Elizabeth Warren pitches policies totaling $100 trillion at town hall: estimates

Elizabeth Warren promoted some of her signature proposals at a town hall event Monday night -- which, all told, could cost a combined $100 trillion, according to recent estimates.

Sen. Warren, D-Mass., discussed the policies -- the Green New Deal, universal child care and slavery reparations -- at a CNN town hall event in Jackson, Miss. The 2020 Democratic hopeful told the crowd that the Green New Deal represents a way forward for the country.

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“That’s how we build a future. And I’ll add one little piece to it and say when you take a look at the Green New Deal, understand this is about building the infrastructure for the 21st century, for a sustainable world,” Warren said.

“We do these things together because you can’t start a little business and at the same time try to build the road out front of your house. ... What’s happened in America is we have cut back on those infrastructure investments. Right now, we are spending about six-tenths of one percent on our infrastructure. China, by comparison, is spending about five percent of its GDP on infrastructure.”

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The sweeping proposal put forward by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., could cost as much as $93 trillion, or approximately $600,000 per household, according to a January study co-authored by the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The unprecedented plan doesn't come cheap, American Action Forum president Douglas Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors wrote in the study.

"The Green New Deal is clearly very expensive," the study concluded. "Its further expansion of the federal government’s role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life, however, would likely have a more lasting and damaging impact than its enormous price tag."

At the same time, "the breadth of its proposals makes it daunting to assess the GND (Green New Deal) using the standard tools of policy analysis," the study stated, noting that "many of the policies proposed in the GND are redundant with other aspects in it, which also complicates a precise analysis, as the interactions are difficult to predict."

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During her town hall, Warren also voiced support for reparations and said she would back the creation of a panel “to examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”

"I believe it's time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations," Warren said on CNN, before adding: “ignoring the problem is not working.”

According to a study published by University of Connecticut researcher Thomas Craemer, the value of slave labor from 1776 to the end of the Civil War in 1865 ranged from range from $5.9 to $14.2 trillion in 2009 dollars.

Warren was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if she would support monetary compensation, to which she replied that she believes there are “a lot of ways” to structure potential reparations.

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Reparations would involve the federal government’s acknowledgment of the ongoing legacy of slavery and discrimination and providing payment to those affected. Policy experts say it could cost several trillion dollars.

Scholars estimate that black families earn just over $57 for every $100 earned by white families, according to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

The final costly proposal backed by Warren on Tuesday night was her universal child care proposal, which would reportedly cost $700 billion over 10 years.

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Warren discussed the plan, as well as her early education proposal, and how it would be paid for on Monday night.

“We get a 2 percent tax on the 75,000 richest families in this country, we would have enough money to provide universal childcare, universal pre-k, universal pre-pre-k for every child in America and still have $2 trillion left over. Let’s make it happen.”

Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.