Tuesday, July 02, 2019

To Democrat candidates, America really is the land of the free!

Most Americans understand that America’s reputation for freedom comes from its providing opportunities for all to do mostly as they please, with certain sensible restrictions, to pursue happiness and success at their own pace.

That philosophy worked well for more than 200 years, but lately has come under attack by the left as being inadequate to provide a free and easy life to people, including those among us who are not citizens, and even if they are here illegally.

Today, to the left, “the land of the free” means “the land of the free stuff.”

And, yes, there is evidence for that statement: The public statements made at the first two Democrat debates between hopefuls for the party’s nomination for president.

Human Events reports the following list of the free stuff the Democrat candidates have offered: Free College; Free Healthcare; Cancellation of Student Loan Debt; Reparations for African-Americans; Reparations for Same-Sex Couples; Free Childcare; Free Housing; Free Income; and Free Healthcare for Illegal Immigrants.

It would be a challenge to compile a list of things that are more contradictory to the American ideals of individual freedom and individual responsibility than this list.

Among other problems, such as the enormous cost of these gifts, this list produces government control of nearly every aspect of life, something liberals, socialists and communists all love with a passion.

After being driven to a war for their independence, and winning it, the colonies formed a government set forth in the U.S. Constitution that was unique and has proven itself very successful. It offered a huge degree of individual freedom, guaranteed many specific rights, and promised to all the ability to determine their own future and to work to succeed at it.

And today’s Democrats want to undo all or much of that good work, and become like so much of the rest of the world, turning over our individual sovereignty to the government in return for free stuff, and “one-size-fits-all” programs that never work the way they are advertised, if they work at all.

Let’s look at free healthcare, “Medicare for All,” as it is called.

The FY2020 federal budget calls for $3.65 trillion in revenue, but $4.75 trillion in spending, producing a deficit of $1.1 trillion. The projected cost of free healthcare is $32.6 trillion over 10 years, or $3.26 trillion a year. That takes nearly all of the revenue projected for FY2020.

And since “free stuff” isn’t free, that money must come from somewhere. Taxes will go up to pay for these vote-buying efforts. A lot. On everybody, not just the hated rich, the 1 percent. And restrictions on healthcare services and providers will inevitably follow, limiting freedom.

Other promises also require the government to take your money to fund them. “Education should be a right, not a privilege,” so said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. “We need a revolution in the way that the United States funds higher education.”

In his argument for free college, Sanders makes a somewhat valid point, saying that people need education beyond what the K-12 public schools provide. He notes that many years ago a high school education was enough to prepare people for many entry-level jobs. But that has changed. 

Automation has replaced many of those jobs, and feel-good – but foolish – objectives like a mandated $15/hour minimum wage, will hasten those jobs being replaced by machines that cost less, don’t take vacations, and don’t often get sick.

Sanders’ idea of an expensive college education for everyone is silly. Many good paying jobs go unfilled because potential workers are often in college getting a degree that won’t help them get a job, instead of in training programs that will prepare them to work. Making college free for all is not just unnecessary, but just plain dumb. It will benefit colleges far more than students. And will cost billions.

The target audience for these wild, socialistic ideas have given little if any thought to their likely repercussions. And it’s not easy to tell whether those promoting the free stuff are merely trying to attract voter support, or working toward eventual government control over every aspect of our lives, or both. 

Democrats/liberals want to offer freedom: freedom from personal responsibility; freedom from having to work to achieve your goals and support yourself; freedom to allow the government to tell you what you can and cannot do with your life, etc.

These promises will turn what is still largely a nation of self-sufficient people into a nation of people that are dependent upon government. That is not what America is all about.

It is better for each of us, and it is better for America, when people have to show that they have what it takes to make something of themselves and take care of themselves and their family. This system has worked extremely well since the nation’s founding nearly two and one-half centuries ago. 

It is an critical omen that so many actually like these ideas, which indicates that they don’t know or understand the wisdom of the country’s sensible traditions.

Those who champion these foolish ideas must never be elected president, or to any other national office. 

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