John Stossel: Calculating costs of Dems’ free stuff
Never before have presidential candidates offered voters so much “free” stuff.
Kamala Harris wants you to “collect up to $500 a month.”
No one has tracked the cost of all of the promises. So my video team did!
Who will spend the most? Here are the new spending proposals from the five most popular (according to ElectionBettingOdds.com) candidates, broken down by category, education spending first.
Joe Biden wants to “triple the amount of money we spend for Title I schools” ($32 billion) create “universal pre-K” ($26 billion), provide “free community college” ($6 billion per year) and double the number of psychologists and social workers in schools ($14 billion) — $78 billion total.
Harris also wants to “make community college free” ($6 billion), but she’d add debt-free “four-year public college” ($80.1 billion), “increase government’s investment in child care” dramatically ($60 billion) and “give the average public school teacher a $13,000 raise” ($31.5 billion) for a total of $177 billion.
Pete Buttigieg seems to want to spend less than Harris.
He touts “free college for low- and middle-income students” and would give teachers more money. Assuming his plan is like Harris’, that brings his education total to $87 billion.
Elizabeth Warren would spend much more.
“You’ll be debt-free!” she tells students. Taxpayers, unfortunately, will be deeper in debt, since she would “forgive” most existing student debt and make public college tuition free ($125 billion).
She also wants a “Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act” ($70 billion).
Bernie Sanders would completely “eliminate student debt,” “make public colleges and universities tuition-free” and provide universal day care and pre-K. That totals $280 billion, so Sanders “wins” in education spending.
Let’s look at health care spending.
Harris, Sanders and Warren all propose “Medicare for all,” including for people here illegally.
Sanders goes further, saying, “Under our plan, people go to any doctor they want.” He admits it will cost between $3 trillion and $4 trillion per year, about what the government now spends on everything.
Sanders, Harris and Warren all said they’d ban private health insurance — although Harris now says she’d let private companies sell “Medicare plans” that “adhere to strict Medicare requirements on costs and benefits.”
Welfare? Harris would increase benefits and have the government pay your rent if it’s over 30% of your income ($94 billion).
Warren wants to spend more ($50 billion) on housing.
President Trump hasn’t been a responsible spender either.
Since he took office, spending increased about $500 billion per year. Now he says he’d spend even more: $200 billion a year for infrastructure, $8.6 billion for the border wall construction, $1.6 billion for more NASA funding and on and on, for a total of $267 billion.
While Trump’s $267 billion is bad, the Democrats’ plans are worse. We counted $297 billion proposed by Biden, $690 billion from Buttigieg, $3.8 trillion from Warren, $4 trillion from Sanders and $4.3 trillion from Harris. That would double what the entire federal government spends now.
Harris “wins” the free stuff contest.
John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”