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 WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.), political foes of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools 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.”