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White House slams socialism in new report

The 72-page report makes a case against modern policy proposals like "Medicare for All" and free college tuition.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Key Takeaways
  • The report comes from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), which is run by professional economists.
  • It attempts to make direct connections between modern-day progressives and past socialist figures like Stalin and Mao.
  • The report comes in the wake of other explicitly anti-socialist sentiments expressed by the Trump administration.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a report Tuesday titled ‘The Opportunity Costs of Socialism’. The 72-page report, authored by professional economists, claims there’s a common thread between modern American democratic socialists and 20th-century socialist authoritarians like Lenin and Stalin.

“We find that historical proponents of socialist policies and those in the contemporary United States share some of their visions and intents,” the report states. “They both characterize the distribution of income in market economies as the unjust result of ‘exploitation,’ which should be rectified by extensive state control.”

Although the report is careful to note that “present-day” socialists in U.S. politics don’t want dictatorship or state brutality, the authors single out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), both of whom have been major adversaries of the Trump administration, as examples of current progressive politicians whose ideology is similar to past communist leaders.

“The Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who cited Marxism as the model for his country, described ‘the ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of the peasants by the landlord class,'” the report states. “Expressing similar concerns, current American senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have stated that ‘large corporations…exploit human misery and insecurity, and turn them into huge profits’ and ‘giant corporations…exploit workers just to boost their own profits.'”

The report also argued strongly against Medicare for All, claiming that implementing the policy by increasing taxes would decrease the GDP by 9 percent, or $7,000 per person, because of “high tax rates that would reduce incentives to supply the factors of production.”

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To bolster the claim that nations with socialized medicine provide inefficient healthcare, the authors included a graph showing that senior citizens in the U.S. tend to wait the least amount of time to see a specialist compared to 11 other countries, including Canada, France and Germany. But, as one Twitter user noted, the U.S. government insures all senior citizens through the single-payer program Medicare.

So, um, a new @WhiteHouseCEA report ostensibly written to argue against Medicare for All uses… the success of Medicare (!) to argue against it. https://t.co/irnkIlNzbhpic.twitter.com/RhndXzAHzE
— Steve Goldstein (@MKTWgoldstein) October 23, 2018

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