Surprise: Bernie Sanders's free stuff will be very expensive for you!
Avowed socialist, pretend independent, wannabe Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is promising lots of free stuff for Americans – and anyone else in the country, legally or not – if he is elected. Free health care! Free education from pre-pre-school through post-post-college. Free family leave.
But how will everything be free! freer! freest! if Sanders also believes in a $15-per-hour minimum wage, and people aren't working for free?
Because, pssst! big secret! – you'll be paying a lot for all that free stuff. As a matter of fact, you'll be paying more than if it weren't free and you actually had paid for it directly. You'll be paying higher taxes – indeed, much higher taxes – either directly or indirectly in the form of pass-along higher costs and limited access. (Think about your Obamacare health insurance with its higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher costs, and limited doctor and hospital choices as a model for this brave new world of free stuff.)
The Washington Examiner posted a chart noting the sources of Sanders' $19.6-trillion proposed taxes. As mentioned above, free stuff is very expensive.
To put that in perspective, the Congressional Budget Office projects that federal revenues over the next 10 years will be a total of $41.6 trillion, meaning that Sanders would raise taxes by 47 percent over current levels.
Oh, and not so incidentally, the above chart is quite optimistic. Actually, the costs – and taxes – will be more because:
... [i]t's also worth keeping in mind that these estimates are on a static basis. Meaning they don't take into account any offsetting reduction in revenue that's likely to occur due to depressed economic activity resulting from such major tax increases. For instance, taxing "speculation" on Wall Street will reduce trading activity, and thus it's unlikely to raise the $300 billion per year claimed by the Sanders campaign.
Oh, where did we see this before? "[D]epressed economic activity resulting from such major tax increases"? The recently collapsed Communist countries; Cuba, whence Cubans flee; and now Venezuela, where even toilet paper is a luxury.
But everything is/was freeeeeeeee! Because it is unavailable. Wheeeee!