This is from Vox. Yes, Vox.
America might be ready for democratic socialism. It’s not ready for the bill.
Single-payer health care, a jobs guarantee, and free college would require massive tax hikes. There’s no way around it.
Is this honesty from Vox? That’s like spotting bigfoot riding a unicorn, lets investigate further.
Democratic socialism is having a moment. Sen. Bernie Sanders mobilized millions of voters during the 2016 campaign, nominally as a Democrat but with many self-professed socialists in his bandwagon. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will likely bring her own brand of socialism to Congress next year, having knocked off New York Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary.
“Free shit” is a popular appeal with stupid young people who pissed away four years tuition on a degree that qualifies them to ask “do you want whipped cream on that?”
However, the democratic socialist agenda will face resistance not only from other lawmakers but from basic math. Their promises, which include free college, a single-payer health care system, guaranteed jobs, and more, would require astonishingly high expenditures that would cause the federal deficit to skyrocket. Once the costs become clear, most mainstream politicians and voters will surely balk. Making big promises is one thing; paying for them is another.
That’s not a problem, math is racist, we can just ignore it.
Adding up the proposals, using nonpartisan and left-leaning sources
Let’s add up the cost of the popular far-left proposals, something very few breathless discussions of the democratic-socialism trend do.
This is going to be fascinating!
Last week, the Mercatus Center, a libertarian-leaning center at George Mason University, estimated that Sanders’s Medicare-for-all plan would cost the government $32 trillion over the next decade, setting off an intense debate. But we can do this budget exercise using only figures from nonpartisan and even left-leaning groups.
To begin with the necessary context: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assumes a baseline budget deficit of $12.4 trillion over the next decade (assuming current laws continue). And even these projections assume that last year’s tax cuts expire on schedule, though they may well be renewed, and that the recent two-year discretionary spending hike is not renewed in 2020. Most of this deficit is driven by the escalating Social Security and Medicare system deficits.
From that baseline, Sanders has proposed a Social Security expansion, including higher cost-of-living adjustments and higher minimum benefit levels, that the liberal Tax Policy Center estimates will cost $188 billion over the next decade.
The Tax Policy Center also scores the Sanders “free college” proposal at $807 billion over the next decade. (Note that free college benefits students from wealthy families and those whose tuition is currently affordable.)
Next, the center estimates that Sanders’s proposal of up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for new parents and for people with serious health conditions would cost another $270 billion.
Those costs, however, pale beside the cost of replacing private insurance, including copayments, with a Medicare-for-all plan. The liberal Urban Institute estimates that Sanders’s single-payer health plan would add $32 trillion in federal costs over the decade. Note that that’s the exact same figure produced by those George Mason libertarians. (Yes, there are important caveats to that number; I discuss them below.)
Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Democrats also want to guarantee a job for anyone who wants one, at $15 per hour plus benefits. The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, commissioned a report by outside scholars Darrick Hamilton, William Darity, and Mark Paul that estimates the cost of a more modest proposal along these lines (with a lower wage, for example). It suggested the cost would be $56,000 apiece for 9.7 million enrollees, for a total of $6.8 trillion over the next decade.
Finally, Senate Democrats have promised $1 trillion for new infrastructure, and House Democrats are rallying around legislation to pay off all $1.4 trillion in student loan debt — both of which the far left generally supports. I will exclude vague promises such as universal pre-K and expanded special education funding.
Total cost: $42.5 trillion in new proposals over the next decade, on top of the $12.4 trillion baseline deficit.
To put this in perspective, Washington is currently projected to collect $44 trillion in revenues over the next decade. And the Republican tax cut, decried universally by Democrats as irresponsible (and by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Armageddon”) will cost less than $2 trillion over the decade.
The 30-year projected tab for these programs is even more staggering: new proposals costing $218 trillion, on top of an $84 trillion baseline deficit driven by Social Security, Medicare, and the resulting interest costs.
What would be the effects of such an unprecedented spending binge? Federal spending, which typically ranges between 18 and 22 percent of GDP, would immediately soar past 40 percent of GDP on its way to nearly 50 percent within three decades. Including state and local government spending would push the total cost of government to 60 percent of GDP by that point — exceeding the current spending level of every country in Europe.
Holy shit… $218 Trillion dollars and 50% of the GDP.
Welcome to hyperinflation and the collapse of the American economy. This would lead to the kinds of currency destruction that we see in Zimbabwe leading the printing of One Hundred Trillion Dollar bills as pocket change.
Or this image of the conversion of Venezuelan Bolivars to a US dollar.
Keep in mind this is all from LIBERAL sources, so 50% of our GDP is a best case scenario, reality will probably far worse.
Because I’ve become sardonic when it comes to the unhinged lunacy of the Socialist Left in America, I guarantee that when this happens, the media will run with this headline.
It’s not all gloom and doom.
Ocasio-Cortez is starting her political career in the Bronx, and the Bronx Zoo is one of the largest metropolitan zoos in the world.
When the economy collapses, at least the people of her district will have a wide variety of wild animals they can bash in the head with a rock and eat.
7 thoughts on “Every gray cloud has a zebra skin lining”
“50% of the GDP”
Pffrt. It’s not real socialism until it crosses 100%.
Seriously, though, under that scheme, where is the incentive for someone like me (highly educated professional in a technical field) to work? Or to go to college in the first place?
Speaking of which, not everyone should go to college … just like not everyone should own a house. The key is recognizing that, and that good alternatives are needed. But it seems we keep mistaking correlation (people who own their own homes are on average wealthier) with causation (owning a home makes someone wealthier).
50% of GDP, sounds like European standard socialism to me. Of course, Europeans have the benefit of not having to pay any meaningful amount for defense, and to have their medical research subsidized by US health care consumers, and much of their technology innovation too for that matter.
I thought rocks were outlawed in New York.
Vox wrote: “However, the democratic socialist agenda will face resistance not only from other lawmakers but from basic math. Their promises, which include free college, a single-payer health care system, guaranteed jobs, and more, would require astonishingly high expenditures that would cause the federal deficit to skyrocket.”
Well… hail king of the freakin’ obvious!
This has been one of my main discussion points with hard-core members of both the Republican and Democrat parties.
You want to do *X* or build *Y*, or give *Z* for free? Answer me this: where’s the money going to come from?
Very predictably, they just blab idiocies or get pissy and start with the insults, but never answer the important question. Probably ‘cuz math is raycissst and stuff. 😉
All these talks about single payer neglect to factor in all the unemployment and HUGE drop in stock prices once all the private insurance companies go under and lay everyone off. They employ a LOT of people. Sure, some of them will transition to living off the government teat, but not nearly enough.
And, let’s not forget, anyone working for the government is not contributing to GDP, so it’s actually only making the problem worse if all the insurance co. employees take government jobs.
Instead of referring to it as “Medicare for all” it would be more accurate to say “VA for all”. Even that is optimistic, considering the improvements the VA is undergoing.
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