Democrat Debates Deepen Divisions - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Democrat Debates Deepen Divisions

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 11:02 am

Twenty of the two dozen declared democrat presidential hopefuls in quest of their party’s nomination finished the first round of debates in general agreement that Donald Trump was the worst president ever and that the best thing that any of them could do for the country was to deny him a second term. Beyond that, they mostly agreed on the need for more government spending and regulations, open borders, some version of socialized medicine, unrestricted right to abortions and ending the use of fossil fuels. Listening to them describing our nation’s shortcomings, one might think that we were in the throes of a depression rather than enjoying unprecedented prosperity, economic growth and record employment, including among minorities.

The politics of envy and class division were evident as the candidates demonstrated the party’s leftward lurch. The Wall Street Journal, in its lead editorial the day after the second debate, said that “(i)t isn’t clear why the Democrats have moved so far to the left.” I think it’s perfectly clear. It’s greed. The candidates are so desperate for power that they will promise anything to get votes, regardless of the cost, whether by income re-distribution, free college, free medical care for everyone including illegal immigrants and a free path to citizenship for them so that they can become reliable Democrat voters.

The surest way to end the current economic and employment growth in America will be to elect one of these candidates who are competing with one another to see who can offer voters the most free stuff. Democrats can’t seem to tolerate prosperity if they even suspect that the affluent somewhere are becoming more affluent. Take California, for instance. That most liberal of states is enjoying a $21B budget surplus, largely because of a tax increase on the wealthy. Watch how quickly the Democrats in Sacramento squander it as they spend ever more on public employee benefits and some of the worse schools in the country. For example, California already spends $3,600 more per pupil than Florida and 50% more than it did a decade ago. Yet, according to one study, only half as many California fourth graders are as proficient in reading as those in Florida and only 31% are proficient in math compared to a national average of 40%, which is bad enough.

The Golden State contains about half of the nation’s homeless and about half of its illegal immigrants. Its infrastructure is in disgraceful condition and its taxes are among the highest in the land. Housing is in short supply in the urban areas and it is unaffordable. Why would anyone in their right mind vote for a Democrat from California for president, including Sen. Kamala Harris or Rep. Eric Swalwell? And speaking of the latter, Mr. Swalwell demonstrated his immaturity and lack of good manners when he told former Vice-president Joe Biden, the most experienced of the candidates seeking the nomination to run for the highest office in the land, that it was time to pass the torch to younger leaders. Personally, I would have told Mr. Swalwell that I had no intention of passing the torch, least of all to someone as immature as he is, but if I ever did, I would probably tell him, in explicit language, what he could do with it. Mr. Biden was too polite to do so, of course, but Mr. Trump, I’m sure, wouldn’t hesitate for a minute.

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour “so that even those without a college education can afford a middle class lifestyle.” Good luck with trying to do that on $15 an hour and support a family unless you’re planning to live on the street and eat a lot of ramen noodles. If he thinks it can be done, he should try it. He’ll find, as others have, that raising the minimum wage kills starter jobs in small businesses.

And speaking of college, those candidates favoring free college for everyone might take a lesson from Kalamazoo, Michigan, which tried free tuition to all residents who wanted it, funded by wealthy benefactors. According to statistics compiled by the Upjohn Institute, the percentage of those high school graduates receiving free tuition earning a bachelor’s degree within six years increased substantially—for whites and high to upper income families with less need for free tuition—but only by 4% for lower income families and not at all for blacks. The graduation rate for whites was triple that of blacks, making it clear that there are causal factors other than affordability such as a high percentage of single- parent families and lack of a home environment that prioritizes higher education and helps prepare students for success in college. Many of those accepting the free tuition said they did so only because it was available, not because they particularly wanted to go to college.

College for all, a progressive mantra, is promoted by liberal politicians under the rational that everyone would have higher earning capacity. But if everyone had a college degree, why would it be worth more money? Not everyone needs a college education and resources expended on providing it to those who don’t need or want one would be far better spent on vocational training.

The campaign season is young and a lot can certainly change before it’s over. But the economy is booming and not just for the rich, contrary to the liberal pitch. As a prominent Democrat said not too long ago, “It’s the economy, stupid!” How many voters will be willing to trust that economy to a party drifting toward socialism?

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