Politico reported Monday that a group of “Democratic operatives” is putting $60 million into a campaign “to reclaim values-laden terms like ‘freedom’ and ‘opportunity’ for their party ahead of the 2020 election.”
What it really amounts to is an effort to mask the party’s headfirst plunge into the deep end of left-wing extremism that would push the country in the exact opposite direction from freedom and opportunity.
The group, called Future Majority, is co-chaired by Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Charles Munger’s son Philip, and Dan Tierney, the founder of an electronic market trading firm called Getco. Amalgamated Bank CEO Keith Mestrich is also funding the effort. In other words, rich people.
Oddly enough, they’re the ones who seem more in touch with the common folks than today’s Democratic party.
Future Majority executive director Mark Riddle told Politico “If we can win back the narrative that the word ‘Democrat’ equals people who are fighting for folks who work hard every day, we can continue to win elections. If (Democrats) get defined as being about socialism … then I worry.”
Riddle’s use of the passive verb tense shows why this effort is already off to a bad start.
It’s not some outside force that is defining Democrats as socialists. It’s the Democratic party itself which is rushing to embrace some of the most radical proposals ever put forward by a major political party.
Meanwhile, others in the party’s establishment worry that Democrats don’t have an effective economic message. Another story in Politico quotes Celinda Lake worrying that “We don’t really have a robust national message right now” on the economy.
But Democrats do have a national message, one that involves a massive expansion of government.
When Bernie Sanders released his latest version of Medicare for All in early April, 14 Senators signed on as co-sponsors, including four others who want to be president — Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker. The even more radical House version has 108 co-sponsors, including the chairmen of 13 of the 20 House committees.
As we have repeatedly explained, in terms of its size and scale, Medicare for All is to the left of every other country on the planet. Not even Communist China offers its citizens soup-to-nuts coverage of everything — hospital, doctors, drugs, dental, vision, mental health — with the government paying 100% of the bills.
And the Medicare for All price tag — which makes wildly unrealistic assumptions about savings — would be $32 trillion over a decade. Even doubling everyone’s income and payroll taxes wouldn’t be enough to pay the costs.
Left unsaid in this is the fact that Medicare for All would also wipe out more than 800,000 insurance industry jobs, most of which are held by women and pay an average of $70,000 a year.
Democrats have also eagerly lined up behind socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal.” When the American Action Forum looked at the cost of implementing this plan, it came up with a $57 trillion price tag (which would come on top of Medicare for All).
That’s just for starters. Democratic presidential contenders have endorsed guaranteed federal jobs ($7 trillion over a decade), universal pre-school ($150 billion), free college ($750 billion), and a mandatory federal $15 minimum wage. In addition, Warren wants the government to forgive much of the trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt.
Even without the Green New Deal, the Democrats’ agenda would more than double the size of the federal government. It would result in the government (federal, state and local) controlling a larger share of the economy (58%) than socialist “paradises” like Finland, Sweden, Norway, or the Netherlands.
Exactly how much of this Democratic agenda is going to appeal to working-class Americans? How will a plan to let coddled college students off the hook sit with “the folks who work hard every day”? Or a proposal to give everyone guaranteed federal jobs that pay whether workers show up or not? How will doubling income taxes sit with these folks? What will they think of socializing health care when they learn it will kill nearly a million good-paying private sector jobs? How will they react when they learn that the Democrats’ environmental extremism would vastly increase their energy costs?
A few rich Democrats can spend all the money they want trying to convince people that their party stands for freedom and opportunity. But the party’s actual agenda will always speak far more loudly.
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