Whether she realizes it or not, Cynthia Nixon, the Democratic Socialist candidate for governor of New York, has created the perfect slogan for her movement.
"Pass it and then figure out how to fund it," she said of her universal health care plan during an interview with the New York Daily News' editorial board.
Truer words have never been spoken. Neither Nixon nor any other self-described Democratic Socialist has the foggiest idea how to pay for their proposals. A recent analysis of Bernie Sanders' health care plan estimates the cost at $32 trillion over ten years; a staggering $3.2 trillion per year. By way of comparison, the entire federal budget for Fiscal Year 2017 was $3.3 trillion.
"Who cares?" cry Nixon and other socialists. "Pass it and then figure out how to pay for it!"
The level of vapidity on display would be laughable if it wasn't so widespread. The Democratic Party's rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, couldn't explain how she would pay for her policies during the softest of softball interviews on The Daily Show.
Her supporters didn't fare much better.
Perhaps this is why the older guard of the socialist movement--including Sanders and Elizabeth Warren-are rarely, if ever, asked about the cost of their movement.
And as Vox.com (of all websites) noted, it will be very, very costly. To pay for universal health care, college tuition for all, paid family leave, a guaranteed job paying $15 an hour for anyone who wants one, and Social Security expansion, the federal government would have to come up with a truly staggering figure:
Total cost: $42.5 trillion in new proposals over the next decade, on top of the $12.4 trillion baseline deficit.
To put this in perspective, Washington is currently projected to collect $44 trillion in revenues over the next decade. And the Republican tax cut, decried universally by Democrats as irresponsible (and by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Armageddon”) will cost less than $2 trillion over the decade.
The 30-year projected tab for these programs is even more staggering: new proposals costing $218 trillion, on top of an $84 trillion baseline deficit driven by Social Security, Medicare, and the resulting interest costs.
Total private wealth in the United States is estimated at a little more than $100 trillion, meaning that if the government were to confiscate all of it--every last cent--to pay for a socialist agenda, it would still fall well short of half of the cost of the 30-year projection.
Turns out Margaret Thatcher was right about socialism: Eventually you do run out of other people's money. So how would America ever manage to pay for what this new generation of socialists is demanding? Who cares! We'll just pass it and then figure out how to fund it.