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America might be ready for democratic socialism. It’s not ready for the bill

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America might be ready for democratic socialism. It’s not ready for the bill

August 7, 2018

Democratic socialism is having a moment. Sen. Bernie Sanders mobilized millions of voters during the 2016 campaign, nominally as a Democrat but with many self-professed socialists in his bandwagon. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will likely bring her own brand of socialism to Congress next year, having knocked off New York Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary.

However, the democratic socialist agenda will face resistance not only from other lawmakers but from basic math. Their promises, which include free college, a single-payer health care system, guaranteed jobs, and more, would require astonishingly high expenditures that would cause the federal deficit to skyrocket. Once the costs become clear, most mainstream politicians and voters will surely balk. Making big promises is one thing; paying for them is another.

Read Brian Riedl's full op-ed in Vox's The Big Idea blog here.

Brian Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a member of E21. Follow him on twitter here.

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