Several left-leaning economists have declared 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’s plans for free healthcare and education unrealistic and unaffordable in light of recent analyzations of Sanders’s proposals.
“The numbers don’t remotely add up,” Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, told The New York Times. Referring to an early criticism of Sanders’s plans as “puppies and rainbows,” Goolsbee continued to say Sanders’s plans have “evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”
Jared Bernstein, of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, examined a paper authored by Gerald Friedman, economic adviser to Sen. Sanders, and discovered several factors he called “wishful thinking,” including the problems with health-cost inflation and ambitious and unrealistic economic growth.
“We need a deep investment in infrastructure, more-efficient health care and less student debt,” Bernstein told the Times. “But when you put it all together, government’s role in the economy goes well beyond anything we’ve ever considered.”
Sanders’s policy director, Warren Gunnels, has refused to acknowledge the economists, writing them off as Clinton supporters. In comments to the Times, he reduced their claims to part of a “fundamental disagreement,” based off the relative success of other nations to achieve levels of welfare comparable to those proposed by Sanders.
Henry J. Aaron, a health economist at the Brookings Institution, has supported single-payer economics for a long time, and acknowledges its merit. In the current political climate, however, he believes it to be a “fairy tale.”
“[Pushing for a single-payer economic system] would rapidly destroy [Sanders’s] administration by using up every ounce of political capital he’s got,” Aaron said, according to the NYT.