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Bernie Sanders Wants to Spend $18 Trillion: So What?


Bernie Sanders Wants to Spend $18 Trillion: So What?

James Kwak

The front page of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article claiming that Bernie Sanders wants to increase federal government spending by $18 trillion over the next ten years—an increase of about one-third over that time period. This was apparently supposed to raise some kind of alarm—what kind of maniac is this?—and I’m sure both Republicans and Hillary Clinton are happy the Journal is doing their work for them.


Just end the farce of the payroll tax altogether and fund it by fiat like the rest of the government. I know Sanders understands how the government is actually funded (via Government Account Series Treasury securities), because he appointed Stephanie Kelton to the Senate Budget Committee. I really wish he would use the spotlight he currently has to draw public attention to the reality of our fiat currency.

Jeremy Corbyn and his "People's QE" is also on the right track, but he has yet to set about actually explaining to the public the mechanics of why his plan would work. He could start by referencing the Bank of England's own papers explaining how money is actually created.


Well in truth and to counter this authors claims , the private market is only "better" at providing consumer goods and "better" is a very subjective term.

Further to that what exactly IS a "consumer good" ?

For things such as electricity, phone and tele-communications service , banking , health care , housing and food I see no reason why "the private market better" and given all those THINGS like Iphones and TV's and toasters carry with them costs that private industry shovels onto the environment or the worker (slave wages China to make an I-Phone) I really do not see private industry as being superior there either,


The neocons would raise it much higher for their quest for global hegemony. People are just annoyances to them. Either to be used or disposed of. Neocons are savages.


According to the Congressional Budget Office, as of June 2011 DC politicians had committed $16 trillion of taxpayers' money to various bailout schemes for Wall Street banks to mitigate the "damage" they sustained from the 2008 meltdown.

In 2008 the six largest banks controlled 25% of all US banking assets. Thanks to those same DC politicians today those six banks control 44% of all US banking assets. The next meltdown will result in even larger taxpayer funded bailouts for the banksters.

The money Sanders wants to spend on medical insurance is chump change in the grand scheme.


The author starts off in the right direction with private healthcare. The complexities, higher costs, administrative overhead for individuals, businesses and the healthcare providers, the perverse association of one's job with their healthcare, the uncertainty of what will be covered and thus injecting the private insurer into what should be doctor/patient medical matters, to the detriment of the providers and the patient. As the author is about to get to what would appear to be the crux of his case, he suddenly bails out.

He states, "Now the big issue, I admit, is whether the government can provide equivalent service at lower prices. For the vast majority of consumer goods and services, it can’t." Who exactly does he think he's talking to? Future editorial writers for the WSG or the London Financial Times? Any sane person with two functioning brain cells who hasn't been living their life on another planet is very well aware that his 'big issue' is long used propaganda, total BS. A source whose chief goal is to make a profit would always come in second. Second for its employees, second for the consumers, and second for the public in general. But first for a minority of persons. The whole game is the redistribution of wealth and resources.
People aren't blind to that.

He apparently wants to go in the right direction but is held back by those damn fish hooks he unknowingly has pulling at him. He states, "The usual argument against a federal health insurance program is a blind assertion...", adding that "...real economists have known for more than half a century that health care doesn’t behave like ordinary consumer goods." Let's go back to the beginning of that more than half century when sources like the AMA, The Chamber of Commerce, you know, the 'real' Americans, were accusing medicare of being a communist plot. Meanwhile, other western nations were taking advantage of economy of scale and nationalizing their healthcare systems. "THAT" is why it's 'different', because of the
inclusion of other western nations into the equation. And he says just that.

This is one of the most amazing comments I've ever read in any CD article. While trying to explain that healthcare is 'different' from , 'ordinary consumer goods', he states: "...the best evidence that health care is different comes from comparing the United States to other rich countries, which all have something closer to a single payer model for health insurance." This has to be the comment of the decade. Picture a Sherlock Holmes looking downward with his magnifier searching for footprints of the giant dragon while walking on the back of that same giant dragon. Did Mr.Kwak run out of coffee went he wrote that piece? There is nothing inherently 'different' about healthcare vis-a-vis other service costs. It's how it's treated.

An honest, objectively run government program always beat a privately run program. When it doesn't it's because the government itself is run by powerful, wealthy private sources. (surprise surprise). The excuses given don't reach the level of a cartoon. Accusations of 'one size fits all', for instance. If any product or service was a one size fits all it would be the discovery of the millennium. A Nobel Prize winner and hardly a fault. But of course, a bad business model. Whereas a good business model is 30 versions of the same corn flakes. It's amazing how one's vision can vastly improve buy dislodging those damn fish hooks.


Thanks for that. I didn't have the energy or patience to parse it as effectively as you did.


Well stated eyewitness! I was seeing it in the same light but couldn't put words to my thoughts-


yes. soon we shall have only 3 major health insurance corporations nation-wide. So much for "competition" bringing lower costs and better service.


Just as an examples of how this claim of the innate superiroity of the private system in producing a kid is based on ideology rather then fact.

In a for private system profits for the supply of ENERGY are based upon peoples using more energy therefore it is not in their best interests to promote the use of less energy in the home.

Henry Ford made the model T based upon it being one color black and based upon anyone being able to fix it as all the parts would be standard.The premise was the cars could run for many years. Chevrolet came around to sell the idea that all cars would have different platforms , have different parts and redesigned every few years. This was so people would keep buying those cars every time a new model produced. Chevrolets model generated more profits.

And we have light bulbs that can be built to burn for 40 years but as this will hurt profits are designed to fail out of the factory.

None of this is "more efficient".


Good call, and more incisive insight than those within the article, itself.


Well-done. You put into words my visceral responses to this article. Wall Street journal, indeed.