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Michael Linden
I have some thoughts on this piece by and I am going to keep it relentlessly civil. First off, this is a fair piece. He does what he says he will do. He uses fair estimates of existing proposals and adds them up. Totally reasonable! 1/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
Second, of the $42 trillion number, most of that work is being done by just two policies: The Sanders Version Medicare-For-All ($32 trillion) and a Jobs Guarantee (~$7 trillion). The other 4 or 5 policies together add up to under $4 trillion, or about 1.5% of GDP. 2/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
To put that 1.5% of GDP in perspective, the combined tax cuts of the last two decades have totaled about 1.9% of GDP from 2001-2018 and will cost about 2.4% of GDP through 2025. 3/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
Even if we add back in the jobs guarantee cost, the total price tag is about 4.2% of GDP. If we raised federal revenue by that amount, we'd end up with roughly Canada-level taxation levels (which still would put the U.S. in the bottom 3rd of OECD countries). 4/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
So the question is not really, "how will we pay for the progressive agenda" it's really: "How do we design a financing system for a single-payer health care system?" 5/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
That's a totally fair question that spends some time discussing in his piece (again, in a very fair way). 6/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
Lastly, I want to make a point that I am sure will be controversial: The progressive agenda will boost economic growth and more importantly, will boost wages at the bottom and in the middle. 7/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
That economic affect is not really accounted for in Brian's analysis. Boosting wages and growth up and down the income distribution will mean more revenue collected and fewer costs in other areas of the budget. 8/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @Brian_Riedl
I'm no fan of "dynamic scoring" when doing budget projections, but in an exercise like this, where no one is about to vote on anything, I think it's worth including. 9/
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Replying to @MichaelSLinden
Final final thought: Brian's not wrong that the left has proposed some big and bold ideas! He's also not wrong that there are details that still remain to be ironed out. I do think this particular exercise doesn't land where he thinks it does. 10/
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Micah Weinberg Aug 7
There is evidence to suggest that economic mobility is greater in countries with stronger safety nets but what is the basis for the claim that we'd have more economic growth?
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Michael Linden Aug 7
Berg and Ostry have demonstrated that high levels of income inequality lead to slower growth and shorter expansions.
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Micah Weinberg Aug 7
An interesting but somewhat distinct claim. I guess I find single payer=growth explosion on par with tax cuts=growth explosion. Credible argument for universal healthcare access (which I support) is universal healthcare access. But there will be tradeoffs, some economic.
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Michael Linden Aug 7
I'm not saying single payer = growth explosion. I'm saying policies that shift power from the top 1% to workers/families/consumers = positive growth effects. Also, tax cuts = growth explosion has been repeatedly tried and repeatedly failed.
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