It’s the classic definition of populism, not to mention socialism and economic irresponsibility. Promise something for nothing, get elected, and either don’t deliver on your promises, or worse, you do deliver, and bankrupt the institutions involved.
And since it’s a such a diversified electorate, you have to promise something free to everyone. A senior citizen’s concern isn’t the same as a college graduate burdened with student debt. An African-American who wants slavery reparations doesn’t care about the rights of product liability victims in court. Which brings us to the definition of “populism.”
The left has hijacked the word to negatively describe Trump, but in my book and historically, populism is always associated with free stuff, with the “They’re to blame so let’s take stuff from them and give it to you” way of thinking. Che, Fidel, Chavez, Mao, Lenin…it’s a long list, but it sure doesn’t include pols on the right who advocate personal responsibility, opportunity, and freedom.
Dems think that just because Trump is so popular (and he isn’t really anyway, is he?), he can be labeled a populist. The left is just looking for any insult to hurl at him, no matter how invalid.
When it comes to spending, the Dems are promising free health care for all. Now, unless the DNC is hiding an Army of unqualified Cuban slave doctors in the mountains surrounding San Francisco, I don’t know how they’re going to pull this off. Yes, they might find a few American doctors willing to work for $20 a month like their Cuban counterparts, but otherwise, it’s going to cost some real bucks.
Bernie Sanders claims that if Norway can do it, we can do it too. Doesn’t Bernie know that there are just over 5 million people in all of Norway, and that their tax rate is almost half of their total GDP!? Plus, Norway doesn’t have to deal with the little problem of tens of millions of non-tax-paying illegals…many who receive forms of public assistance that add up to a lot of debt…nor does Norway have to support a real military, and support freedom around the globe, like the U.S. does.
America isn’t Norway, Bernie, so get this stupid idea out of your head. And try to remember that Norway has been moving to the right (2013 elections anyone?), trying to move away from their welfare state mentality. The money has to come from somewhere, and it just isn’t there. Pardon me for not taking your word that we can provide free health care for everyone without a financial apocalypse.
The next freebie that Dems love to love is amnesty for student debt, and I suppose a substantial number of recently graduated young Republicans (are there any left?) love it too. But let’s get serious and stop singing Money For Nothing. Although crushing student loan debt is certainly a huge problem, you can’t just say, “Okay, forget it! Don’t pay! We were just kidding!” There’s a sensible financial solution to helping these young people just starting out in life, some sort of debt relief or repayment modification, but don’t expect the Democrats to think of it.
Then they want free college for everyone, another real winner, when much of our primary public education system can’t even graduate a respectable percentage of students, nor produce true quality graduates. Just ask any recent graduate any question about World War II, the easier the better. If their answers don’t aim you to favoring private charter schools and school choice, nothing will. Don’t be too shocked when most of them tell you that we fought England during that war. They’ll also say that in the War of 1812, we fought Canada.
A comedian once commented that his high school guidance counselor told him, while discussing his plans for after graduation, “Barry, education isn’t for everyone,” insinuating that Barry wouldn’t benefit very much from a college education. Although the joke didn’t take into account the benefits of vocational or technical training (it was just a joke, after all), the meaning isn’t lost. College for everyone is just stupid, and if the Democrats pushed for free alternate/vocational training for those that can’t afford it, they might have a winning issue.
Their problem in the political context is a lot of these programs already exist, and almost free college education also exists in many places via community, city, and even some state colleges, with available grants and admission adjustments based on family income and race. (Don’t quote me, but nowadays, I wouldn’t doubt that Howard University has some kind of minority admission program for Caucasians.)
The latest nuttiness is Dem hopeful Kamala Harris’s plan to spend $100 billion in housing assistance for blacks, to be used for down payments to boost black home ownership. $25,000 would go to each of 4,000,000 new homeowners who can’t afford to buy a home right now. The program would be handled by HUD, which as we all know has done a simply spectacular job in the past! (Once HUD gets past providing dangerous mobile homes for homeless hurricane victims, dangerous chemical vapors and such, they’re totally lost.)
In the true spirit of free stuff for everyone, she made the announcement for her plan while appearing at Essence’s Global Black Economic Forum. (You gotta play to the crowd, right?) However, I’m sure there were many in that audience who viewed the idea with great suspicion, since they didn’t forget the sub-prime mortgage crisis which resulted in a banking crisis and hopeful new homeowners being thrown out of their homes in the end:
If you can’t afford the mortgage payments and other expenses involved in home ownership, you simply can’t afford it, and it doesn’t make any sense to give the keys to someone to a home they can’t keep for very long because of their income and changing economic conditions.
I think a lot of Americans, even Dems, are wise to pie-in-the-sky promises of something for nothing, and simply laugh them off as campaign stunts, and a joke.
A “Hee Haw!” kind of joke, as the Democrat Donkey represents by its very nature.