Sweeping plans from 2020 contenders come with trillion-dollar price tags
The Democratic presidential contenders are ready to break the bank with expensive policy proposals that would add trillions of dollars to the deficit if enacted.
The 2020 hopefuls are angling to one-up each other with big policy ideas that would overhaul the U.S. health care system, address climate change and provide free college tuition or erase student debt.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Global Climate Mobilization” plan, hailed by environmental activists as the gold standard, would cost the U.S. government $3 trillion over the next decade.
And Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All” bill, cosponsored by four other 2020 Democrats, would require $32 trillion in government spending, according to one study.
The Democrats have proposed a raft of smaller plans as well, such as Sen. Kamala Harris’s (Calif.) plan to raise teacher pay or Sen. Cory Booker’s (N.J.) proposal to make rent more affordable through housing credits, both of which reach into the hundreds of billions.
In many cases, the Democrats are explaining how they’d pay for the plans, either by rolling back the GOP’s tax cuts, levying new taxes on the wealthiest Americans or eliminating corporate subsidies.
They also argue that the changes they seek will in some cases pay for themselves, either by lowering the cost of health care and drug prices, creating new green jobs or unlocking private sector investments.
But the torrent of expensive policy proposals has drawn criticism from some Democrats, including several 2020 contenders, who warn that the “massive government expansions” will scare off swing voters.
And the proposals have provided ammunition to Republicans, who say they will make the case that Democrats are galloping toward socialism.
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