Well here’s the reality, the Dems have tried the GOP-lite model for years now.. and they’ve lost since 2010. They’ve been wiped out. Maybe it’s time to try the actual populist message and policies Bernie has pushed for then, eh?
Maybe. But who wins is not the real issue. Everyone’s idea of government these days is fantasyland, unless somehow someway the corporate sector starts feeding us 600B more dollars in combined corporate taxes plus income and payroll taxes paid by a lot more employees. So, the last thing you want to do is elect somebody who wants to put a hobble on corporate profits.
For what it’s worth, there is a very VERY big difference between a politician who is “pro-business” and one who is a “corporate shill”. I don’t think the progressives have figured this out yet, and if they don’t, they deserve to be in the electoral hinterlands forever.
Megan McArdle of Bloomberg hit it on the head back in 2015. Some extensive excerpts:
Republicans and Democrats suffer from a common delusion that there is some magic lever that will make the economy grow if only we elect a president with the vision and iron determination to grab that sucker and pull really hard. This illness presents differently, depending on the patient. Democrats think the government needs to get right in there and micromanage our way back to 1950, preferably Sweden in 1950, while Republicans think that the road to prosperity is paved with low marginal tax rates. But no matter what the symptoms, it is still a sickness. Economic growth is mostly a matter of millions of individuals making decisions to save, invest and consume in new and better patterns — and as amazing as this may sound, most of these people are thinking about things other than the government when they make those decisions.
(snip some really good stuff that’s worth reading)
And Americans do demand that size government. How I wish it were not so, but there you are. They want their Social Security and their Medicare, their giant military and their equally giant national parks. What they don’t want to do is pay for them.
(snip some more really good stuff that’s worth reading)
Americans hate paying their taxes. They hate seeing the money disappearing from their paycheck, and they hate wrestling with the complex and inhumane monster that is the U.S. tax code. They like it when politicians promise to make these unpleasant experiences go away, or at least make them so tiny that we’ll barely notice.
Unfortunately, you can’t do that without cutting stuff that people like and will definitely notice missing. Sixty percent of the federal budget is spent on just four categories: Social Security, Medicare, national defense and interest on the national debt. That’s what we’re spending now, not what we’ll be spending in 10 or 15 years when our entitlement finances really get out of whack. Many more dollars are spent on things like courts, customs and border patrol, national parks, veteran’s benefits, and unemployment insurance, things that Republicans have no intention of doing away with. As long as we have those things, we are also going to have to send money to the IRS to fund them.
Onstage Wednesday night, Republicans complained that the Democrats were running as the party of free stuff without paying for it. They’re right; Democrats are selling the fantasy of a European-style welfare state paid for entirely by taxing a handful of rich people, which is impossible. But Republicans are selling an equally impossible fantasy: of an American-style welfare state paid for by no one at all. That’s the sort of gambling that no country can afford to allow.
Andrew, if you read ONE SINGLE LIBERTARIAN COLUMNIST EVER, put Megan McArdle on your reading list. She’s a truth teller that smacks either political sides when they make no sense.