Free Stuff Can Be Very Expensive
When you cut through the high-minded progressive campaign rhetoric about how much they care for ordinary Americans, when you peer through the smoke and mirrors they employ like a Las Vegas magician trying to put one over on the crowd, their strategy to win the White House is really quite simple: Appeal to the worst instincts of the American people. Appeal to their greed and envy. Buy their votes with other people’s money.
Whether it’s Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or any of the others on the Left who want to unseat Donald Trump, they all understand a political truism: If you rob Peter to pay Paul, the scheme only works if there are more guys named Paul than there are guys named Peter.
And there are. Do the math. There’s the deplorable 1 percent that progressives talk about as if they were a band of thieves, and there’s the other 99 percent to whom they shamelessly and cynically pander.
Here’s a short list of what democratic socialism looks like as 2020 approaches: free college at public universities, government-mandated forgiveness of student loan debt, jobs for everyone, guaranteed basic income for all, Medicare for All with no premiums and no co-pays, subsidized housing, free quality childcare to everybody earning under $50,000 and heavily subsidized care to everybody else.
Who wouldn’t want all this “free” stuff as long as someone else is paying for it? It’s human nature to like free stuff. And if you don’t believe me go to any IHOP on “Free Pancake Day” and check out the lines that stretch all around the block.
If you’ll stand in line for a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes, why would you be against “free” tuition? And you don’t even have to wait in a long line for that.
But even stupid voters know that there’s no such thing as “free” stuff -- and that’s where the cynicism of the Democrats running for president comes in. They want the rich to pay for everything, knowing that this is not a group that engenders sympathy from those ordinary Americans. Class warfare is in the Left’s DNA and they exploit it every chance they get.
So how exactly do they propose paying for all the freebies? Well they can raise the top tax rate on rich people to 70 percent; or they can impose a wealth tax on the super rich; or they can increase the estate (death) tax rate to astronomical levels so left wing politicians can confiscate the money you saved all your life and instead of allowing you to give it to whoever you want, they’ll take it and give it to whoever they want. Or, more likely, they can do all of it, and a lot more.
Even if the progressives can squeeze enough money out of rich people to pay for all the “free” stuff – a questionable proposition – taking trillions out of the economy in the form of higher taxes to fund an even bigger more intrusive government would have a whole bunch of unintended consequences.
Some of the so-called rich would simply work less – and pay less in taxes. Some entrepreneurs would fire a few workers to make up the shortfall from their higher tax bill. And a lot of businesspeople would simply raise the price on their goods and services, everything from tacos and dry cleaning to visits to the doctor.
How is any of that good for working class people the progressives say they want to help? The Left doesn’t give a whole lot of thought to these things.
Bribery is illegal in this country -- except when politicians bribe greedy voters, offering them goodies they don’t have to pay for in exchange for their votes. Then it’s called the American electoral system, democracy for short.
If Republicans during this campaign season don’t make it clear that “free” stuff is really quite expensive, and that taxes will go up and not just on the rich, but ultimately on everybody to pay for all of it … then they’ll deserve to lose.