Fact Check: Bernie Sanders Falsely Says Green New Deal Will Create 20 Million Jobs

Claim: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said that his radical Green New Deal scheme would create 20 million jobs.

Verdict: False. Although Sanders has been touting this 20 million figure for months, there is no evidence that the vast changes to the American economy his plan entails would actually add more jobs than it would subtract. While some new jobs would be created to shift America’s economy toward renewable energy, many jobs would also be eliminated.

The Sanders plan would require enormous amounts of new government spending in support of things such as developing wind-power, weatherizing homes, and building electric power stations for automobiles. An academic connected to the Sanders campaign has estimated that Green New Deal would require $16.3 trillion in new spending.

This spending would create jobs but if the government raises taxes to pay for that spending, it will lower incomes elsewhere in the economy and eliminate jobs. And, of course, many jobs now centered around fossil fuels would be eliminated altogether.

The New York Times reported in September:

Robert N. Stavins, a professor of environmental economics at Harvard University, said politicians were understandably loathe to acknowledge the inevitable elimination of jobs in fossil fuel industries. “They have to come up with these stories about ‘win-win,’ and ‘it’s all good news,’” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s not true.”

Sanders has not provided any details about how his Green New Deal could power such job creation.

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