That $18 Trillion The WSJ Says Bernie Will Cost America? Yeah, They Made That Up

It would be nice to think that our country’s number one financial newspaper reported actual financial facts. Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal tends to forget about the truth when they talk politics. In a recent article, WSJ threw integrity out the window, reporting that Bernie Sanders would cost the American people $18 trillion.

They are, of course, nothing but a right-wing propaganda machine, fear-mongering their way into 2016. Now that Bernie is gaining some traction and may just be an actual contender for the Democratic nomination, the Wall Street Journal felt it was time to put their lying hooks into him. Using this infographic, the lies began:

One would think that a paper whose main focus is money would understand that spending isn’t nearly as simple as dropping numbers on a page. Especially when that number is that large and is spread out over a decade.

Of the $18 trillion, for example, $15 trillion is for a massive, single-payer universal health care system. The cost of that system isn’t something they got from the Sanders campaign or anything released by Bernie himself, but an estimate from a proposed bill in 2013 that went nowhere. The statistic doesn’t take into account increased tax revenue, since insurance premiums would essentially be a payroll tax, at a greatly reduced rate.

Many of the other items that WSJ calls a “cost” are things like infrastructure and a youth jobs program, both of which are jobs programs. Jobs mean fewer unemployment claims, fewer people on public assistance and increased tax revenue. Increasing Social Security benefits also removes people from other public assistance programs.

Some of the other programs, like paid leave and college affordability, are investments in our future. They are also a drop in the bucket when it comes to the federal budget, especially if you take into consideration the amount we spend on defense we don’t need and the Pentagon doesn’t ask for, corporate welfare to make the rich even richer, and tax loopholes that allow CEOs to pay lower tax rates than their assistants.

The journal doesn’t address any of Bernie’s hard-hitting policy positions on those types of things. They aren’t interested in telling the American people how Bernie Sanders could change the economic landscape of America. They are, after all, the newspaper for Wall Street. The people who took risky Bush-era deregulation and used it to dump our economy in the toilet who have never been held accountable don’t care about college education for our kids or paid family leave. The only infrastructure they need is the road from their midtown apartment to their downtown office.

It’s a shame that a newspaper that should be a pinnacle of truth, reporting on the world’s largest economy from the front lines of commerce can be so misleading.

Featured image: Wikipedia