I mentioned this in the Morning Spectacle, but I feel like it deserves more attention.
Bernie Sanders does nothing but promise free stuff to people. That’s his whole gig. Free school, free healthcare, free day care. Basically free everything. It’s a free paradise! He’ll happily tax the rich to the hilt in order to make certain that no one with a five-figure income will ever have to shell out a single dollar for anything ever again. They may have to wait in line like good members of the proletariat, but that should be of no concern for such a dedicated slate of workers. After all, socialism has worked so well for so many, how could it possibly go wrong this time?
As the great Margaret Thatcher once said, socialism only works until you run out of other people’s money. And at the rate Bernie Sanders would spend, he’d run out of money before they’d swept up all the confetti from the inauguration. His whole plan, from top to bottom, would have a totally reasonable price tag of a mere $18 trillion.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose liberal call to action has propelled his long-shot presidential campaign, is proposing an array of new programs that would amount to the largest peacetime expansion of government in modern American history.
In all, he backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal, a sum that alarms conservatives and gives even many Democrats pause. Mr. Sanders sees the money as going to essential government services at a time of increasing strain on the middle class.
The funny thing is, such a number will undoubtedly increase the strain on the middle class. After all, rich people can afford to hire accountants to create more effective structures for their money – and that’s if their “more effective structure” isn’t simply to leave, as they did whenFrance instituted it’s “millionaires tax.” The people mostly likely to end up paying for Bernie’s buffett of bureaucracy will be small business owners, people who make above the average, and those who end up driving the economic engine that ultimately powers the welfare state. Which, of course, means the welfare state will run out of money….quick.
Better get that free Genders Studies degree immediately.
The funny thing is, the Washington Post responded immediately to the Wall Street Journal story, reassuring readers that the Sanders plan really won’t cost $18 trillion. What they end up doing instead is scaring the living daylights out of anyone who expected $18 trillion to be the high estimate. According to the WaPo, much of the $18 trillion estimate comes from a single-payer health care proposal that Sanders has sponsored in the Senate. But instead of being a complete platform for the Sanders Presidency, that’s merely one costly aspect. A $15 trillion aspect. It may be divided over a decade, but so will all of his plans be:
And while the WaPo argues that what Sanders is spending is not even close to what is actually needed for things like infrastructure repair work, much of those costs are shared by several levels of government – few are the responsibility of the Federal government alone. They also argue that you’d probably pay more in taxes but less in services, but we’ve seen with Obamacare that that’s simply not the case. The government would have to practice restraint, ultimately, in order to keep costs low – whether that restraint is in the size and service provided by a healthcare system, or in the cost. People who can afford to pay more will pay more, until they can’t afford to pay more. People who pay less will see their world of services decrease until only basic services are available on demand.
But you already know all that. The point is, what makes the Bernie Sanders number so effectively unsettling, even in the context of a spending plan and a services configuration, is that it seems entirely plausible and Sanders isn’t about to refute that assumption. In fact, he’d happily say that that’s exactly his plan – to raise taxes in order to make government services free, regardless of the ultimate cost. The bogeymen of the 1% will simply have to pay for it. All $18 trillion of it.