Column | The Democrats’ platform of pipe dreams
I don’t have any student debt and it isn’t because I was born into a wealthy family.
My father was an accountant. We lived in a middle-class neighborhood. My parents paid for my college education because my mother, who guarded the family finances like a team of Akitas, had a very simple spending policy: Don’t buy anything you can’t afford.
To this day, my widowed mother carries no mortgage, car payment or credit card debt.
By today’s standards, such frugality is revolutionary.
Each household in the U.S. with a credit card carries $8,284 in credit card debt and Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loans, according to debt.org.
But buck up. If you attended one of those super expensive – and therefore best – universities you couldn’t afford, and took out loans that you wouldn’t be able to repay if you lived to be 150, there’s hope.
Yes, it’s Christmas morning again in the Democrats’ enchanted village and another presidential candidate is wearing the Santa suit.
Today, it’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) who wants to cancel student debt for 42 million people and, while we’re at it, make tuition free for all Americans.
That all sounds fantastic.
But before I go on, let’s establish that college tuition is out of control. In fact, the price of college is increasing almost eight times faster than wages, according to forbes.com.
Of course, a big part of the reason for this is that the government will loan tremendous sums of money to anyone with a pulse. Colleges are going to get their money one way or the other, no matter what they charge.
Now that that’s out of the way, Warren’s loan forgiveness proposal, not-so-thinly disguised as yet another wealth redistribution program, will cost $640 billion.
Warren wants to pay for this giveaway – and stop me if this sounds familiar – by taxing rich people, as if it’s their fault people took out loans they either couldn’t afford or had no intention of paying back.
Speaking of taxing rich people, they’re also supposed to pay for the Green New Deal, proposed by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and would, among other things, do away with fossil fuels in 12 years and eventually eliminate the need for air travel. The sticker price for such fantasmagoria is somewhere in the neighborhood of $51 trillion and $93 trillion, depending on whose numbers you believe.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (D-VT) Medicare for All proposal would increase federal spending by about $32 trillion over the next decade.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) wants to give a tax credit to Americans who don’t owe taxes - $3,000 for singles and $6,000 for married couples. This would cost about $3 trillion over the next 10 years. Of course, if you’re married and make over $100,000 per year, forget it. Not only will you not get the credit, your taxes will increase because she wants to reverse President Trump’s 2017 tax cut.
There are other, equally unrealistic ideas on the table.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) wants to give every U.S. born child a $1,000 savings account.
Warren is also a proponent of universal child care.
I often wonder if the Democrats running for president are really serious about these proposals.
“It’s entirely fantasy, it’s unrealistic. These are just talking points designed to appeal to the fringe of their party,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Politico in February.
He might be right. After all, you can propose anything and if it doesn’t work, blame someone else.
If I ever decide to run for office I have a few ideas.
I call for the funding of flying cars.
I plan to arrange for the personal delivery of a turkey to every American family on Christmas morning.
And furthermore, I propose that we fund research to develop Milk Duds as a source of fuel for automobiles, thus eliminating the need for gasoline by 2025. This will dovetail nicely with my Pixy Stix resolution.
I don’t know what any of this is going to cost or who’s really going to pay for it but that doesn’t seem to bother the Democrats.
Never let reality stand in the way of a good pipedream.