A brief note for critics of Bernie’s economic plan

Dear everybody freaking out because some people think the Bernie Sanders economic plan can’t pay for itself.

Three things:

1) You can’t work with recent historical data as your assumption because the Sanders approach throws it out and works off different assumptions entirely.

2) Okay, okay. That’s true but I don’t have the time to explain why in detail. So let’s go ahead and say you don’t believe #1 and you do believe his critics. Fine. How about we turf the Osprey, which is a boondoggle of the first order. That’s, I don’t know – I see numbers all over the place, but … $100 billion over several years? More? That would help a little, right?

3) Still not enough? Okay, we have a military budget that’s literally double any other nation on earth. What if we trim that back to a mere 80% larger than any other nation on earth and see where we stand? That’s another $100B or so. Are we getting close yet?

If you want to make a meaningful contribution to the debate, you need to start by asking the right questions instead of parroting the ones being fed to you by folks with a deep vested interest in the current way of divvying up the pie.

Jesus is coming, children, and he wants you to use your goddamned brains, people.


  • no one not even the US government can live on credit for ever. we are putting your children’s kids, kids, kids, kids left to pay the debt at best. I have no kids so I am concerned for yours.
    at worst this country will file bankruptcy. should the deflationary mind set right now let inflationary pressures out of the bottle, which they are trying to do. if that happens and with all that QE money coming to market, run a way inflation and the destruction of the dollar will follow. we are headed for the greatest depression this country has ever seen.

  • This is clearly intended as satire. “You cant work with recent historical data…” is such a silly statement that it gave the whole thing away, even before I read it was written by “The Reverend.” Got to be a little more subtle if you want to suck folks in, Rev.

    Notwithstanding the trolling, the validity of Bernienomics is an interesting question. For a balanced discussion, see this: http://www.vox.com/2016/2/18/11041838/bernienomics-wonks

    It makes some great points. Bernienomics does appear to be “voodoo,” and suspiciously similar to Republican economic estimates that have driven us into the fiscal ditch. However, it is troubling that the real economists on the Democrat side are just dismissing Bernienomics out of hand rather than putting forth solid, structured, empirical arguments to debunk it. Also, since Bernie doesn’t have access to serious economists, it’s a bit of a Catch 22–he lacks serious policy because his work’s been done by second rate economists, but he can’t get first rate economists because they won’t take him seriously.

    Will be interesting to see how Sanders fares when he puts forward his serious policy proposals–although the last three GOP presidents have proved that you can get elected without legitimate economic policies, so maybe this is it.

    • I think my main point of frustration is the dismissal, out of hand, that it can be paid for. Of course it can be paid for, even if his proposals fall short.

      I mean, everybody asks how we can possibly pay for universal education. Nobody ever asks how we can pay for eternal war.

      • Krugman’s NYTimes editorial is on this very issue today, and it’s reasonable. If the economic analysis doesn’t take into account things like how boomers are aging out of the workforce as Krugman says, then that indicates some potentially serious issues with the analysis.

        That said, there’s no question that we could make different choices and pay for huge amounts of Bernie’s agenda. There’s also no question that, even if Bernie wins the nomination and gets elected, large parts of his agenda would go absolutely nowhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s