We should make it an even $100 trillion. People love round numbers. We’ll find another $7 trillion in the couch cushions.
Or make it $200 trillion. When you’re talking about ridiculous Monopoly-money sums like this, where even supporters have no answer on how to pay for the program beyond “print more money,” it doesn’t matter what the estimate is.
Somewhere Ocasio-Cortez is reading a news story about the study and thinking, “So? We spend like $93 trillion a year on the Pentagon.”
My back-of-the-envelope number for the worst-case scenario in each category is $653,000 per household over 10 years. “In addition to the tax cost and diminished choice, one would expect decreased access to providers, particularly among those who currently have health coverage,” says the study about the universal health care provision, though, so don’t act like you’re not getting anything in return for your money.
Maybe we can save 10 bucks by convincing Democrats to drop “food security” from the plan.
Ed Markey, Ocasio-Cortez’s co-sponsor, was quick to dismiss the estimate for trying to quantify what was essentially just a statement of principles, which is as close as he’ll ever get to admitting that we can’t pay for it:
Any so-called "analysis" of the #GreenNewDeal that includes artificially inflated numbers that rely on lazy assumptions, incl. about policies that aren’t even in the resolution is bogus. Putting a price on a resolution of principles, not policies, is just Big Oil misinformation.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) February 25, 2019
AOC was asked recently about the cost of the plan, though, and her response, essentially, was “You’re welcome”:
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) February 25, 2019
I cannot believe that, due to a few thousand votes in a single congressional district’s primary, Congress is momentarily consumed by this imbecile child’s brand of fantasy politics. But fantasy politics is mostly what we do now, so why shouldn’t Congress spend time on it? The GOP has no answers to anything except tax cuts and entitlement reforms that will never, ever pass (and, in the post-Ryan era, it’s not even half-heartedly offering that as an answer anymore). The left has decided to Go Big to fill the vacuum by trying to address every problem it can think of in one shot, sparing no expense. It’s a non-starter from the first syllable but it’s a good show and communicates its adherents’ ideological virtue in the grandest way, which is what most modern ideological combat is about. It’s not unlike the dopey confrontation over the wall, which was always more about signaling resolve to each side’s base than it was about the efficacy of the proposal.
I’m only half-joking in saying GND supporters should boost the price tag to $200 trillion. There’s literally no number which progressives would say is too steep to accomplish their policy dream wishlist, even if you had a team of Nobel winners offer a study showing it would cost twice as much as they expect. It’s a fantasy. Might as well make the fantasy as big as they can.