It’s the latest salvo from the influential liberal economist, who has been a persistent critic of Sanders and earlier this week accused his campaign of “deep voodoo” economics. His column today builds on a critique of an economic report that Sanders’s people have embraced and praised, one that projects a very rosy economic scenario under a President Sanders. Krugman writes that the report is not just “embarrassing” and “horrifying,” but could damage the progressive movement’s reputation for evidence-based policy-making. It’s a sign, Krugman says, that Sanders is no different from Republicans who peddle “economic fantasies.”
By endorsing outlandish economic claims, the Sanders campaign is basically signaling that it doesn’t believe its program can be sold on the merits, that it has to invoke a growth miracle to minimize the downsides of its vision. It is, in effect, confirming its critics’ worst suspicions.
For a counterpoint, read David Dayen’s excellent column in the New Republic showing that Sanders is not the only liberal who has indulged in a little optimism when it comes to economic projections. The heavyweights criticizing Sanders, including veterans from the Obama and Clinton administrations, have done plenty of non-evidence-based thinking themselves. As Dayen writes, “Let’s not allow one subset of Democratic economists to take the high road of ‘evidence-based’ mathematics when they’re all throwing darts at a board.”