The Edwards campaign has the dubious distinction of being the first of the Democrat presidential hopefuls to announce just how expensive his proposals would be. The bill for his ideas would be very, very steep. The tax increases required to fund the programs, staggeringly high.
WASHINGTON – Presidential candidateis offering more policy proposals than any other candidate in the primary and his ideas are winning loud applause from Democratic audiences.
The question is whether other voters will cheer when they see the price tag — more than $125 billion a year.
Edwards is quick to acknowledge his spending on health care, energy and poverty reduction comes at a cost, with more plans to come. All told, his proposals would equal more than $1 trillion if he could get them enacted into law and operational during two White House terms.
To put the number in perspective,has dedicated more than $1.8 trillion to tax cuts. The cost of the war is nearing $450 billion. And this year's federal budget is about $2.8 trillion.
Edwards says fixing the country's problems takes precedence over eliminating the deficit or offering middle-class tax relief like he proposed when running for president in the last election.
"I think for me, as opposed to the additional tax relief for the middle class, what's more important is to give them relief from the extraordinary cost of health care, from gasoline prices, the things that they spend money on every single day that are escalating dramatically," Edwards said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
To pay for some of his priorities, Edwards would roll back Bush's tax cuts on Americans making more than $200,000 a year. He also said he would consider raising capital gains taxes to help fund his plans and raise or eliminate the $90,000 cap on individual earnings subject totaxes to help cover the projected shortfall in the system.
And don't think Edwards is planning only on robbing the "rich" to pay for all this. He also wants to cut subsidies for student loans and by cutting the Department of Housing and Urban Development. One of the things that likely cost the Republicans a number of Congressional seats in the last election was a failure to exercise fiscal responsibility. I don't think the American voters are going to be overly pleased with the plans Edwards has revealed. Personally, I suspect Edwards is trying to gain support from the unions with this set of proposals. The problem for him is, he's going to pretty much lose everyone else.