Most policy proposals during party primary campaigns are essentially pipe dreams designed to attract the largest number of politically faithful voters who are also delightfully gullible.
This is a bipartisan tactic, which provides talking points to stress on the stump, to earnestly explain to us dummies listening to town halls and to argue over on televised debates. Unless you’re Donald Trump promising tax cuts and to defeat ISIS.
Since Democrats for the moment are the only ones with seriously-contested primary campaigns, we can examine what some of them are hankering for in their preliminary policy plans.
You’ll never guess what most of them want. Of course, you can. They’re Democrats.
They want more taxes, a lot more taxes. They need to take tons of extra cash from Americans to pay for all the “free” stuff they’re also advocating, like free college, Medicare for every breathing person in the country and reparations for slavery.
But don’t worry, gullible primary voter, it won’t be more taxes on you because, like everyone in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, you’re special.
It will instead be more taxes on – wait for it – evil rich people. You know, those “wealthy” Americans who drive a car, own a home or buy consumer products.
A lot of these money ideas will hit middle- and lower-income people. But perhaps they won’t notice the costs if they get sufficiently excited about all the “free” stuff.
So, let’s check a sampling of these plans, according to Bloomberg:
- Slap a new tax on banks with more than $50 million in assets. Kamala Harris especially likes this one, which would bring in an estimated $61 billion. Banks are big and bad, unless you want or have home mortgage.
- Increase by 88 percent the amount of income Americans must pay Social Security taxes on from the current $132,900 up to at least a quarter-million. Maybe more. Yeh, sure, some middle-class families will be caught in the cash net. But see, silly person who doesn’t understand how government works, they’re spending all the current Social Security tax income already. So, they need more for new programs, probably another $800+ billion.
- People are making too much money from investments that can help create jobs. So, jack the capital gains by 50 percent to 30 percent. That might rake in more than $600 billion, assuming it doesn’t stop much investing..
- And let’s cut into that mortgage interest tax deduction. Too many Americans are owning or buying homes and affording it. That’s worth a good $972 billion at least.
- Here’s a good one: Hike the federal tax on a gallon of gasoline by “only” 10 cents, which is actually 65 percent. This should bring in another $170 billion. Sure, it hits regular working folks the hardest, but we all must make financial sacrifices for the greener good. Also, tell town halls the money will pay for infrastructure repairs. That’s a good line. Some Republicans might even go for it, unless they know Grover Norquist.
- Oh, and index that enlarged gas tax to inflation so it’ll increase automatically forever and politicians won’t have to wait another 26 years for new revenues.
- Finally – well, it’s not really final because there are many other tax ideas – let’s install a value-added tax. This will be a five percent levy on every step of any item’s production process. Europe loves them. Yes, yes, it would hike consumer prices considerably. But it would bring in – are you sitting down? – nearly $6.2 Trillion.
What’s not to like — in Democratic primaries?