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 →
January 4, 2019
Radicalism: Some prominent Democrats are warning their party about its drift toward socialist policies and its endless attacks on President Trump. Is there anyone left in the Democratic Party who will listen?
A few weeks ago, former California Gov. Jerry Brown said that his party is out of touch with the mainstream, even in liberal California.
On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe blasted members of his own party for making “unrealistic ideological promises.”
Lack of Realism
“Ideological populism or relentless negativity are playing on Trump’s turf,” McAuliffe writes in an Op-Ed published by the Washington Post. “Resisting dishonest populism is not just a policy imperative for serious Democrats but also a political imperative for 2020.”
In particular, McAuliffe attacked two of the current fixations of a growing swath of the party: a “federal jobs guarantee” and “universal free college.”
About the former, McAuliffe says it’s “not a realistic policy.” He doesn’t explain why, but anyone who’s studied the idea realizes that the cost of this jobs guarantee to taxpayers and the economy would be enormous. Nevertheless, presidential hopefuls including Sens. Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand, and Bernie Sanders all support the proposal.
He also blasts calls for “universal free college.”
“Spending limited taxpayer money on a free college education for the children of rich parents badly misses the mark for most families,” he writes.
McAuliffe doesn’t bother to mention the even more radical and wildly unrealistic proposals now catching on with congressional Democrats.
That list includes the “Green New Deal” pushed by socialist celebrity Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Among its proposals is that the nation’s power grid be 100% renewable in a decade, which would amount to a horrifically large tax hike on the middle class. Even so, dozens of Democrats have endorsed the plan. And the Washington Post reports that support for it “is showing signs of becoming a liberal litmus test among Democrats.”
Nor does McAuliffe mention Democrats’ “Medicare For All” push. As we’ve pointed out, this $33 trillion government takeover of health care is to the left of even communist China. Yet it, too, is fast becoming a litmus test for Democrats. McAuliffe himself has endorsed the idea.
Will Dems Listen?
To be clear, McAuliffe — like Jerry Brown — is far from a centrist Democrat. In that same Op-Ed, he announces his own support for “comprehensive climate change legislation,” minimum wage hikes, tax increases and drug price controls.
But even he realizes that pushing truly pie-in-the-sky socialist policies won’t help the party win working class voters in 2020.
Will anyone in the party take heed of McAuliffe’s and Brown’s entreaties? Unlikely.
All the pressure on the Democratic leadership today is coming from the far left of the party, with the enthusiastic support of the mainstream media. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already proved unwilling to rein them in. The moderates who helped the party take control of the House won’t have a chance against the pressure tactics of the far left.
For our part, we hope McAuliffe is right. We hope that his party’s turn toward radicalism and “relentless negativity” backfires big time on Democrats in 2020.
December 26, 2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history as the youngest woman ever to be elected to the House of Representatives at 29, and she’s being hailed by the media as the de facto leader of the incoming House Democrat Freshman class. While her fans are excited at the prospect of a millennial socialist promising free stuff, what has gone glaringly overlooked is her striking lack of understanding of how the government, where she’s been elected to serve, actually works.
Someone get this woman a civics book.
In a painful-to-watch video Ocasio-Cortez called the three branches of government the three “chambers,” not the first time she’s been confused. In her world the three chambers of government are the House, Senate, and the Presidency.
I decided to ask my fifth grader if she knew what the three “chambers” of government were. Her response: “Do you mean branches?” Why yes, yes I do. And then she proceeded to name the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Continue reading →
August 18, 2018
By Peter Roff • Newsweek
There’s been an awful lot of scribble and chatter lately about a recent Gallup survey purporting to show that America, Democrats especially, are becoming more enamored of socialism. Most of the people who’ve had something to say about it though have gotten it wrong. Democrats are not moving to the left in any appreciable way. They’re just moving further away from the center.
Let’s spend a moment discussing why that’s a distinction with a difference. Gallup first asked whether survey participants had a more favorable view of socialism or capitalism in 2010. The results on the GOP side have been consistent throughout, with about three-quarters of Republicans regularly indicating more positive feelings about the free market. Among Democrats, however, there’s been a shift.
Here’s how the polling firm describes it: “For the first time in Gallup’s measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism. Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year—lower than in any of the three previous measures.”
August 13, 2018
Socialism: Since the Democratic Party took a turn for the worse toward so-called democratic socialism, the party’s leading lights have laid the promises on pretty thick. Free Medicare for all! Guaranteed income! Guaranteed jobs! Subsidized housing! Free college! Universal pre-school! Wow, and all for free.
Well, not exactly. In a devastating piece that appeared on the left-of-center web site Vox (to its credit), Manhattan Institute fellow Brian Riedl went through the simple math of what free actually costs. It’s a lot.
It’s not just the free aspect, but the fact that the democratic socialists have made so many promises that must be paid for that will make it so tough to swallow for most voters.
Riedl looked at the 10-year costs of all the various promises made by Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other self-described democratic socialists. He was as generous as could be in his estimates, often accepting the democratic socialists’ cost estimate even when it was patently and absurdly too low. It’s quite a laundry-list of promises with enormous costs: “Free college” ($807 billion); Social Security expansion ($188 billion); single-payer health care ($32 trillion); guaranteed jobs at $15 per hour plus benefits ($6.8 trillion); infrastructure ($1 trillion); student loan debt forgiveness ($1.4 trillion).
As it is, current federal estimates expect Continue reading →
June 28, 2018
By George Landrith • Townhall
Elon Musk made headlines last week when he declared via Twitter that he is “a socialist.”
But hardworking ratepayers and taxpayers who must endure price hikes to subsidize the electric car industry have long been aware of Musk’s preference for wealth redistribution – not through Twitter but Tesla.
Electric vehicle manufacturers are the beneficiaries of zero-emissions credits – through which the multibillionaire’s corporation received $860 million throughout the last three years – as well as charging stations funded by ratepayers. Owners of luxury electric vehicles, meanwhile, can take advantage of a federal $7,500 tax credit and, as a POLITICO piece recently explained, Continue reading →
October 31, 2017
By Rob Knowles • The Association of Mature American Citizens
“In practice, socialism didn’t work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy.” – David Horowitz
I had a topic in mind for today’s piece, and was set on writing about it when my roommate came home from his new job as a server. Our subsequent conversation blew me away because despite my roommate’s ardent support of Democrats, and Bernie Sanders specifically, he made an inadvertent argument against socialism.
I sat on our big red couch in awe as he said the following (not exact wording):
The job is really nice. The only annoying thing about it is that our tips are pooled. It kind of makes you wanna work less hard because you’re not getting your tips directly.” Continue reading →
May 8, 2017
By Robert Tracinski • The Federalist
British athlete James Cracknell was recently caught citing North Korea and Cuba as examples of how to “get a handle on obesity”—which both regimes have done by starving their people.
Cracknell posted a half-hearted apology, and I don’t want to be too hard on him, because in all likelihood he is simply not very bright and just needs to refrain from speaking in public ever again. This is unfortunate for him, since he has ambitions of running for Parliament.
The problem is that Cracknell has clearly been educated and lives in an environment where the reasons for starvation in Communist regimes are considered to be vague and complex and maybe can just be chalked down to “behavior modification.” Cracking jokes about the Holocaust is a line not to be crossed, but insensitive offhand references to brutal communist dictatorships? No big deal. Continue reading →
March 29, 2017
By Dave Nammo • National Review
Headlines about “the end of the republic” litter political commentary across the political landscape. They usually mark the beginning of a discussion of the merits of Donald Trump as president of the United States, but his ascendency is not the leading sign of a collapse of American society. For that, see a recent poll indicating a tectonic shift occurring in the political preferences of U.S. adults. When you consider current trends in cultural norms and widely held beliefs, you will see that we are headed toward the end of the American experiment.
The American Culture and Faith Institute recently conducted a survey of adults 18 and older. It shows not only how deeply divided Americans are on some issues but also how their view of the nation stands in many cases in stark contrast to our nation’s founding principles. Most Americans (58 percent) see themselves as politically moderate, while a quarter identify as conservative, and 17 percent as liberal. Those who were both socially and fiscally conservative, the group tracked by the ACFI in greatest detail, were 6 percent of the population. Continue reading →
March 1, 2017
Want to lose weight fast? Don’t worry about the latest fad diet. Just move to Venezuela. There, the new Socialist Diet has caused the population to lose millions of pounds in 12 months. Unwillingly, of course.
A new study of Venezuela’s stunning decline under Hugo Chavez’s socialist model, still followed faithfully by his lap dog successor, Nicolas Maduro, reports that the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in the last year. Today, the 2016 Living Conditions Survey finds, 32.5% of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, up from 11.3% just one year ago. And 93.3% of all people don’t earn enough to buy sufficient food.
American Thinker blogger Ronald C. Tinnell called it “The Venezuelan Miracle Weight Loss Program.” Continue reading →
April 28, 2016
by Emily Ekins • Washington Post
Millennials are the only age group in America in which a majority views socialism favorably. A national Reason-Rupe survey found that 53 percent of Americans under 30 have a favorable view of socialism compared with less than a third of those over 30. Moreover, Gallup has found that an astounding 69 percent of millennials say they’d be willing to vote for a “socialist” candidate for president — among their parents’ generation, only a third would do so. Indeed, national polls and exit polls reveal about 70 to 80 percent of young Democrats are casting their ballots for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”
Yet millennials tend to reject the actual definition of socialism — government ownership of the means of production, or government running businesses. Only 32 percent of millennials favor “an economy managed by the government,” while, similar to older generations, 64 percent prefer a free-market economy. And as millennials age and begin to earn more, their socialistic ideals seem to slip away. Continue reading →