“It shows that over a 10-year period, we would create 26 million new jobs, the poverty rate would plummet, that incomes would go up dramatically, and we would have strong economic growth. … It’s a very bold plan, and we want to get this out there.”
~ Warren Gunnels, Policy Director for Bernie Sanders
Krugman described the plan as “deep voodoo economics” and compiled a letter rejecting it along with several other economists, all of whom having served with the Obama or Clinton administrations. The criticisms were primarily directed at the estimate made by Friedman, who predicts a 5% growth in GDP and under 4% unemployment. Krugman and his peers jointly agreed that it was unlikely that even a 4% growth in GDP would occur, as candidates like Jeb Bush have previously claimed. Another signatory of the letter, Austan Goolsbee, described Sanders’ proposal as “puppies and rainbows”, and would require adding up to 3 trillion dollars to the deficit. Overall, the economists who signed the letter claimed there was “no credible economic research” to show the plan would result in huge gains as described by the policy director.
Sanders is also losing support on the media front as well. Writer Kevin Drum of Mother Jones recently published an article entitled “The Sanders Campaign Has Crossed Into Neverland“. The article outlines the plan’s ridiculous expectations for the U.S. economy, with the author stating, “If anything, it’s worse than the endless magic asterisks that Republicans use to pretend that their tax plans will supercharge the economy and pay for themselves.”
Sanders may still have legions of young and uneducated voters backing him, as well as some large unions and other such special interest groups. However, among all but .01% (170) of employed economists who openly stand behind Sanders’ proposals, there is a rising tide of skepticism that they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.