‘It is remarkable how little attention such a huge change has gotten…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) If socialist-leaning Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were elected president, he would increase the cost and size of government to a level unseen since World War II, according to a CNN analysis.
Sanders’s government spending would surpass Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, and it would increase the size of government far more than any modern Republican has sought to cut it.
“On the spending side … this is far more radical than all previous presidencies, on either the right or the left,” said Larry Summers, the former chief White House economic adviser for the Obama administration.
“The Sanders spending increase is roughly 2.5 times the size of the New Deal and the estimated fiscal impact of George McGovern’s campaign proposals,” Summers continued, referencing the progressive 1972 candidate who ran against Richard Nixon.
“This is six times as large of a growth of government than any of the Ronald Reagan dismemberments,” he added. “We are in a kind of new era of radical proposal.”
Few Democratic candidates have asked Sanders how he plans to get away with this. “It is remarkable how little attention such a huge change has gotten,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
“We are literally talking about increases in government spending that would double the size of government as a share of gross domestic product,” she said.
Sanders hasn’t released exact cost projections for his many programs, but he’s estimated that the likely cost of Medicare for All, for example, would be around $30 trillion over the next decade. Add that to the Green New Deal and his plan to cancel all student loan debt, and total federal spending would be nearly $60 trillion or more.
Even Democratic voters should be turned off by these numbers, said Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic group.
“I think if the price tag for the Sanders agenda was [better] known … voters would blanch—even Democratic primary voters would blanch,” Kessler said.
“The truth of the matter is, in primary elections both in 2016 and so far in this one, he’s allowed to skate,” Kessler continued. “He gets graded on a curve. But if he were the nominee, the curve is over. The Republicans will spend a billion dollars picking apart every one of his plans.”