Medicare for All

Plans by Warren and Sanders Neglect Logic, Math, and Honesty

The Democratic candidates are making promises they can’t deliver.

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The more I follow the Democratic presidential campaign, the more I see how little I understand some people. After all, we can have differences when it comes to ideology, and we can aspire to different things in life. We can even have different understandings of what morality means. Still, there are things on which we should all agree: Because our government is $23 trillion in debt and its annual budget deficits are permanently heading north of $1 trillion, every American should agree that there isn't much space for more spending.

And yet Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) promises that if she becomes president, she will spend $49 trillion over the next 10 years on programs like "Medicare for All," "free" college, and many new family entitlements. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) would like to spend as much as $97.5 trillion over the next decade. That's on top of a $15.5 trillion baseline deficit, according to Brian Riedl at the Manhattan Institute. None of these politicians has a plan to pay for most of what they propose, and the tax plans they have so far are mostly a recipe for less revenue and seriously slower economic growth.

To be fair, Warren and Sanders aren't the first candidates to make promises they can't deliver. Nor are they unique in campaigning on platforms that would be disastrous for our economy. Most politicians behave this way. In fact, both parties are to blame for implementing bad policies that failed to deliver advertised benefits while adding significant sums to the national debt (think the Affordable Care Act and Medicare Part D, for example). And of course, the lack of fiscal responsibility by the current president is evidenced by the speed at which the budget deficit is rising.

But what is unique about Warren and Sanders is the scale of their schemes to grow the size of government in America without any consideration for fiscal sanity.

What truly puzzles me is that while the math doesn't add up at all—and the worlds they want to produce won't see the light of day without serious pain for most Americans—they have hundreds of thousands of people cheering them along the way. This is crazy. Let's be honest, the plans by Warren and Sanders almost sound like a 4-year-old's wish list to improve the country (e.g., more candy, more unicorns, more desserts, cartoons throughout the day, all of which is to be paid for by the Wicked Witch of the West and Captain Hook).

Adults, however—such as Riedl—aren't cheering. The amount of spending Warren wants is astronomical. She had planned to finance some of this additional spending with a wealth tax and other levies on the rich. When taken to task for having no plan for her $32 trillion Medicare for All proposal, she eventually delivered a plan. But it doesn't hold water, as Riedl spells out in brutal detail in a recent Daily Beast column.

Nor is there any word yet on how to reduce the gigantic deficit that the current Medicare system already faces. As Riedl explains, that shortfall "is projected to total $44 trillion over the next 30 years—plus an additional $28 trillion in resulting interest costs—that will need to be financed with general revenues." Warren's new plan would not address that math problem. In fact, says Riedl, "the large Medicare-For-All taxes would leave few remaining options to close this baseline gap."

Meanwhile, Sanders would like to spend twice what Warren proposes. This additional spending would be on a $30 trillion guaranteed-jobs program, on top of Medicare for All and "free" college. He, too, doesn't have the money to pay for most of these schemes, but at least he acknowledges that there is no way around raising taxes on the middle class. Warren is still trying to create the illusion that rich people and bad corporations will be the only ones paying for the spectacular increase in spending.

But again, they're politicians. It's difficult to live in Washington and take them seriously. What I would like to know, though, is how their followers—many of whom are highly intelligent pundits—can honestly justify the scale of the deception.

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  1. What I would like to know, though, is how their followers—many of whom are highly intelligent pundits—can honestly justify the scale of the deception.

    Because orange man bad. Duh.

    1. Highly intelligent is a bald assertion by the author.

      Just because they have a degree in some social justice, soft science, or political major from an ivy league doesnt mean they are intelligent. Grade inflation is a known product of Ivy Leagues more than productive education.

      1. “Grade inflation is a known product of Ivy Leagues more than productive education.” — This deserves a repeat.

        I’m not sure how [WE] expected anything else to come out of letting politicians standardize EVERYONE’S education. Just as well put the humanities department in charge of the nuclear physics curriculum.

        “Common” Core insisting on “Common” Knowledge that isn’t common at-all in reality… EVER….

      2. I’m sure some of them are. Intelligent people can come to some very bad conclusions. I don’t think lack of intelligence is an adequate explanation for why people buy into stuff like that.

      3. Well educated with no common sense, & souls devoid of any ethical morality….They are just brain-washed Socialists/Cultural Marxists!

    2. “Because orange man bad. Duh.”

      Orange Man bad?!? He BAD, all right! He SOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

      We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!

      See The Atlantic article by using the below search-string in quotes:
      “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet”

      He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me realty schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!

      All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

      Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

      Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

      1. You cannot even begin to stay on topic, can you?

        1. Trump obviously live in his head.

          Why have a conversation when you can just rant against Trump?

          1. Or rant for Trump.

        2. “Demosthenes of Athens” says “Orange Man Bad” (what a genius sentiment!) so I chip in to “agree”… If this is “off topic”, then Demosthenes of Athens started it! If conservatives don’t want to discuss “Orange Man Bad”, then they should STOP bringing it up!

          Also, I notice that no one ever bothers to refute what I have to say about this!

      2. YAWN!!!…This is the same exact post you have been putting forth several times now & it still is missing the mark….Your supposed witty sarcasm sucks!

    3. It’s more basic than that. They would be pushing this deception no matter who the Republican president was. They would be pushing it no matter who the other Democrat primary candidates were. They are pushing it because they think it will get Warren elected and they think getting Warren elected will benefit them personally.

      I’m convinced that anyone who makes it into national politics is a self-interested cynic through and through.

  2. Plans by Warren and Sanders Neglect Logic, Math, and Honesty

    Hey, you’ve got to balance the equation somehow!

  3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) promises that if she becomes president, she will spend $49 trillion over the next 10 years on programs like “Medicare for All,” “free” college, and many new family entitlements. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) would like to spend as much as $97.5 trillion over the next decade.

    Oh, is that all? 🙂

    1. Warrens plan per-year per-working-person = $32,666/yr
      Bernie’s plan per-year per-working-person = $65,000/yr

      And I thought my health insurance was too expensive today!

      Funny thing is – they still haven’t introduced legislation to ENSLAVE every single successful business and working person in the USA.

      Without enslavement; Any attempt to collect from the rich will just cause the price of resources produced by those businesses to go up causing runaway inflation on the USD.

      1. TJ…Honestly, I sometimes think the shit these people are proposing comes straight from Mad Magazine. It is just completely FUBAR. Not to worry, they will never get their plans through Congress, and then judicial scrutiny.

        Now people will see the wisdom of Senator McConnell in focusing on the judiciary. The District and Appellate courts will put a stop to these ‘free stuff fantasies’.

        1. Exactly Atlas; I hope Trump gets another term in office if only to completely reform the judiciary for another couple of generations.

          1. Bingo! = Judiciary

            POTUS Trump’s 45th Circuit court nominee (Nardini 2nd Circuit) will probably be confirmed today. That will be 25% of the Appellate Court judges. There are seven more behind him. With an additional 4 years, it is not unreasonable to assume he would get to 90 (which would be 50% of the Appellate Court judges). That would be a true game changer.

            SCOTUS has two ‘liberal’ justices (Breyer, Ginsburg) who may be replaced in the next 4 years. This would be an even bigger game changer.

            Finally, POTUS Trump stands at 110 District court judges confirmed. There are literally 52 nominees in various stages of confirmation, with an additional 42 to be named. It is not unreasonable to think that by January 2021 he will have gotten at least 180 district court judges on the bench. With an additional 4 years, that number will be WELL north of 200, and may even approach 300. A third game changer.

            This drives my uber-lib friends in synagogue absolutely crazy.

        2. They took a page from Trump’s negotiating strategy. Start an order of magnitude above what you’re actually willing to accept and then call the other side stupid/evil when they balk.

        3. ” . . . Not to worry, they will never get their plans through Congress, and then judicial scrutiny . . . ”

          Want to bet? I give you the Affordable Care Act.

      2. Funny thing is – they still haven’t introduced legislation to ENSLAVE every single successful business and working person in the USA.

        Like I’ve jokingly said in the past, that’s why they need to tear down all the old civil war monuments.

        1. Umm … the government of the northern States ensured that chattel slavery of some was replaced by political slavery of all. Just because you haven’t figured it out, a government that isn’t built on consent, but force, who holds that it has and ought to have an absolute and irresponsible power over us, is evidence of your position as slaves.

          No reason to tear down any monuments.

      3. Funny thing is – they still haven’t introduced legislation to ENSLAVE every single successful business and working person in the USA.

        It’s not funny, it just goes without saying. As much as socialists can be honest as to what exactly socialism is, it doesn’t defy math and logic to propose these huge new spending programs – you just have to understand they’re not starting from the $5 trillion or so baseline of government revenue, they’re starting from the $20 trillion or so baseline of the national income. You didn’t build that, it’s not your money. It’s all belongs to the government and for far too long the government has been over-generous with allowing you to keep the majority of your paycheck. Well, no more. The government needs that money and they can spend it much more wisely than you can so you’re going to have to get used to Uncle Bernie not being quite so spendthrift with your allowance.

        This is simply and plainly what collectivism is – nothing is “yours”, it’s all “ours”. Why should you have any more say than I do over how to dispose of the business you’re currently running, the home you’re currently occupying, the clothes you’re currently wearing, the food you’re currently eating or the money you’re currently holding? It’s not yours, it’s ours, and we all get a vote on the matter. (Well, obviously it would be too difficult to have an actual vote over every little decision, but our wise and benevolent masters know how we would vote if we were as wise and benevolent as they, so it’s just easier to proceed as if the voting had actually taken place, but you know what I mean.)

        1. As long as everyone is clear, the socialist are the collective Republicans and Democrats … right?

  4. Some irony in this article…

    “And of course, the lack of fiscal responsibility by the current president is evidenced by the speed at which the budget deficit is rising.”

    They complaon about the highly intelligent being so wrong…. yet spend so little time investigating a claim they want to push. The deficit growth mentioned here is largely from entitlements and programs in place prior to the current president. Go look at debt projections from the CBO in 2012 and you will see the increase of deficits due to entitlement programs, namely Medicare and medicaid. The CBO had 1 trillion dollar deficits in 2020 in their baseline projection model, based solely on growth of current spending programs. The same programs Obama even warned about as a non controllable growth curve.

    1. One might argue that any president not trying to address those problems as a top priority is not fiscally responsible.

      1. Easier said than done.

        Sure the prez can veto any spending that doesn’t have a veto proof majority. But we have learned that if he does, it becomes a game of chicken over government shutdown. Has any president ever won that game?

        It’s not really the presidents responsibility. The purse belongs to Congress. The president is very limited in this area.

        1. When things go Trump’s way, it is to his credit and shows the power of the unitary executive and the power of Trump’s mighty persuasion.

          When things go against Trump, it is because he has so little actual power.

          Behold: TDS!

          1. Stupid comment since my post is not about Trump.

            Perhaps the TDS is you trying to make my post a Trump post.

            1. “the prez” is not about Trump? What, are you from the future and hinting strongly that he gets impeached?

              1. Has what he stated been different for any President since the 1970s at least? Well Bill maybe and Obama who the GOP Congress actually forced to sign smaller budgets then what they wanted to.

                1. Of course it applies to all Presidents! But Trumpistas now, just as Obamlites previously, and Bushmongers and Clintonites and Bushmongers and Reaganauts and all the others, like to pretend that the power is good when their guy is in office.

              2. “”“the prez” is not about Trump?””

                No. It’s about the office which includes people before Trump and after Trump. It would include Trump since he is the prez at the moment. But my point does not apply to only Trump and is not about Trump per se.

                “”hinting strongly that he gets impeached?””

                Stupid comment. This is not about impeachment at all. It’s highlighting the problem any president has with trying to control the budget.

  5. Even if all the criticisms in this piece are valid, we Koch / Reason libertarians should still support Warren or Sanders over Drumpf or any Republican. Because we prioritize #ImmigrationAboveAll. It’s better to have open borders and tens of trillions in new spending than concentration camps and lower spending.

    #VoteDemocratForOpenBorders

    1. There is no politics like single issue politics, is there?

      Or you could say “health care is a HUMAN RIGHT and it is just not up for debate!”

      Damn the budget; we have to find a cure for cancer/ AIDS/ world hunger/ save the whales….whatever you want.

  6. But what is unique about Warren and Sanders is the scale of their schemes to grow the size of government in America without any consideration for fiscal sanity.

    Yeah, this is true. But what about the loss to our liberty and personal autonomy that their plans represent?! My observation is that every time we have these grandiose schemes, our individual liberties are eroded.

    More than anything, this is what truly frightens me about their schemes: The loss of our individual liberty.

    1. And once we are all dog ass poor, our serfdom will be complete.

  7. The neglect logic, math, and honesty?

    No, this is a profound misunderstanding. They don’t neglect them, they actively reject them as products of a white capitalist patriarchy.

    1. I think that perspective is pretty fringe, even among the progressive left. Especially the older generation.

      1. the poll numbers suggest upwards of 40 percent of democrats would vote for one of these two. That means 40 percent hear these numbers, process it, and still tell other people they’d vote for these candidates

  8. I’d love a legit third party in the general, but Reason’s coverage of Trump vs any of these morons will be amazing. The hoops they’ll have to jump through to both sides 2020 will be plentiful

    1. The poster John made a very, very good point about this a few days ago. His assertion was that just a third-party only truly helps either Team D or Team R. It is not really a choice. But when you get to four or more parties, that is where real choice sets in. That is because it will force different coalitions for different legislation.

      I thought that was a very insightful point that gets lost in the third-party discussion.

      1. We have more than 3 parties (libertarian, green, etc). The problem is that the power is concentrated among 2 of them. And since it’s all about power for R’s and D’s, it’s nearly impossible to break their hold. Both sides know it, and if a 3rd party had a shot, one would protect the other.

        1. A good start would be to recognize that the R’s and the D’s are private organizations and the state has no more interest in how they go about selecting their nominees than it does for the Moose Lodge or the Elk’s Club. What’s with this publicly-funded primary voting bullshit? What do I care who you want to pick to represent your party? Why do I have to help pay for your process of picking your candidate for your party? Just because lots of people are interested in the process the government should pay for it? Lots of people are interested in blowjobs and beer, I don’t see the government offering to pay for that. You’d get more votes offering free blowjobs and beer than free voting I’ll bet.

  9. Wikipedia (which I take with a grain of salt) says government spending as a percentage of GDP in the USA is about 42%. The same list shows other developed nations in the 45 to 50% range (like Germany, France) – and Bernie’s favorite, Denmark, at 58%. The same Wiki article shows “tax burden as a percentage of GDP” – those numbers line up differently for the most part. “Free” universities are one example of differences. Warren and Sanders no doubt think we shouldn’t worry about government spending going up (relative to GDP) to be similar to those other developed nations – and it’s clear they suggest our tax burden should be higher relative to GDP. Of course, they don’t want to talk about differences in GDP growth. I’d like to see Veronique crunch the numbers for us to see where Warren’s plans would put the government spending as a percentage of GDP as well as the tax burden relative to GDP. Those numbers would be more meaningful to me that “$97.5 trillion” or whatever. I want context – the big scary numbers are not necessarily scary for the world’s largest economy.

    1. I’d like to see Veronique crunch the numbers for us to see where Warren’s plans would put the government spending as a percentage of GDP as well as the tax burden relative to GDP.

      They want to take the worlds biggest government and are promising to roughly double (Warren) or triple(Sanders) FedGov spending.

      Spending as percent of GDP assuming either of the fools got their way would be minimum of 60% GDP, and probably closer to 70%.

      Is that scary enough for you?

      1. Yes – thank you.

  10. “The Democratic candidates are making promises they can’t deliver.”

    And how is this in any way news, or even worthy of comment?
    It’s like a commentary on the sun rising in the east.

    1. You can tell what a candidate won’t do once elected by listening to what they say on the campaign trail.

  11. “What I would like to know, though, is how their followers—many of whom are highly intelligent pundits—can honestly justify the scale of the deception.” Because they are only considered highly intelligent by their fellow degree holders in 13th century French lesbian poetry. Not any STEM reality classes. Oh and then there is the old end justifying the means and the fact they all suffer severe TDS which is proving incurable. Oh and they simply don’t know math.

  12. Elizabeth Warren’s Plan may be a Massive Win for the Medicare for All Movement, but it would be a disaster for the health of the American middle class. Medicare itself is driving doctors into retirement (burn-out), limiting the time doctors spend with patients, and limiting the guidance doctors provide their patients (pill for an ill, quick).
    Which bright minds will go into medicine and incur huge educational debt if the pay they get is limited by the government? Medicare for all is mediocre care for even those who could afford better.

  13. Name me the politician that knows anything about logic, math or honesty. The Marxist schools haven’t taught any of those in over 50 years. Honesty being something a politician would never use, and logic is never to be found in Marxism.

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