Four left-learning economists came out against 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders’s economic plan in an open letter Wednesday, saying the Vermont politician’s numbers don’t add up.
The former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers – Alan Krueger, Christina Romer, Laura D’Andrea Tyson and Austan Goolsbee – slammed University of Massachusetts at Amherst economist Gerald Friedman’s claim Sanders’s proposal would increase the growth rate of real gross domestic product from 2.1 percent to 5.3 percent annually.
“We are concerned to see the Sanders campaign citing extreme claims by Gerald Friedman about the effect of Senator Sanders’s economic plan—claims that cannot be supported by the economic evidence,” they wrote. “Friedman asserts that your plan will have huge beneficial impacts on growth rates, income and employment that exceed even the most grandiose predictions by Republicans about the impact of their tax cut proposals.”
Sanders has proposed free college tuition at public universities and a single-payer health plan, which he claims will cost most Americans little-to-no money – all of which he plans to pay for through steep tax increases. But most experts say the politician is underestimating the cost of the programs he plans to implement.
The former White House advisers, which are now working for some of the top business schools in the country, said the economic plan put the credibility of Democrats in question.
“As much as we wish it were so, no credible economic research supports economic impacts of these magnitudes.” they continued. “These claims undermine the credibility of the progressive economic agenda and make it that much more difficult to challenge the unrealistic claims made by Republican candidates.”
Goolsbee, who is now an economics professor at the University of Chicago, told The New York Times Monday the Sanders plan has “evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”
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