The catastrophic costs of socialist policies

By Adam BrandonOpinionFOXBusiness

Capitalism vs. socialism debate heats up ahead of 2020 presidential election

Bruce Mehlman of Mehlman Castagnetti Rose & Thomas on the 2020 presidential election and the capitalism versus socialism debate.

It's no surprise that millennials and Gen Zers hold favorable opinions of socialism. Normally this wouldn't be a concern, as young people's political views typically evolve as they age.

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With the rise of popular liberal politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, as well as projections that Gen Zers and millennials will make up 37 percent of the electorate in 2020, it’s time Republicans take notice and raise the alarm on the catastrophic costs socialist policies would inflict on our country.

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At every turn, Democrats want to restrict consumer choice and businesses’ ability to turn a profit. Instead, they hope to replace free markets with state-mandated controls, decided by their hand-picked crew of bureaucrats in Washington.

Frighteningly enough, we now have elected officials from one of the two major American parties calling openly for state control of resources. They’re either ignorant of or are turning a blind eye towards the failures of socialism in the history of the 20th century, as well as the disasters brought on by socialism in the present day. One need look no further than Venezuela to see a real-time example of socialism-induced catastrophe.

President Trump was right to rebuke socialism in his State of the Union address. This sets the stage for 2020 at a time when economic growth has raised the standard of living for all Americans. Tax cuts, deregulation and free markets have lifted Americans out of poverty. Socialism would put an end to the country’s economic growth and widespread prosperity.

The Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all, and 70 percent income tax rates will not benefit Americans. These socialist policies rest on coercion by the state and would leave Americans with less money, fewer choices, and a lower standard of living. They’ll also wreck the budget.

The Green New Deal alone would come with an insane $8.3 to $12.3 trillion price tag over ten years. On the low end, The Green New Deal is even more expensive than what we pay for Medicare annually. On the high end, the Green New Deal is as expensive as Social Security.

Medicare-for-all ultimately seeks to abolish private health insurance and would put us on a fast track toward placing all Americans on government-run health insurance. No longer would Americans be able to switch providers to get a better deal. There would be only one deal  -- you, locked into whatever some bureaucrat decides is best for you.

At the same time, wait times at hospitals increase and drug supplies become scarce under government-run health care. Premiums and deductibles would skyrocket at a faster rate than during Obamacare. Just like the Green New Deal, the expected cost of Medicare-for-all is astronomical at $32 trillion over 10 years. Sensing a trend here?

With the dent these proposals put in economic growth, how could we ever afford them? Even with individual marginal tax rates on high-income earners exceeding 90 percent in the 1950s, individual income tax revenue did not exceed 7.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at any point during the decade. Individual income tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 8.3 percent in 2018, and the highest marginal income tax rate was 37 percent.

The Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all would inhibit economic growth, while higher taxes wouldn’t even raise tax revenues to fund the programs. The entire socialist economic model doesn’t work. Wealthy societies and free markets are the key to healthy people and prosperity.

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Democrats’ socialist proposals fail to accomplish what their supporters claim -- all at a hefty price. Even worse, they concentrate power in a centralized government bureaucracy unaccountable to the people.

Adam Brandon is president and CEO of FreedomWorks.