Doug Henwood – NYT Rounds Up ‘Left-Leaning Economists’ for a Unicorn Hunt

With Hillary Clinton ramping up her attacks on Bernie Sanders as a budget-buster—in the February 11 debate, she claimed  his proposals would increase the size of government by 40 percent—the New York Times(2/15/16) offered a well-timed intervention in support of her efforts: “Left-Leaning Economists Question Cost of Bernie Sanders’ Plans.”

While the “left-leaning” is no doubt meant to suggest critiques from those who would be inclined to sympathize with Sanders, all the quoted economists have ties to the Democratic establishment. So slight is their leftward lean that it would require very sensitive equipment to measure.

Opinion pieces critical of Sanders often begin with a pledge of allegiance to his “impracticality.” This story, by Times reporter Jackie Calmes, is an “objective,” newsy version of that:

With his expansive plans to increase the size and role of government, Senator Bernie Sanders has provoked a debate not only with his Democratic rival for president, Hillary Clinton, but also with liberal-leaning economists who share his goals but question his numbers and political realism.

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