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Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
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Bernie Sanders Economic Plan - Demand Side Stimulus Leads to 5.3% GDP Growth?

One thing that is not often talked about is the substance of Bernie's economic plans. The most positive, substantive analysis of Bernie's economic plan has been offered by Gerald Friedman, an economist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Based on analysis, he concludes that through a massive increase in government spending, the U.S. can reach 5.3 percent GDP growth:


To put this into context, 5.3 percent economic growth would be great for a developing country. The Philippines, which is currently the fastest growing economy in Asia, is projected to grow 5.8 percent, and it is only able to do that because it demographics are such that it has a very young population.

As noted in this article, many well-known liberal economists have been very skeptical about the claims made about Bernie Sanders' economic plan, including Paul Krugman, Christina Romer, and Alan Krueger. These are some of the same folks who attacked President Obama's stimulus as being too small, particularly Paul Krugman:


However, for those who want a more detailed analysis of the critique of the Sanders economic plan, here is a paper prepared by Christina Romer.


And, finally, here is Gerald Friedman's response to Christina Romer's critique of his analysis:


So, if you are a economic policy nerd, then you are probably rocking back and forth in mute joy. If you are a normal human being, you probably have stopped reading long ago.

At the end of the day, I wonder whether it make sense that the U.S. with a mature economy and an aging population can reach growth levels similar to that of a third world country like the Philippines with a young population and a lot of room to grow.

Now, if Bernie was simply pushing a goal of a better distribution of income within the population, such that the bulk of the benefit does not go to the top 1 percent, then it would make a little more sense. Of course, this might mean that there are some winners and losers in his economic plan, but I would generally support this. But, if the idea being pushed is that we are going to somehow reach a growth rate that has not been reached since the years following the Great Depression where we were at 25 percent unemployment, then we are overselling the benefits of Bernie's economic plan.

Ted Cruz's 2016 bid epitomizes the GOP's new abortion extremism

It is ironic that Ted Cruz, of all folks, is criticizing Trump's views on abortion, since Ted has repeatedly attack Trump as being secretly pro-choice. Indeed, even now, Trump has not ruled out exceptions for rape or incest. In contrast, Ted has been the most extreme candidate on abortion to date.


DENVER – One thing is for sure on the Republican primary: With Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the mix, it’ll be a race to the bottom on women’s rights. But to a degree, Cruz’s campaign is a continuation of what Todd Akin started in 2012. (Akin was the Missouri Senate candidate who infamously remarked that victims of "legitimate rape" have ways to "shut that whole thing down" so they don't get pregnant.) What was once an outlier on women’s right to choose an abortion – that even victims of rape and incest don’t have the right to terminate a pregnancy resulting from it – has now become a cornerstone of the Republican platform. And Republicans are now conflating abortion and birth control in an attempt to prevent women from accessing both.

Cruz, like Akin, opposes abortion for victims of rape and incest. He also labels forms of contraception such as Plan B “abortifacients”, which isn’t scientifically or medically correct. At the Value Voters Summit last fall, Cruz repeatedly referred to contraception as “abortion-inducing drugs.”

Nor is Cruz different from the rest of the 2016 potential Republican presidential field. B-listers Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry all share similar opinions. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently lurched hard right to oppose reproductive rights as well.

And despite the media’s nonsensical description of him as a “libertarian,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul shares the same extreme views. Paul is the Senate sponsor of a federal “personhood” bill, which would outlaw all abortions, even for rape and incest victims, and outlaw many forms of birth control. Paul can’t support government control over the bodies half the population and still be considered a “libertarian.” He’s not one. And he’s expected to announce he’s running for president on April 7.
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