Progressive economists are coming out against Democratic 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders’ economic agenda, saying his promises of free education and a single-payer health plan that “would cost most Americans little-to-no money” is unrealistic.
Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, slammed the Vermont independent’s proposal as an unworkable fantasy.
“The numbers don’t remotely add up,” Goolsbee, who is now an economics professor at the University of Chicago, told The New York Times.
The former Obama administration cabinet member concurred with leftist columnist Ezra Klien’s article calling his plan for health care “puppies and rainbows,” telling the paper his approach has “evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”
Sanders claims most Americans would pay $500 dollars more in taxes to receive around a $5,000 reduction in health-care costs if his Medicare-for-all plan is implemented, but the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found it would cost around $14 trillion over the course of a decade.
“We need a deep investment in infrastructure, more-efficient health care and less student debt,” former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden Jared 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.”
According to a recent anaylsis by Emory University Professor Kenneth Thorpe, even with the steep tax increases the candidate calls for, the single-payer plan would still not be fully paid for.
“The analysis presented below however estimates that the average annual cost of the plan would be approximately $2.5 trillion per year creating an average of over a $1 trillion per year financing shortfall,” the study reads. “To fund the program, payroll and income taxes would have to increase from a combined 8.4 percent in the Sanders plan to 20 percent while also retaining all remaining tax increases on capital gains, increased marginal tax rates, the estate tax and eliminating tax expenditures.”
The self-described Democratic-Socialist defended his proposal during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”
“Kenneth Thorpe, I mean, you know, you’ve quote one guy,” Sanders told the host. “I think there was just a piece in one of the newspapers today by some of the most — foremost experts on single payer systems who really denounced Kenneth Thorpe and his analysis. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Thorpe.”
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