This essay presents an army of straw men marching in deep ranks, and a flood of ad hominems. I won’t bother taking down the errors line by line; I’d like to get to bed sometime tonight. I’ll just point out the most serious blunder. Mr. Hawes airily dismisses the objections to the costs of Mr. Sanders’ Medicare for All plan with the observation that the bloated military budget could easily be trimmed to provide the money we need. Mr. Hawes doesn’t cite any actual numbers; when you’re messing around with trillions of numbers, it’s kinda nice to actually add and subtract numbers.
Mr. Sanders’ proposal is estimated to cost $32 trillion over ten years. That’s a stupendous amount of money. Now, I entirely agree that the military budget is grossly inflated and should be cut in half. This would yield about $350 billion each year in savings. Mr. Sanders’ program would cost $3.2 trillion per year. Thus, a drastic cut to military spending would yield only 11% of the amount of money needed to fund his Medicare for All program.
Lots of people have studied Mr. Sanders’ programs and most people agree that his numbers just don’t add up. Here’s one. Here’s another. And another. The New York Times and the Washington Post both published their own analyses, which were critical of Mr. Sanders’ numbers, but they’re behind a paywall.
I wrote up a critique of his wealth tax, which again shows that Mr. Sanders is quite liberal with his numbers.
It would be very nice to provide proper health care to every citizen, but at this point we simply aren’t rich enough to accomplish this. Yes, we must dramatically increase taxes on the rich, and yes, we must get rid of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and yes, we must slash the defense budget, but none of these will come close to funding Medicare for All as Mr. Sanders proposes it.