Sanders’ plan, though all of its costs cannot be precisely quantified, would increase government spending as a share of the economy far more than the New Deal under President Franklin Roosevelt, the Great Society under Lyndon Johnson or the agenda proposed by any recent Democratic presidential nominee, including liberal George McGovern in 1972, according to a historical analysis shared with CNN by Larry Summers, the former chief White House economic adviser for Barack Obama and treasury secretary for Bill Clinton.
Sanders’ plan would also increase the size of government far more than any modern Republican president, including Ronald Reagan, has sought to cut it, Summers’ analysis concluded.
“On the spending side, … this is far more radical than all previous presidencies, on either the right or the left,” Summers said in an interview. “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. This is six times as large of a growth of government than any of the Ronald Reagan dismemberments. We are in a kind of new era of radical proposal.”