When Hillary announced her new quarter-trillion dollar spending plan for infrastructure last week, there were two possibilities.
One, she doesn’t know the federal government is running half-trillion dollar annual deficits and is carrying an $18.5 trillion national debt.
Or two: she doesn’t care.
The former Secretary of State won great applause among unions and the construction lobby for her $275 billion public works plan. She bemoaned “the sorry state” of our infrastructure. But whose fault is that? Didn’t Barack Obama just spend hundreds of billions of dollars on “shovel ready” projects a few years ago as part of his stimulus program?
Oh and by the way, this former Secretary of State who is so distraught over the condition of our infrastructure announced last month she opposes the Keystone XL pipeline that would create as many as 10,000 mostly union jobs and wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a penny.
Bernie Sanders continues to push Hillary Clinton to the left, and so the cost of her “free” agenda keeps escalating. By my estimates the overall price tag now exceeds $1 trillion when including the direct tab to taxpayers and the mandated costs on employers — which is, of course, nothing more than a hidden tax on businesses that hire American workers.
Here is a quick tally of the Hillary spend-fest:
• Infrastructure: This includes $250 billion for new construction projects plus $25 billion for a new infrastructure public-private “infrastructure bank.” This would be much like a Fannie Mae for financing roads, bridges, and green energy projects. It’s supposed to be free to taxpayers, but that is what the politicians said about Fannie and Freddie Mac, which required a $150 billion taxpayer bailout.
• “College Affordability”: This is a $350 billion plan that would give students and colleges more federal dollars to try to make college less costly to families. But more money for universities has meant ever higher costs to families, with many colleges now costing as much as $50,000 a year. What colleges need is not money, but accountability.
• Double Early Head Start funding: This is estimated to cost about $10 billion over five years.
• Green energy projects: No one knows the price tag but Obama has spent $150 billion. Let’s put her down for $50 billion on new Solyndra projects.
• Preschool for 4 year olds: The cost isn’t specified but a similar proposal by President Obama carried a tab of $75 billion.
• Paid parental leave: Earlier this year Hillary declared: “It’s outrageous that America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee paid leave.” An independent study by the American Action Forum estimates that 16 weeks of paid parental leave, as some cities have proposed, would cost employers nationwide between $306 billion and $1.9 trillion a year.
• Minimum wage hike: On several occasions Hillary has endorsed a higher minimum wage, but she hasn’t yet specified a number. The standard Democratic proposals are to raise the wage to anywhere between $10.10 and $15 an hour. Even a $10.10 minimum wage could cost businesses $75 billion more in salaries, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Now here’s the rub: Does anyone believe the Hillary solemn promise that she won’t tax the middle class to pay for this trillion dollars of freebies? She has told Americans that if their family makes less than $250,000 their tax bill isn’t going up. But to get all of this money for new spending from the top 2 percent would require tax rates to go over 50 percent. We are back to the good old days of the 1970s.
Any voters who really believe that Hillary won’t raise their taxes probably deserve to have their taxes raised as a fine for gullibility.