Judd Gregg: Warren's Frankenstein plans

Judd Gregg: Warren's Frankenstein plans
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In the original 1931 "Frankenstein" movie, Colin Clive who plays Dr. Frankenstein says of his creation, played by Boris Karloff, "It lives!"

The images of the monster Frankenstein coming to life tend to resonate when one thinks of the retreaded socialist dogma shouted forth as proposals by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Trump DACA fight hits Supreme Court Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race MORE (D-Mass.).

Think about all the excessive and often disingenuous ideas that Warren has thrown out.

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Like Evita standing on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, she just keeps flinging them forth to her admiring chanters below.

To begin with, everything is free or close to free for the devotees of her new social and political order — just as any good Peronist would propose.

There will be free higher education at all public colleges.

There will be no need to repay student loans in many cases.

There will be essentially free healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

The agenda goes on and on.

Of course, none of these things that purportedly bears no cost is actually free.

Someone, presumably, is going to pay the college faculty and the folks who mow the lawns at those colleges. In fact, unless Warren intends to make the faculty work harder — which, considering her background, is probably not in her gameplan — the cost of running a college or university will continue to consistently outstrip most other enterprises.

Student loans, once-borrowed, become someone’s responsibility.

If they are not going to be paid back by the borrower, who gets the bill?

The payment will be made, most likely, by someone who is not going to be able to go to college — such as the person mowing the lawn, or someone in a coming generation.

Medicare for All, the healthcare plan endorsed by Warren, is a grandly deceptive piece of political snake-oil salesmanship that promises, as all good socialist programs do, something for everyone at someone else’s expense.

The only problem is that Medicare for All is a massive fraud.

Medicare only reimburses hospitals and doctors under the present system at about 65 percent of the cost of the care they deliver. The rest of the cost, 35 percent, is passed on to those 180 million folks who have health insurance provided by their employers.

But under Medicare for All, Warren and her acolytes intend to abolish employer-provided, private insurance.

This means that the cost of Medicare for All, which is estimated to be between $30 trillion and $35 trillion over 10 years, will have to be picked up in massive taxes or additional federal debt paid for by our children or rationing (which is how single-payer systems in the United Kingdom and Canada are run). The quality of healthcare will drop dramatically and the cost will go up dramatically.

The Green New Deal, another initiative proselytized by Warren and her fans, is estimated to cost anywhere between $50 trillion and $93 trillion, according to an analysis by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Even in Peronist terms, that is a great deal of money.

The United States federal debt today is $22 trillion, an all-time high. The Green New Deal would double, triple or even quadruple it.

Of course, Warren and her exuberant audiences claim that all these programs and the many, many more she has thrown forth will be paid for by taxing the super-rich and re-educating corporate America.

Her fervent followers shout "two cents" as she holds up two fingers.

This is what she claims the cost to the super-rich will be with her new tax on wealth — a tax she proclaims will pay for all her "plans."

Warren’s pay-for is a flim-flam.

Even assuming that the super-rich were so stupid as to fail to figure out a way to avoid most of her tax increases, those increases would raise less the $10 trillion. This would be far, far less than the bill for her proposals.

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In other words, the share of her programmatic costs that would be paid for by her proposed tax on the super-rich is marginal at best.

But her large crowds continue to chant in unison: "Two cents."

Warren’s followers seem to have the same genetic make-up as those of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE. They may use different phrases but the mob mindlessness clearly overlaps both sets of supporters.  

These are folks who in the 1960s would have been called "groupies."

"Lock Her Up," "Send Her Back" and "Two Cents" are just different sides of the same inane and mean-spirited coin.

They make no sense even when screamed in unison.

Like the president, Warren now seems to have great traction, at least amongst her fanatical following.

Her "plans," if they are looked at outside the prism of the European socialist movement, should be seen as a recipe for dumbing down our entrepreneurial culture and radically reducing our standard of living.

They should be "dead on arrival."

But, like Frankenstein’s monster, amazingly, "it lives."

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.