We’re painting the roses red, Painting the roses red, And many a tear we shed, Because we know, They’ll cease to grow, In fact, they’ll soon be dead. And yet we go ahead, Painting the roses red
Just like the characters in Alice in Wonderland, Representative Ocasio-Cortez apparently knows that what she is doing does not make sense. For the Ace, Two, and Three of clubs, they knew that painting white roses red would kill the roses; for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and the democratic socialists, apparently they understand that their spending dreams are unaffordable. Otherwise, why the failed attempt to oppose the pay-go rule?
Congress’ pay-go rule forces our elected representatives to offset any new spending programs with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget, or tax increases. While the tax increase option is troubling, pay-go rules ensure that Congress cannot ignore the costs associated with new spending programs. This is a problem for democratic socialists.
Total federal spending is around $4 trillion. Their “Medicare for all” plan will cost $32 trillion in spending over 10 years according to the Mercatus Center. Throw in free college, the “Green New Deal,” guaranteed income, and the rest of the socialist agenda and their programs would, over 10 years, increase the government’s spending by at least $42 trillion, or double the current total spending of the federal government.
With the pay-go rules in effect, implementing the socialist agenda requires Congress to double the current tax burden to nearly one-half of the country’s income. It is doubtful, to put it mildly, that such a large tax increase can pass Congress. Alternatively, the pay-go rules could be met by offsetting the new spending programs. But, this would require eliminating all other expenditure programs, which is similarly nonsensical.
So, what is a democratic socialist to do? Opposing the pay-go rules would have allowed them to paint the roses red, or create the necessary spin, and pass new unaffordable spending programs such as Medicare for All or the Green New Deal.
While the importance of their failure cannot be understated, the effort highlights the continued danger that the democratic socialist agenda poses to our country’s fiscal health.
Continued prosperity requires that our current bankrupting spending path be altered, preferably applying the Pacific Research Institute’s 15 percent solution, that would gradually make the federal government affordable once again.
Dr. Wayne Winegarden is a senior fellow in business and economics at the Pacific Research Institute.