So much for Danish socialism: Bernie Sanders's spending plans would Sovietize the U.S.
Insisting he'd only like to make America into 'Denmark,' and always mocking concerns about socialism's historic record, Bernie Sanders keeps coming up with ever grander sweeping socialist spending proposals. His latest is a $16 trillion "greener" new deal, which would end carbon production in the U.S., permit only government ownership of renewable energy and imprison U.S. energy executives. It comes on top of a slew of other massive spending proposals.
The whole thing has got the left cheering wildly, declaring Bernie in 'beast mode.' The crowds are unmistakeably big at Bernie rallies, too. On Twitter, Sanders is getting scads of 'likes,' for it, with more than 17,000 here and 34,000 here. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew more than 122,000 'likes' for her recent praise of Bernie here, and another plus-55,000 here.
John Merline at Issues & Insights decided to run the numbers on just what Sanders is proposing that's drawing all those cheers, and found something alarming:
So let’s do the math. Over 10 years, Sanders wants to spend: almost $33 trillion on Medicare for All, more than $16 trillion on a Green New Deal, $2 trillion on free college and debt forgiveness, $3.5 trillion on a jobs guarantee, and $1.8 trillion on new Social Security benefits. Add it all up, and it’s more than $5.6 trillion a year. Assuming that every one of these programs costs more than Sanders claims, the grand total would easily reach $6 trillion a year.
Numbers are building blocks, and it's the implication of those numbers that's what's really scary. Merline found those, too:
For those keeping score, that would more than double the size of the federal government, which this year will spend a total of $4.5 trillion.
Looked at more broadly, it would result in the federal government’s claim on the economy climbing to 48% of GDP. When you add in state and local government spending, total government share of GDP would top to 62%.
That would make the U.S. a far more socialist nation than Finland (where government spending accounts for 57% of GDP), Denmark (54.5%), Sweden (49.6%) or Norway (48.8%), and to the left of every other industrialized country.
That's a government takeover of the economy. And to pay for this, billionaires would not be sufficient, he writes - Americans would see their taxes tripled down the line to pay for all this free stuff. That's assuming static-account ledgering of course, nobody going Galt and simply saying 'I'm not going to produce.' Color us skeptical on that being how it is going to work.
Bottom line: that this isn't Denmark Sanders is proposing, given the size of the U.S. economy he's proposing to effectively take over, this far more similar to the size percentage of the economy the Soviet Union controlled. Same place where Sanders spent his honeymoon, the country he's always identified with historically. He's going big.
When you throw in that under Sanders greener new deal, all alternative energy would be socialized as the property of the state (public ownership, they call it) and Bernie himself tweets that energy executives would be imprisoned, you start to get a whiff of the coercive flavor that inevitably comes of an authentic government takeover of the economy such as Sanders is proposing. Short story: Sanders is not serious about turning America into Denmark, he just wants you to think he is.
It's actually very chilling. One of these days, someone like Bernie may well take power. The pendulum swings here, and the crowds are big at the Bernie rallies, meaning a lot of truly enthusiastic supporters, convinced that paradise is around the corner with a government takeover, same as Lenin and Hugo Chavez convinced their comparable crowds. America could never become the USSR or Venezuela as a result of Bernie's takeover of America's energy industry, could it? They're sure it can't, because Bernie says Denmark.
The numbers tell a different story. Read the whole thing here.
Image credit: Twitter screen shot