Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is but one of several Democrats running for her party’s presidential nomination in 2020, and she has ambitious plans to enact if she attains the White House.
In fact, “I have a plan” has become a sort of unofficial slogan of Warren’s campaign already, so ubiquitous has that particular phrase become with the progressive legislator and her grand ideas for the nation.
There’s just one problem, though: All of the plans that Warren has either expressed support for or devised have costs associated with them, and those combined costs over 10 years are estimated to be a greater sum than all of the world’s money put together.
The Washington Free Beacon conducted a rough cost analysis of five major proposals Warren backs — two put forward by others, three proposed by herself — that would cost upward of $129 trillion in federal spending over 10 years.
The first two proposals are the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, which have estimated costs of $94 trillion and $32 trillion over 10 years, respectively, for a running total of $126 trillion.
Then there are the estimated costs over a decade of Warren’s own three specific proposals: $100 billion to combat opioid drug addiction, up to $1.5 trillion to cancel student debt and provide free college education for all, as well as $700 billion to provide “universal” child care for working parents. That would add another nearly $3 trillion in spending to the $126 trillion above, a rough total of $129 trillion over a 10-year period, or some $12.9 trillion annually.
Unfortunately, that grand sum — which would be on top of the roughly $4 trillion in annual federal spending already — is likely a greater sum than all of the money in the world at this moment combined.
Business Insider reported in November 2017 that, at best, it was estimated there was anywhere from $5 trillion to $80 trillion around the world at that point.
The low estimate of $5 trillion came from the Bank for International Settlements and was essentially a tally of all of the hard currency — coins and paper notes — in circulation around the globe.
In just the United States, the Federal Reserve estimates that there is only about $1.5 trillion in hard U.S. currency circulating around the country.
The much-higher estimate of $80 trillion came from the CIA World Factbook, but it included far more than just the hard currency in circulation that the international bank tracked.
The CIA estimate included what is known as “broad money,” another way of describing the combined total of accessible money around the world, which includes such things as personal bank account balances, money markets, assets and properties, and other intangibles that could conceivably be converted into cash.
The problem with “broad money,” however, is that much of it only exists theoretically as balance figures on digital ledgers, since banks don’t keep vaults stocked full of everybody’s funds and instead loan those funds out to others.
Were everyone in the world to attempt to withdraw their saved money from banks at the same time, only a fraction of the people would actually receive their money before the banks ran dry. Yet, Warren’s few plans would exceed all of the known cash in the world on an annual basis, and the projected 10-year costs of her plans would be more than one and half times all of the theoretical wealth accumulated around the world.
To borrow a phrase often used by the enviro-lefties such as Warren, that is beyond being “unsustainable” in the economic sense, but is in fact unfathomable in its monstrosity.
To be sure, none of the sums presented here is an exact calculation, but the basic point remains the same nonetheless: Sen. Warren’s ambitious presidential plans would not only be too expensive for the United States’ taxpayers but would even be too costly for the entire world.
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