Budget Buster: The Green New Deal, Part III

House Budget Committee Republicans are continuing to examine the key components of the Green New Deal (GND), a sweeping proposal that failed earlier this week to garner a single vote of support in the Senate.[1] This Budget Buster focuses on the two most expensive elements of the GND – neither of which address reducing greenhouse-gas emissions: guaranteed jobs and universal health care. These two policies make up approximately 85 percent of the GND and would cost taxpayers more than $80 trillion.

The GND’s Economic & Social Policies Are Costly & Unworkable.

The GND creates a program that promises “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” guaranteeing union jobs with high wages, family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all Americans.[2] According to an estimate from the former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Doug Holtz-Eakin, this proposed program could cost nearly $45 trillion over the first 10 years.[3] In addition to the unsustainable cost of the initiative, a guaranteed jobs program of this magnitude would have adverse effects on the job market and economy.[4]

The GND also calls for universal, one-size-fits-all health care, which would replace private insurance companies with Washington bureaucrats and limit the choices Americans have for medical care. According to one estimate from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, implementing this type of bureaucratic health care could cost at least $32 trillion to the federal budget in the first 10 years,[5] while the previously mentioned estimate from Mr. Holtz-Eakin places the cost at $36 trillion over the same period.[6] As House Budget Republicans highlight, the consequences of transitioning to such a system extend far beyond this astronomical price tag, from higher taxes and no choices to longer wait times and worse care.

Republican Solutions for Reducing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Creating Jobs, & Improving Health Care.

To foster more economic opportunity for Americans of all walks of life, creating a costly new jobs program – especially when the number of job openings has eclipsed the number of unemployed by 1 million – is not the answer.[7] Instead, Congress should continue to build on the success of pro-growth policies such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. With the economic growth generated from this new law, unemployment is at the lowest level since the 1960s,[8] and families are seeing the largest percent increase in wages in more than a decade.[9] Similarly, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all health care system that eliminates the choice of insurance and adds trillions to our national debt, House Republicans will continue to advocate for patient-centered, free-market health reforms that lower costs and improve quality.

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[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/26/green-new-deal-mitch-mcconnell-may-hold-vote-early-week/3269302002/

[2] https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/Green-New-Deal-FAQ-Fact-Sheet-Feb-7-2019.pdf

[3] https://www.americanactionforum.org/daily-dish/an-initial-analysis-of-the-green-new-deal/

[4] https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-dangerous-fantasy-of-a-jobs-guarantee-1542239737

[5] https://www.mercatus.org/publications/federal-fiscal-policy/costs-national-single-payer-healthcare-system?utm_source=bridge&utm_medium=bridgepost&utm_campaign=medicareforall

[6] https://www.americanactionforum.org/daily-dish/an-initial-analysis-of-the-green-new-deal/

[7] https://www.apnews.com/714ddad39e884533a738f72abc0c0342

[8] https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-unemployment-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-1969-1538742766

[9] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/31/wages-and-salaries-jump-by-3point1percent-highest-level-in-a-decade.html