The first major candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination launched their campaigns just two months ago. To a person, they have all lurched steadily leftward ever since.
Over the past eight weeks, Democrat presidential candidates have endorsed a full government takeover of the health care industry, a job guarantee program, doubling the minimum wage, free preschool, free college, a quasi-universal basic income, the abolition of the Electoral College, court-packing, reparations for the great-great-great-great-grandchildren of slaves, and the Green New Deal.
The latter two proposals alone would cost taxpayers an estimated $107 trillion. To put that in perspective, the federal government received $3.33 trillion of tax revenue in 2018. Even if we eliminated every other penny of government spending — i.e., shuttered every government program and department other than the IRS and disbanded the military — it would still take 32 years’ worth of tax receipts to pay for reparations and the Green New Deal alone. This timeline poses a dilemma, as the policies themselves would cause the American economy to crash long before we could ever pay the bill.
John Jay, our nation’s first Chief Justice, observed in 1809 that “pure democracy, like pure rum, easily produces intoxication, and with it a thousand mad pranks and fooleries.” Perhaps that explains why, as John Adams warned five years later, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
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