Issues & Insights

The Billionaire And The ‘Moderates’ Are Socialists Too

I&I Editorial

Until Wednesday night, Americans could save a lot of money on sleeping pills by turning on the TV while Democrats running for president stood on a stage congratulating each other and rattling off the details of their schemes to spend trillions in taxpayer dollars. But the NBC debate featured a $64 billion ex-elephant in the room named Michael Bloomberg.

As Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota began her closing statement, “this has been quite a debate.” She’s viewed as the moderate in the race who isn’t a septuagenarian like Joe Biden, but more than any previous debate, last night’s exposed the fact that in today’s Democratic Party, extremism masquerading as centrism is no vice.

Former New York City Mayor Bloomberg, not surprisingly, was turned into a pin cushion, most conspicuously when Sen. Elizabeth Warren bloodied him over buying the silence of female employees who claimed to be victim of sexist abuse. “Elizabeth Warren cleaned his clock on that exchange,” noted Fox News media reporter Howie Kurtz. But if we transcend the flying sparks and consider the reality of one of the six debate participants replacing Donald Trump in the White House, the message to the country last night was very clear. Socialism vs. centrism is a charade. The only choice among all these candidates is between Bernie and Bernie Lite.

For instance, Klobuchar’s biggest advertisement for the moderation she purportedly offers was her pointing out that she supports the “public option” rather than the Medicare For All supported by Warren and the new frontrunner, Sen. Bernie Sanders. The public option, however, a decade ago couldn’t gain the support of a Congress dominated by Democrats, with a new, popular Democratic president ready to sign it. That was because it was clear it was the slippery slope to single-payer, European-style socialized medicine. A public option would wreck the private health insurance industry by offering artificially low prices it can’t match.

After years of dissatisfaction with Obamacare minus the public option, the ever-mobile middle of the party now embraces the public option – or, more accurately, it embraces government-run health care via incrementalism. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, attempting to sell it to his party’s radicalized base, described it last night as “the biggest, most progressive reform we’ve had in health care in 50 years, just so long as we don’t force it on anybody.” Mayor Pete neglected to mention that when all the insurance companies are put out of business once the federal government becomes their direct competitor, it will most certainly be forced on everybody, by default.

“When you see some troubled waters, you don’t blow up a bridge; you build one. And so we need to improve the Affordable Care Act, not blow it up,” Klobuchar argued, oblivious to that law making an already over-regulated pre-Obama U.S. health care system far worse.

So the actual choice is: socialism now or socialism later. Meanwhile, President Trump frequently reiterates his assurance that the U.S. will never become a socialist country.

The Cost of Doing Bernie’s Business

Another manifestation of the false differentiation between Democrats in the supposed middle versus those on the left came from Buttigieg taunting Sanders about the astronomical cost of his socialist agenda. “He’s said that it’s impossible to even know much it’s gonna cost, and even after raising taxes on everybody making $29,000, there is still a multi-trillion-dollar hole,” Buttigieg pointed out. “As a matter of fact, if you add up his policies all together, they come to $50 trillion. He’s only explained $25 trillion worth of revenue, which means that the hole in there is bigger than the size of the entire economy of the United States.”

Sanders retorted that Buttigieg’s public option (inevitably leading to single payer) was “a maintenance continuation of the status quo.”

The Vermont socialist also tried to assuage worries about the Green New Deal, the cost of which could exceed $90 trillion, by promising it would provide “up to 20 million good-paying jobs as we move our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” adding, “this is a moral issue, my friends.”

Nothing empowers collectivists like a crisis, and what bigger emergency requiring massively-expanded government could be conceived than the planet itself being in peril? “The scientists are telling us that if we don’t act incredibly boldly within the next six, seven years, there will be irreparable damage done … to the entire world.” With that, Bernie managed to halve the 12-year countdown to Armageddon announced a year ago by his most famed supporter, New York City Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Sanders and Warren may be perceived as the ones on the fringe, but on health care, environmentalism, and the massive tax increases needed to finance their ideological crusades – so massive that the new levies will by necessity hit the middle class hard and devastate the economy – the others have left the now-uncool, too-cautious Barack Obama far behind. Klobachar, Biden, and Buttigieg too, despite his apparent concern about costs, are really all socialists in deed if not name.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg, with his strong authoritarian tendencies, seeking to dictate what size soda New Yorkers are allowed to drink and imposing aggressive police tactics – two policies that were both knocked down by the courts – may actually be the most frightening Democrat of all. Because if he could do the harm he’s done with tens of billions of dollars of his own money, imagine if he were allowed to spend trillions of dollars of other people’s money.

— Written by Thomas McArdle

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!

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • “Mayor Pete neglected to mention that when all the insurance companies are put out of business once the federal government becomes their direct competitor, it will most certainly be forced on everybody, by default.”

    Perhaps The Editorial Board needs to look at reality. The UK has had the NHS since 1948 and private health insurance is still available.

    • Apples and oranges. Some Britons have private insurance to pay for services that NHS doesn’t offer. The Democrats’ plan is for the federal government to cover everything, far beyond any coverage offered in any other government-run plan in the world. There would be no private insurance here because there would be no need for it and there is no way private companies could beat the US government on price. Of course, no one can answer what happens when Medicare for All inevitably collapses and there are no private insurance companies left to pick up the slack.

    • and it is and has been failing for a long time. where do Brits and canadians who have the means go when they have a serious medical issue? Why that would be here! And if our medical system is further, fatally savaged by the left, wher will we go?

  • Bernie doesn’t understand that when you eliminate 20 million jobs and add 20 million jobs, the result is zero. Just like all of his policies.

    • bernie’s and all their plans will send our economy and country into the abyss. 20M jobs will be chicken feed

  • Since the French Revolution, rabid leftist ideologues have promoted unconstrained, centralized government power and enforced equality of outcomes at the expense of individual liberty and equal opportunity. This preference explains their irrational desire to give self-serving politicians and unaccountable bureaucrats control over the means of creating products and providing services for society.

    By now the evidence is irrefutable that, in comparison with the private sector, any product or service provided by their beloved socialist system will be less available, lower quality and more expensive. For this reason, socialism is invariably characterized by (1) rationing of increasingly-scarce, cheaply-made, one-size-fits-all consumer goods to the masses and (2) morbidly-obese government agencies populated by arrogant, wannabe social engineers who couldn’t run the proverbial hot-dog stand if their lives depended upon it.

    As George Orwell pointed out in Animal Farm, although all animals are theoretically equal under socialism, some animals are always more equal than others. This is why the political elite and their sycophantic supporters reserve the prime cuts for themselves while condemning the masses to survive on their table scraps.

    The good news is that humans are hard-wired to seek Truth. This means even the zealous and clueless can break free from their leftist programming. The light and heat produced by even a nano-second of independent, objective thought can instantly vaporize decades of indoctrination.

    Those who remove the shackles from their minds will soon separate themselves from their intellectually-indolent, lemming-like contemporaries. In the end, I am confident these mavericks will come to the common sense conclusion that swapping the individual liberty of democratic capitalism for the coercive conformity of socialism is the mother of all bad deals.

    Ultimately, those of us who still believe that our admittedly-imperfect nation remains “the last best hope of man on earth” must pray that a critical mass of reformed leftists acquires the wisdom to see that rejecting capitalism and embracing socialism is the equivalent of trading rare and precious gems for trinkets. Of one thing we can be certain: America will not survive as the land of the free and the home of the brave if it is populated by vast herds of mindless rubes who would willingly make this deal (ref.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run 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. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: