The Cost of Promises

August 30, 2000

Now that the presidential campaigns are under way, some are stopping long enough to evaluate the costs of all the promises. During every election, candidates promise voters all sorts of things. And some of the promises never come to fruition. But what if all the promises were enacted? What would it cost?

Well, the National Taxpayers Union has done some calculation. They first hit the headlines with their estimate of what Al Gore's convention speech would cost the American people. They estimated that the promises made in his speech would cost an additional $233 billion a year. Over a ten year period, that total would reach $2.3 trillion which would swallow up all of the projected surplus and create a deficit of $161 billion.

I was curious how they came to that total and wanted to see if they had done a similar calculation for George W. Bush. So I went to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation web site and got the details. I encourage you to look at them yourself.

The biggest expenditures for Al Gore would be $41 billion for education, $77 billion for health care, and $45 billion for Medicare. But additional billions would also be spent for welfare, the environment, and crime.

They also provided an analysis for George W. Bush. They estimate that his proposals would cost approximately $42 billion total. His largest expenditures would be $11 billion for education and technology which would be about $24 billion.

As you can see the promises made by George W. Bush would only cost about 10 percent of what Al Gore's promises would cost. This would be offset by Governor Bush's desire to provide a tax cut which would remove about 6 million lower-income families from the tax rolls.

So if you want to know what these promises would cost, take the time to check out the proposals. After all, it's your money.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.