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It was superseded by grim progressives who are not so much interested in a square, new, or fair deal for the middle classes, as an entirely different deal that redefines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 →
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 →