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US Democrats are going ‘socialist’. A boon for Trump?

‘America will never be socialist’, Donald Trump said in his State of the Union last week. He criticised ‘new calls to adopt socialism in this country’

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019

It looks like the Democratic party takes a left turn. An opportunity for President Trump? In his State of the Union last week, he said ‘We are born free and will stay free. America will never be a socialist country’. To continue with broadside against the crumbling Chavez regime in Venezuela,’ where socialist policies have turned (it) from the richest country in South America to the poorest on earth’.
It looks like the Democratic party takes a left turn. An opportunity for President Trump? In his State of the Union last week, he said ‘We are born free and will stay free. America will never be a socialist country’. To continue with broadside against the crumbling Chavez regime in Venezuela,’ where socialist policies have turned (it) from the richest country in South America to the poorest on earth’.

By N. Peter Kramer 

‘America will never be socialist’, Donald Trump said in his State of the Union last week. He criticised ‘new calls to adopt socialism in this country’. 

Democrats -and their supporting media such as the Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN- are already protesting that the socialist label doesn’t apply to them. But what are they afraid of, the label of their own ideas? The biggest political story of 2019 is that Democrats are embracing policies that include government control of ever-larger chunks of the private economy. 

Isn’t socialism ‘any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods’ (Merriam Webster’s New World Dictionary)?

Recently the Wall Street Journal mentioned some recent proposals of the Democrats.

•  Medicare for all. Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan, endorsed by 16 other Democratic Senators, would replace all private health insurance in the US with a federally administered single-payer health care programme. Government would decide what care to deliver, which drugs to pay for, and how much to pay doctors and hospitals. 

Private insurance would be banned. Senator Kamala Harris said: “the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care and you don’t have to go through the process of an insurance company. Let’s eliminate all of that.’ Well, replacing private insurance with government control sounds quite socialist, doesn’t it?

•  The Green New Deal. This idea, endorsed by 40 House Democrats and several Democratic presidential candidates, would require that he US be carbon neutral within 10 years. Non-carbon sources provide only 11% of US energy today, so this would mean a complete remake of American electric power, transportation and manufacturing. 

And, as imagined by the fast rising Democratic star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, all of this would be planned by a Select Committee For a Green New Deal. As the WSJ wrote: Soviet five-year plans were more modest.

•  A guaranteed government job for all.  To assist in this 10-year transformation of society, the plan is to ‘provide all members of society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage to job to every person who wants one’. 

Presidential candidate senator Kirsten Gillibrand support the plan as an alternative to tax reform. It is not a fringe idea! The Center for American Progress, Obama’s think tank, supports a government job for everyone.    

•  A new system for corporate control. Senator Elisabeth Warren wants a new federal charter for businesses with more than $1 billion in annual revenue that would make companies answer to more than shareholders.

Employees would elect 40% of directors, who would be obliged to consider ‘benefits’ beyond returns to the owners. A radical redesign of corporate governance that would give politicians (and their interest groups) influence over private business.  

•  Vastly higher taxes. Senator Sanders wants to raise the top death tax rate to 77%. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a new 70% tax rate on high incomes. Senator Warren wants a new 2% ‘wealth tax’ on assets above $50 million. Democrats in the House Ways and Means Committee are working on a bill to raise the payroll tax to 14.8% from 12.4% on incomes above $400.000.  Isn’t this government confiscation merely because someone has earned or saved more money than someone else? 

And there are many more ‘socialist’ proposals, such as Senator Warren’s plan to set up a government-owned generic drug maker that would inevitably put private companies out of business. 

It looks like the Democratic party takes a left turn. An opportunity for President Trump? In his State of the Union last week, he said ‘We are born free and will stay free. America will never be a socialist country’. To continue with broadside against the crumbling Chavez regime in Venezuela,’ where socialist policies have turned (it) from the richest country in South America to the poorest on earth’.  

In his recent column in the Sunday Times, Prof. Niall Ferguson (Stanford University) gives the US Democrats a well-meant warning: ‘In American politics, unlike in Europe, those who live by the s-word die by the s-word’. 






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