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4 Reasons Why The Wall Street Journal’s Attack on Bernie Sanders Is Totally Bogus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Juli Hansen / Shutterstock)


This post originally ran on Robert Reich’s website.

I’ve had so many calls about an
article appearing early last week in the Wall Street Journal – charging that
Bernie Sanders’s proposals would carry a “price tag” of $18 trillion over a
10-year period – that it’s necessary to respond.

The
Journal’s number is entirely bogus, designed to frighten the public. Please
spread the truth:

1. Bernie’s proposals would
cost less than what we’d spend without them. Most of the “cost” the Journal
comes up with—$15 trillion—would pay for opening Medicare to everyone. 

This
would be cheaper than relying on our current system of for-profit private
health insurers that charge you and me huge administrative costs, advertising,
marketing, bloated executive salaries, and high pharmaceutical prices. 

(Gerald
Friedman, an economist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, whom the Journal relies on for some of its data, actually estimates
a Medicare-for-all system would actually save all of us $10 trillion over 10
years).

2. The savings from Medicare-for-all would more than cover the costs of the rest
of Bernie’s agenda—tuition-free education at public colleges, expanded Social
Security benefits, improved infrastructure, and a fund to help cover paid
family leave – and still leave us $2 trillion to cut federal deficits for the
next ten years.

3. Many of these other “costs” would also otherwise be paid by individuals
and families – for example, in college tuition and private insurance. So they
shouldn’t be considered added costs for the country as a whole, and may well
save us money.

4. Finally, Bernie’s proposed spending on education and infrastructure aren’t
really “spending” at all, but investments in the nation’s future productivity.
If we don’t make them, we’re all poorer.

That
Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal would do this giant dump on Bernie Sanders, based
on misinformation and distortion, confirms Bernie’s status as the candidate
willing to take on the moneyed interests that the Wall Street Journal
represents.

Robert Reich
Contributor
Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the…
Robert Reich

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