Issues & Insights

Rich Dems Spend $60 Million to Hide the Party’s Far-Left Agenda

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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John Merline

Veteran journalist John Merline was Deputy Editor of Commentary and Opinion at Investor's Business Daily. Before IBD, he launched and edited the Opinion section of AOL News, and was a member of the editorial board of USA Today, where he continues to be a regular contributor. He’s been published in the Washington Post, National Review, Detroit News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Forbes, and numerous other publications. He is regular commentator on the One America News Network and on local talk radio. He got his start in journalism under the tutelage of M. Stanton Evans.


  • “If (Democrats) get defined as being about socialism … then I worry.” And he is right to, but what they are doing is bait and switch unless and until they clean their own house. But of course it isn’t just their house, anyone who feels like it can claim ownership of the democratic party.

    The interesting part is how they will be able to sell this lie when the news is all about the clown car trying to out-socialist each other. The candidates can’t stop, at least not without a legacy media pivot, and even that would be very difficult for them now. They have staked out their turf in the far left la la land, and they can’t abandon it unless they can ignore they were ever there. For that they need media help, and for their followers to forget, and for actual journalists and the rest of us not to remind anyone. I suspect the legacy media will try to support them as much as they can without undercutting the socialist, so they will in effect become even more schizophrenic. Some of the public will notice, and the adults should help with that.

    It seems to be far easier to mount a huge marketing campaign than to educate their own politicians.

  • Commies always hate the middle class. Globalists mean the useless eaters harm and they don’t waste time trying to hide it.

  • Democrats have a plan, that they can’t be honest about: big government dependency, top down control politics at the expense of the private sector.

  • This looks more and more like capitalism is just great, if we didn’t have to put up with the capitalists.

  • How many of these prominent Democrat Party proposals do you embrace?

    List of Democrat brilliant policy ideals to be implemented upon assuming control by D’rat pander monkeys —

    *total government control of your health care
    *open borders
    *Green New Deal
    *Trump impeachment for crimes which did not exist
    *Supreme Court packing
    *free college tuition/forgive college debt
    *government guaranteed make-work phony jobs
    *Puerto Rican statehood
    *gun grab
    *late term & beyond abortion
    *guaranteed universal income
    *dramatic increase in “earned income credit” give-away
    *ban mining and oil&gas production on federal lands
    *end electoral college
    *redistribute your wealth to others
    *same day no-looky-see voter registration
    *every criminal, even those on death row, gets to vote
    *war on plastic & fossil fuels
    *a third gender designation on federal identification cards
    *remove Iranian sanctions
    *embrace Muslim radicals/boycott Israel
    *soak the rich/higher taxes across the board
    *Social Security & Medicare for illegal aliens
    *end debate/limit free speech
    *pander to, placate and enrich government employee unions
    *ban “right to work” laws and force unionization on opposed workers
    *spearhead the alteration of U.S. from capitalist to socialist

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