Three of the Democrats’ aspiring 2020 contenders, specifically Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown, haven’t done all that well in the early polling. Even that last CNN poll of Iowa Democrats left all three of them in single digits, well behind two old white guys. So how do they start gaining some traction? Simple. If people don’t love you yet, just offer to deliver some bags of cash to their doorstep. (NBC News)

As Democrats gear up to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, several possible contenders are testing out a simple pitch: Would you like some more money?

A suite of big ticket bills by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., would directly transfer upwards of trillions of dollars in cash directly to Americans. While low-income workers would be the biggest beneficiaries, the proposals would apply to large chunks of the middle class as well.

“It’s almost, on the face of it, obvious,” Brown told NBC News. “I want to reward work, but I also want to bring people out of poverty who don’t make enough money.”

It’s almost obvious,” says Sherrod Brown. Well… I should think so. There’s nothing to get people’s attention like the prospect of free money. But precisely what are these three talking about?

It’s not exactly some sort of socialist European universal basic income (UBC) scheme. (Or at least not yet.) Brown’s plan would “massively expand” the earned income tax credit (EITC) as well as the child tax credit. Harris is much closer to a UBC proposal, offering to just send $500 a month to families or $250 per month to single people who earn below a given income level. Booker’s plan is at least somewhat more interesting, proposing to give a $1,000 “baby bond” to every child at birth, adding up to another $2,000 per year until they reach age 18.

What do all of these plans have in common? They will cost trillions of dollars with no matching cuts in costs or increases in revenue. And I’ll give you one guess as to how they plan to pay for them. Wait… you don’t even need a guess. They all want to roll back the tax cuts everyone received under the Trump administration. (You know… the crumbs.)

We often make jokes about Democrats getting elected on the basis of giving away “free stuff.” But this takes it to a whole new level, doesn’t it? I mean, it might not technically be bribery under conventional legal definitions, but it’s still a deal which essentially says, “vote for us and we’ll just send you lots of money.”

Of course, such plans have to be paid for by the taxpayers. Those would be the ones who would lose their tax cuts to make such plans happen. Obviously, the current leadership in the Senate and the White House aren’t going to consider such a deal, so these aspiring presidential candidates don’t have to worry about actually implementing their plans and taking responsibility for the subsequent economic collapse. But as they gear up for the campaign trail, they can hold these plans out as “what you might get” if you vote for them.