White House report warns of the ‘costs of socialism‘ ahead of midterms

White House report warns of the ‘costs of socialism‘ ahead of midterms
© Greg Nash

The White House on Tuesday issued a report warning of the dangers of socialism two weeks ahead of pivotal midterm elections.

The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers fits with a larger campaign strategy from Republicans trying to portray Democrats as extremists for ideas gaining traction in their party, including Medicare for All, the health proposal that would provide government-run health insurance to cover everyone. 

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Some cases cited by the White House report, however, are far from anything that Democrats have actually proposed.

For example, the report warns against the economic systems of the Soviet Union and Venezuela.

The report also makes extreme comparisons between notable communist leaders like Mao Zedong, and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.), political foes of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE and possible 2020 presidential candidates.

“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.’ ”

Other parts of the report do examine policies that some Democrats are proposing, like Medicare for All, which is gaining support on the left, or higher taxes.

The report states that Medicare for All would have to be financed through higher taxes and would cause GDP to “fall by 9 percent.”

“Coincident with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is making a comeback in American political discourse,” the White House report states. “Detailed policy proposals from self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate.”

Contrary to these proposals, the White House report argues that evidence shows “a strong association between greater economic freedom and better economic performance.”