by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Leading Democrats are pushing an agenda that would more than double the size of the federal government. This comes as a new Gallup Poll finds that the public views government as the most important problem facing the country today.
Gallup regularly asks what are the biggest problems facing the country today. The latest shows “government” well in the lead, with “immigration” No. 2.
Another Gallup poll finds that, despite all the focus on left-wing celebrities like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the country remains far more conservative than liberal — with 35% saying they are conservative compared with 26% who are liberal. The rest fall in the middle.
Nevertheless, many in the Democratic Party are rushing to embrace policies that would, if enacted, result in government controlling a bigger share of the U.S. economy than “socialist” countries like Sweden or Norway.
There’s no doubt that each of these proposals has a bumper sticker appeal: “Medicare for all,” “universal Pre-K,” “universal free college,” “guaranteed jobs,” “paid family leave,” expanded Social Security benefits, a federal $15 minimum wage. They all poll well, at least.
But the costs to implement any one of them would be staggering. “Medicare for all,” for example, would cost, conservatively, $32 trillion in its first 10 years. The “guaranteed jobs” price tag is about $7 trillion over a decade. Universal Pre-K: $150 billion. Free college: $750 billion. The “Green New Deal” — untold billions.