Late-night talk show host Steven Colbert had Sen. Elizabeth Warren on recently and asked her a simple question. “How are you going to pay for it?” Colbert was referring specifically to Warren’s radical Medicare for All plan. “Are you going to raise taxes on the middle class?”
Warren, who’s been rising in the polls, wouldn’t answer. She can’t answer honestly, if she wants to have any hope of being president. Nor can any of the other Democrats running president be honest about their agendas. That’s made clear by a recent Harvard/Harris Poll, the results of which got far too little attention.
Colbert wasn’t the first person to press Warren for an answer about middle-class taxes. She dodged the same question during the Democratic debate last week. All she would say is that “costs are going to go up for wealthier individuals and costs are going to go up for giant corporations. But for hardworking families across this country, costs are going to go down.”
Cost wasn’t the question. A middle-class tax hike was.
There is no question that taxes would go up on the middle class — by a fantastic amount — if Warren were able to get Medicare for All enacted.
At $3.2 trillion a year — which is a completely unrealistic lowball estimate — you could double everyone’s income tax, and double corporate income taxes, and you’d still be a trillion dollars short.
That’s just for Medicare for All. Warren and most of the other candidates have also embraced the even more radical Green New Deal, along with free college, free preschool, free housing, with each pretending that only “millionaires and billionaires” will have to pick up the tab.
As a Heritage Foundation report noted, even if you took every penny earned by every taxpayer who makes more than $200,000, you would cover only half the costs of all this largesse.
Joe Biden, despite his attempts to portray himself as a centrist, is hardly better. On health care, he’s even more dishonest than Warren. Biden claims he just wants to make a little tweak to Obamacare by creating a “public option.” But he knows, as does everyone who’s looked into it, that the public option would very quickly become the only option. That’s why the actual centrist Democrats who were still around in 2010 refused to let Obama include it Obamacare in the first place.
The rest of Biden’s agenda is a slightly watered-down version of those proposed by Warren, Bernie Sanders, and the rest. It will still require enormous tax hikes — a fact he never seems to mention.
Why all the deception? A recent Harvard/Harris Poll of 2,531 registered voters shows why.
Unlike other polls, this one attempted to gauge support for Trump and a Democratic opponent without using any names. The question just described their respective agendas.
Here’s the text:
“Which candidate are you more likely to vote for:
“A presidential candidate who stands for the green new deal on climate change, Medicare for all, free college tuition, opening our borders to many more immigrants and raising taxes to pay for these programs.”
“A presidential candidate who stands for lower taxes and reduced government regulations, strengthening our military, strengthening our border to reduce illegal immigrants, standing up more to China and Iran and seeking better trade deals for the US.”
You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more concise description of what President Donald Trump and any of the leading Democratic candidates stand for.
The result: A stunning 61% say they’d vote for Trump’s agenda.
Among independents, 65% chose the Trump agenda, as did every age group except those 18-34, who split 50-50. Even among Democrats, more than a third said they’d vote against the candidate pushing the current Democratic agenda.
The poll went further and broke out specific policy issues. There wasn’t one item on the Democratic agenda that came in the top six. Only 38% say they were likely to vote for a candidate who promised to “raise taxes to pay for these programs.” On the other hand, 83% said they’d likely support a candidate who promised to lower taxes.
How will the eventual Democratic nominee overcome this huge gap in support for the two visions for the country? Lie about Trump’s agenda? Deceive voters about their own? Or some combination of the two?
— Written by John Merline
Note to Readers: Issues & Insights is a new site launched by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to use our decades of experience to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day.
We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we think our approach to commentary is sorely lacking both in today’s mainstream media and on the internet. If you like what you see, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right sidebar. And be sure to tell your friends!