The bill for Democratic presidential candidates’ promises

Charles Fain Lehman and David Rutz of the Washington Free Beacon calculate the price tag for Democratic presidential candidates’ campaign promises.

Democratic candidates for the 2020 nomination have promised more than $210 trillion in new spending across the field, analysis by the Washington Free Beacon shows.

Of the 26 declared candidates—including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) who dropped out earlier this month—most have put enormous new government programs front and center in their campaigns. Totaling up these proposals gives taxpaying voters a sense of the budget priorities of the average Democratic candidate.

That overall figure is an undercount, as it is based only on proposals for which the Free Beacon could identify actual spending estimates. The true figure is much larger. For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I., Vt.) Medicare for All proposal is included, while Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D., Calif.) is not, because no cost assessment for the latter could be identified.

Candidates will continue to roll out proposals in the months ahead, although the field is likely to winnow in that time as well.

Of the $210 trillion, the plurality—$94 trillion—is the estimated cost of a Green New Deal, which a number of candidates have backed in some form or another.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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