Free lunch politics are as old as government. Yet the 2020 presidential campaign trail is proving to be unique for the unprecedented scale of the unfunded promises, the failure to acknowledge basic arithmetic, and the relentless criticism of the richest 1% of taxpayers who earn 19% of the income while paying 30% of the federal taxes. And it’s coming from the Democratic Party, which has loudly cast Republicans’ modest 3% 2017 tax cut as fiscally irresponsible.
Imagine if, instead of that 3% cut, Republican leaders proposed repealing all federal taxes, barring Washington from collecting any of the next decade’s $44 trillion in planned tax revenue. What about the budget deficit? How to pay for the $60 trillion in planned spending? Imagine Republicans responding that they will cut a few trillion in spending and figure out the rest later or perhaps just print the money, and then repeatedly promising the middle class a nirvana of federal benefits with no tax burden.
If you believe no party would propose something this crazy and fiscally irresponsible, you haven’t been paying attention to the Democrats campaigning for president. The only difference is that, rather than eliminate $44 trillion in taxes, several candidates are proposing between $40 trillion and $85 trillion in new spending with no way to pay for most of it.