February 20, 2019
By Sumantra Maitra • The Federalist
Cathy Young wrote last year that “commie chic” is cool again. In an essay, she cited a Gallup poll stating that “among Democrats, Democratic-leaning independents—and, perhaps most significant, among all American adults under 30—socialism is now viewed more positively than capitalism.”
Look around and you can see essays in papers of record praising the sex lives of East German women (failing to mention that they probably had to do it with a Soviet soldier in a back alley for a loaf of bread), and the idea that taxing billionaires would help make a society where there’s no inequality, and where everyone has not just a means but a “right” to a guaranteed satisfactory life and minimum income, health care, and education. Oh, and there are also free unicorns at the end of each red rainbow.
Almost determined prove her point, within a few months of that essay the darling of the Anglo-American left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took out the structural plan for the much-vaunted Green New Deal, which might be better described as a neo-Maoist Green Leap Forward, and it is comedy gold. Continue reading →
February 18, 2019
The far-left Democrats finally unveiled their plan for their “Green New Deal.” It’s a shocking document, essentially a call for enviro-socialism in America. It’s no doubt prompting many across the nation to wonder: Has this once-respectable political party of the working class gone collectively mad?
It sure seems that way. Reading the Green New Deal (GND) plan, put out Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, one is tempted to think it’s not real, just a joke from the satirical “The Onion.” The individual planks in the plan, individually and collectively, sound like the rantings of someone who should be institutionalized, not like a rational political plan to solve a real problem.
Let’s begin with what the plan promises: “a massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline.” Continue reading →
February 16, 2019
By Paul Kengor • The American Spectator
Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.
Leftist environmentalists hate that. And yet, they do little to eschew the label. Quite the contrary, they earn it in spades.
They have from the outset. Whether sheer coincidence or because the Devil has a sense of humor, Earth Day always marks Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, just happened to be the centennial of Lenin’s birth.
Given that interesting confluence of dates, it seems more than ironic that so many former communists, when the Cold War ended, ran for the woods. It was the ideal ideological refuge. Rocks and frogs cannot tell the commie “environmentalist” to go jump in a lake. They can’t tell the central planners to take a hike back to their air-conditioned offices in Manhattan or coffee shops in Berkeley. Thus, for socialists, here’s the perfect constituency to wield government power and manage people and property. Continue reading →
February 14, 2019
By Jack Crowe • National Review
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal resolution introduced last week by a coalition of progressive lawmakers vowing to eliminate all greenhouse-gas emissions within ten years, while simultaneously creating millions of jobs in a government-subsidized green-energy sector.
“I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal. And we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate. Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell said with a sly smile during a Tuesday press conference.
The resolution, which was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) on Friday, provides a sweeping list of climate-change- and social-justice-related measures including the refurbishing of every structure in the country with renewable-energy technology and the creation of millions of federally funded jobs in the green-energy sector. Continue reading →
February 12, 2019
We don’t often praise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but we have to say, we appreciate his recent frankness on taxes.
On Monday, he told his state’s citizens that income tax revenues were coming in $2.3 billion below the expectations of just a month ago. “That’s as serious as a heart attack,” he said.
He’s right. The question is why?
A little budget talk is in order. New York plans to spend about $176 billion in the coming fiscal year, starting April 1. About $100 billion of that, according to Carl Campanile of the New York Post, will come from federal funds.
That means the actual deficit in state funding after just one month is 3%. Cuomo says it’s due to the new federal tax code, which limits state income tax deductions to $10,000, and recent volatility in the stock market. Continue reading →
February 10, 2019
There’s little doubt that the political flavor of the day is what the left calls “democratic socialism.” And one of this movement’s more recent ideas, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is to impose a “wealth tax” on the wealthy. Sorry, senator, it’s an old idea — one that’s thoroughly discredited.
To begin with, the wealth tax is nothing new. It’s been tried by many nations, but most who’ve tried it have dropped it. As recently as 1990, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 12 of its member countries imposed a wealth tax on citizens. Today, it’s just four.
The irony is that those who ended their failed experiments with the wealth tax are those that America’s “democratic socialists” say they most admire. That includes Denmark and Sweden, nations often cited by people like Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as worthy of emulation by the American left. Continue reading →
February 6, 2019
Victor Davis Hanson • National Review
The old Democratic party championed the working classes, wanted secure borders to protect middle-class union wage earners, and focused generous federal entitlement help on the citizen poor. Civil rights were defined as equality of opportunity for all.
That party is long dead. An updated Hubert Humphrey or even Bill Clinton would not recognize any of the present “Democrats.”
Even the old wing of elite liberals is mostly long gone, with its talk of legal immigration only, opposition to censorship, pro-Israel foreign policy, let-it-hang-out Sixties indulgence, and free speech.
It was superseded by grim progressives who are not so much interested in a square, new, or fair deal for the middle classes, as an entirely different deal that redefines everything from the Bill of Rights and the very way we elect presidents and senators to an embrace of identity politics as its first principle. Continue reading →
February 5, 2019
By David Weinberger • The Federalist
For most people, moral visions trump economic realities, and that is why so-called “democratic socialism” has growing appeal. One’s sense of compassion outweighs the pain of higher taxation.
Consider, for example, this exchange between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Rep. Tom Price:
Sanders: Congressman Price, America is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. Do you believe health care is a right of all Americans, whether they’re rich or they’re poor? Should people, because they are Americans, be able to go to their doctor when they need to, be able to go to into a hospital, because they are Americans? Continue reading →
February 4, 2019
Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Wednesday that Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D., Calif.) denunciation of private health insurance could haunt her presidential campaign.
At a town hall event on CNN Monday (watch here), Harris said there are a host of problems associated with private health insurance, including delays and costs, and she said, “Let’s eliminate all of that.” After liberal commentator Richard Fowler downplayed the radicalism of Harris’s comment, Continetti answered affirmatively when co-host Bill Hemmer asked if the comment will “stick to her.”
“Yes, [it will stick to her], and it would stick to her if she became the Democratic nominee,” Continetti said. “I think Senator Harris had a pretty good rollout: She had that big rally in Oakland, she had the good fundraising number in her first day. This is a major slip-up for her, which will haunt her if she makes it to the general election.” Continue reading →
February 3, 2019
Kamala Harris has a big idea for your health-care plan: elimination.
The early contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are working feverishly to out-radical each other. Senator Elizabeth Warren has come out with a confiscatory wealth tax that in practice proved too oppressive for Sweden and Denmark, both of which abolished theirs years ago. Harris, not wanting to be outflanked on her left, has now called for the abolition of private health insurance, a proposal that would go well beyond even the practice in single-payer systems such as those of the United Kingdom and Canada.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked her whether under her “Medicare for All” proposal people would be permitted to keep their insurance if they like it. Harris, unlike Barack Obama, offered no such concession. Instead, she offered this: “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
Move on to what? Continue reading →
January 30, 2019
Leading Democrats are pushing an agenda that would more than double the size of the federal government. This comes as a new Gallup Poll finds that the public views government as the most important problem facing the country today.
Gallup regularly asks what are the biggest problems facing the country today. The latest shows “government” well in the lead, with “immigration” No. 2.
Another Gallup poll finds that, despite all the focus on left-wing celebrities like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the country remains far more conservative than liberal — with 35% saying they are conservative compared with 26% who are liberal. The rest fall in the middle. Continue reading →
January 27, 2019
By Edward Conard • Wall Street Journal
Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her first few weeks on Capitol Hill calling for a 70% top marginal income-tax rate, and suddenly the debate over optimal rates has reopened. To support her charge, some liberals are citing a 2011 study by economists Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, which advocates for confiscatory upper-range tax rates. But a quick look at their analysis reveals grave caveats that only an advocate of higher taxes could possibly overlook.
Messrs. Diamond and Saez admit that taxes can have detrimental…
Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her first few weeks on Capitol Hill calling for a 70% top marginal income-tax rate, and suddenly the debate over optimal rates has reopened. To support her charge, some liberals are citing a 2011 study by economists Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, which advocates for confiscatory upper-range tax rates. But a quick look at their analysis reveals grave caveats that only an advocate of higher taxes could possibly overlook. Continue reading →
January 23, 2019
By Cameron Cawthorne • Washington Free Beacon
Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Va.) on Monday said he doesn’t want Democrats going out on the campaign trail in 2020 making “false promises” like free college.
McAuliffe, who said he will make a decision on 2020 by the end of March, said Democrats don’t need a “compulsive liar” running against President Donald Trump, but instead a “compulsive optimist” and a “compulsive realist,” appearing to hint American voters need him.
Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power” host Jason Kelly referenced McAuliffe’s Washington Post op-ed from last week, where he said Democrats must not “make unrealistic ideological promises.” He then asked McAuliffe which policy proposal from his op-ed was the most “feasible.” Continue reading →
January 22, 2019
By Peter Roff • Newsweek
Have you heard the one about the entire GOP thinking that “women dancing are scandalous”? If you haven’t then you’re not following newly-elected Queens, N.Y. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter.
It seems Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who is rapidly becoming the public face, if not de-facto leader of the national Democratic Party, wasn’t too pleased with a comment someone made about a video released through social media that she made while in college, showing her and several others dancing, 90’s Hollywood style.
Now, to me and to the other people on the right with whom I discussed this, the video was no big deal. To others in the media, it was. The New York Times and the left-leaning Huffington Post both called it an attempted smear that backfired. To MSNBC, it was “Right Attempts to Discredit AOC.” And to Newsweek it was “Conservatives Mock Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for College Dancing Video, Everyone Else Thinks It’s Adorable.” Continue reading →
January 9, 2019
By Phil Kerpen • American Commitment
Americans are justifiably angry that we pay the highest prescription drugs prices in the world – anger President Trump tapped into on the campaign trail. The disparity exists because other rich countries use price control schemes, forcing American consumers to provide the returns on capital that justify the enormous research and development costs associated with bringing new cures to market; the rest of the world free-rides on our innovation.
The good news is that the Trump administration has been aggressive on the trade front in efforts to break foreign price control regimes; the bad news is that the Trump administration is also proposing to actually import foreign price control regimes into the Medicare program by adopting a payment formula that is pegged to foreign prices.
In its recent report “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) looked at “the impact on medical innovation of the U.S. adopting European-style price controls” and found: Continue reading →