Report: Elizabeth Warren’s Proposals Will Cost at Least $5 Trillion over Next Decade

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) takes questions from the media at a town hall event on August 17, 2019 in Aiken, South Carolina. Warren has held more than ten 2020 campaign events in the early primary state. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) sweeping campaign proposals will cost the U.S. at least $5 trillion over the next decade, according to an estimate from the Washington Times.

Warren has unveiled exhaustive lists of policy proposals, tackling issues from climate change to “gender-affirming” health care to free college to tribal nation empowerment. However, her plans come with a weighty price tag: at least $5 trillion over the next decade, according to the Washington Times‘ analysis. That number does not include the costs to fully implement Medicare for All or a version of the Green New Deal.

According to the Times:

The Washington Times’ tally of a $5 trillion price tag did not include the cost of fully implementing a “Green New Deal” environmental makeover of the U.S. economy, estimated at between $52 trillion and $93 trillion, or Medicare for All, estimated at between $28 trillion and $32 trillion.

Ms. Warren backs those pricey proposals to varying degrees but has not provided detailed plans for either. She has proffered a “Green Manufacturing Plan” that would cost $2 trillion, which she described as a down payment on a Green New Deal.

Warren, who has embraced the catchphrase “I have a plan for that,” has said she will pay for her ambitious proposals via tax hikes on corporations and the rich. Those hikes would, according to her campaign, generate $5.8 trillion in revenue over the next decade. However, critics worry she is overestimating the expected revenue generated by tax hikes and underestimating the true costs of her plans.

Her massive plan to erase the majority of student debt and offer free college would cost an estimated $1.25 trillion alone. Her universal childcare plan would cost $1.7 billion in the next ten years, and Medicare for All – which was not included in the analysis – could cost, by some estimates, up to $60 trillion over the next decade.

Critics do not view “taxing the rich” as a viable way to pay for the exhaustive measures.

Per the Times:

Fact check groups determined that Ms. Warren inflated some of the tax revenue estimates. The Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact found that the amount gained from repealing some of the 2017 Republican tax cuts was closer to $1 trillion, not the $1.5 trillion stated by Ms. Warren.

Other critiques of her tax plans warned that the wealthy will maneuver to avoid the higher tax bills, thereby decreasing the windfall for the Treasury.

Sen. Warren’s idea that the federal government should spend trillions of dollars more than already budgeted in the years ahead is absurd. The federal budget is already on a collision course with disaster,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and editor of the blog Downsizing the Federal Government.

Edwards warned that Warren’s proposals will ultimately end with an economic crash.

“The current trajectory of spending $1 trillion a year more than revenues will end in an economic and fiscal crisis,” he said, according to the Washington Times. “Warren’s unhinged spending advocacy is like what happens at the peak of a stock market frenzy.”

“The orgy will end in a financial and economic crash that will particularly harm the less-well-off families that Warren and other members of Congress claim to defend,” he added.

A Locust Street Group poll released last week revealed that 64 percent of Americans are unwilling to pay more in taxes to implement Medicare for All, which, as noted, was not part of the Times’ $5 trillion estimate.


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