Senator Bernie Sanders is leading in four of six recent Iowa polls as Democrats prepare for presidential nominating caucuses on Monday. The self-described “democratic socialist” from Vermont is at the top of all six of the latest polls ahead of the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Feb. 11.

For those who are hungry for a moderate alternative to President Donald Trump, Sanders’s surge raises uncomfortable questions. Because while Sanders would provide welcome relief from Trump’s corruption, nativism and volatility, when it comes to economic stewardship, he’d be worse.

In the almost inconceivable event that a President Sanders were able to enact his full economic agenda, the result would surely be much worse than anything that’s likely to happen under Trump. In an analysis published last October, Brian Riedl, a scholar at the conservative Manhattan Institute, calculated that the Sanders proposals would cost as much as $97.5 trillion over a decade, would more than double the size of the federal government and would turn approximately half of U.S. workers into federal employees.

The Sanders agenda includes Medicare for All, a multi-trillion-dollar plan to address climate change, a proposal to guarantee every American a job with the federal government, forgiveness of all student loans, elimination of tuition at public colleges, expansion of Social Security, enactment of paid family leave and increased spending on infrastructure and education. Riedl concluded that this would push total government spending (federal, state and local) to 70% of annual economic output, well above social democracies like Sweden (50%), Norway (49%) and Finland (57%).

Sanders would institute a wealth tax, new payroll and investment taxes, a tax on financial transactions and higher rates on existing taxes. Even with all this new revenue, there would be average annual budget deficits exceeding 30% of gross domestic product, according to Riedl.

Suffice it to say that this would be a disaster for the U.S. economy. But that’s really just a hypothetical problem because Sanders’s ambitions are not tethered to political reality.

Take Medicare for All. It’s impossible to imagine that even a leftward-drifting Democratic Congress would vote to abolish private health insurance, as Sanders wants to do.

Its constituents wouldn’t allow it. A large majority of Americans consistently rate the quality of the health care they receive as excellent or good, give their coverage high marks and report being satisfied with their personal health-care costs. The majority of Americans favor a private health-care system, and that system wields enormous political power, regardless of who is president.

If Senator Mitch McConnell remains the leader of a majority Republican Senate, that’s a bigger obstacle for Sanders.

So let’s consider what Sanders might actually be able to achieve. Congressional Democrats might support an expansion of the federal role in health care, for example, or more generous subsidies for four-year college tuition, funded by higher taxes on the top 2% or 3% of income earners along with higher corporate taxes. The White House could also impose regulations to address climate change.

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