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Issues & Insights

Despite What You’ve Heard, Bloomberg Is No Centrist

Michael Bloomberg has been blanketing the airwaves with ads that tout his up-by-his-bootstraps success, his can-do attitude, his supposed ability to unite the country. “Mike can get it done,” the ads declare, without indicating what “it” is.

Bloomberg’s spending spree has not only been translating into a rise in the polls, it’s cementing his claim to be a centrist, at least among pundits. Even on the right, that’s how he’s being described.

The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin called him “the great centrist hope for Democrats to defeat Trump.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan opined recently that “Biden’s collapse created a vacuum in the center, and the former mayor has the money and will to fill it.”

Has anyone calling Bloomberg a centrist bothered to look at his campaign website, rather than just listen to his campaign ads?

On issue after issue, Bloomberg is as radical, or slightly less so, than socialist Bernie Sanders. In fact, on taxes, health care, the environment, gun control, there is little light between the two.

Here’s a rundown.

Taxing the “rich”: Bloomberg wants to raise the top rate back to 39.6%, impose a 5% surtax on incomes above $5 million, and tax capital gains as ordinary income for those making more than $1 million. He’d also sharply raise taxes on inherited wealth, and hike corporate taxes. All of which is nearly identical to what Sanders proposes.

Environmental extremism: Bloomberg is as radical as Sanders when it comes to fighting “climate change.” He promises to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half in a decade, and – ditto Sanders – completely decarbonize the nation by 2050. It’s a goal that, if attempted, would destroy the economy.

Minimum wage hikes: Bloomberg, like Sanders, wants to impose a job-killing $15 federal minimum age.

Price controls on drugs: Both Bloomberg and Sanders want to allow drug imports from foreign countries, and they want to let the government dictate prices for Medicare part D (rather than let market competition hold prices down).

Socializing health care: While Sanders advocates full-blown Medicare for All, Bloomberg’s “public option” is nothing more than a slightly slower path to the same socialized medicine destination. As we’ve noted in this space, the left tried to get a “public option” in the original Obamacare precisely because it knew it would drive out private insurers and lead to a single-payer system. At the time, centrist Democrats managed to block the public option for precisely this reason.  

Extremist gun control plans: If anything, Bloomberg is more radical on gun control than Sanders, who while running for the Senate at least pretended to moderate his views to appeal to gun-owning Vermonters. In any case, both promise to “take on” the NRA, expand background checks, and ban assault weapons. Bloomberg’s “sweeping” proposal would also require permits for every gun purchase that could be denied for “troubled people.”

The “centrist” Bloomberg is also 100% on board with the Democrats’ far-left agenda on social issues.

And this is to say nothing of the fact that, as New York City mayor, Bloomberg showed himself to be a Sanders-style authoritarian who, among other things banned high sodium levels in processed foods, Styrofoam for single-use food packaging, cabs that aren’t fuel efficient, loud headphones, and cell phones in schools.

Notice, too, what’s lacking from Bloomberg’s supposed centrist plans. There are no pro-growth policies, no tax cuts, no spending restraints proposed, no talk of reforming entitlements. Only more spending, more redistribution of wealth, more intrusion into the marketplace.

It’s only because Sanders is a borderline communist that everyone else in the Democratic field looks moderate. But that doesn’t make Bloomberg, or Biden, or anyone else running this year, a centrist. The fact that Bloomberg is now being described as one only shows how far left the Democratic party has lurched.

— Written by John Merline

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7 comments

  • Nothing I’ve ever heard about him for the last 15 years would for one moment think he was a centrist.

  • Of course he’s not the man is a dictator he will rule America like Hitler or Napoleon he has short man syndrome and thinks he’s the only one in the room who is smart..Just like Obama only when he was in the room the IQ’s went down to the temperature of Washington DC in the dead of winter during a blizzard.

  • The thing is many right wing pundit types, including the above author, make the mistake of presuming that conservatives (many of whom are actually centrists) march in lock step to a common dogma–eschew environmental issues, support the right to bear arms unreservedly etc. Actually a lot of conservatives will find some of the things the author eschews appealing. What really galvanizes them is the social element, disintegration of law–stuff like open borders, sanctuary cities, promotion of transgenderism, globalization, Islamic expansion, security regarding rogue states like Iran and N Korea. Most of them wouldn’t mind much if, for example, billionaires had to pay a higher tax rate and many are perplexed that affordable medical care seems to get further and further beyond reach. Not much mention of these existential issues.

    • It seems to me that more government involvement usually leads to higher costs. College education, energy, healthcare, food..

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Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

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