Rob Long is in for Jim today. He and Greg appreciate the climate change crowd joining other far left activists in admitting what we’ve known for decades – that their real goal is to kill capitalism. Rob also tears into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his ongoing celebration of himself and for claiming people from other states are now flocking to New York to be safe from the virus. Rob also explains why countless New York businesses are on the brink of collapse because of Cuomo’s callousness. And they have fun with Berkeley, California’s decision to have unarmed civilian city workers make traffic stops instead of police.
Socialism is getting increasingly popular. A recent Gallup poll shows 49 percent of Millennials and Gen Z have a favorable view of socialism. Other surveys show as many as 57 percent embrace it. And while the numbers are far different among Gen X and Boomers, roughly a third of them give socialism a thumbs up too.
But why is socialism popular, particularly among young adults? While many have difficulty articulating their views, others have embraced the idea of “democratic socialism” as espoused by Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Young Americans Against Socialism CEO Morgan Zegers sees this up close on a daily basis. After having an avowed communist as a good friend and college roommate, Zegers decided her generation needed to push back against the political tide.
In this conversation with Greg Corombos, Zegers details how she responds to the appeal of democratic socialism and why the facts of history are on her side. She also stresses that conservatives need to befriend and not mock those who really don’t know why they like socialism.
Chad Benson, host of “The Chad Benson Show,” and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up your Columbus Day martinis while Jim is away basking in a New York Jets victory. They start by getting a kick out of Bernie Sanders once again trying to drag Democrats to the left by telling ABC News the big difference between him and Elizabeth Warren is that she’s a capitalist and he is not. And of course, Bernie once again calls for a political revolution. They also shudder as Chinese President Xi Jinping warns that anyone trying to create divisions in China “will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones” and Chad warns that the U.S. and the rest of the world need to realize that the future will either be dominated by China or the U.S. And they react to the violent video meme depicting Trump mowing down media entities and political opponents and the furor that inevitable followed.
Whether a member of the House or Senate, Jim DeMint was known as one of the most conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But what does it mean to be conservative? That’s what DeMint and colleague Rachel Bovard address in their new book “Conservative: What to Keep.”
In an interview with Greg Corombos, DeMint explains that conservative means keeping what works best for people.
“It’s keeping our covenants, keeping our faith. It’s keeping our differences, keeping our republic, which is the decentralized idea that our founders. (It also means) keeping our traditions and keeping our land of opportunities which is all about free market economics,” said DeMint.
Listen to the first part of the conversation in the this podcast as DeMint also discusses why progressives see religion as a threat to their political agenda, how politics is becoming a religion to many, and how to defend capitalism at a time when it is constantly labeled a system of greed and selfishness.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America argue that Beto O’Rourke running for president is actually a good thing because it will either show media infatuation can get you elected or burst O’Rourke’s hype bubble. They are also concerned by the alarming rise in mental health disorders in teens that is linked to social media use. And they also give Elizabeth Warren a molecule of credit for defending capitalism, only to watch her then say markets don’t work for health care or education.
A new Gallup poll shows a majority of Democrats are favorable towards socialism and their opinion of capitalism is quickly souring, a trend that one respected expert chalks up to the political rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders and a full century of education steering America’s youth to appreciate a system that has failed everywhere it’s been tried.
In the survey, 57 percent of Democrats and Americans who lean to the political left have a favorable view toward socialism. That is largely unchanged since 2016 and only five points higher than in 2010.
However, only 47 percent of Democrats have a favorable view towards capitalism. Fifty-six percent of Democrats endorsed capitalism in 2016.
In contrast, 71 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents approve of capitalism. Just 16 percent are favorable towards socialism.
Not only are Democrats willing to back socialism in opinion polls, they are making political stars out of figures like Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
So how did socialism become so popular just one generation after the fall of the Iron Curtain? Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow Lee Edwards says this supposedly sudden shift is really decades in the making.
“This is really the result of about one century of progressive politics in education, going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt through President Franklin D. Roosevelt to [Lyndon B. Johnson], culminating with Mr. Obama and his Obamacare.
“All of those are marks of socialism and progressive belief that the government knows better than the average American what to do with his life,” said Edwards, who is also chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Edwards points out that socialism has failed everywhere it’s been tried, from the Soviet Union to China to Cuba, and resulted in mass repression or even mass murder by the tens of millions.
Still, he says the allure of getting something for nothing is very strong.
“They think it’s a free lunch. Remember our friend Milton Friedman used to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But those people, young millennials particularly, think they can get not only a free lunch and a free breakfast, a free dinner, free education, and maybe a job guaranteed,” said Edwards.
He says young people trying to navigate adulthood are especially susceptible.
“Democrats, particularly, young Democrats, particularly millennials looking for answers to life are saying, ‘Gee, socialism sounds wonderful. Let’s try that.’ Then some of these victories have come along like the lady up in New York City and people say that is the future.
“What they don’t realize of course is that socialism has never worked. It’s failed in every single country where it’s been tried in the last one hundred years,” said Edwards, adding that young progressives people love the benefits of capitalism without even realizing it.
“I have to wonder if these millennials would be willing to give up their iPhones. I don’t think so, but that is what would happen if you take socialism to its logical outcomes,” said Edwards.
Socialists push back against the argument that socialism is a universal failure, often pointing to Scandinavian countries as success stories. Edwards says there’s just one problem with that assertion.
“Denmark and Sweden, which are always held up as examples by the socialists in this country are not socialist. Yes, they have high taxes, but both of them are on the record as saying, ‘We believe in private ownership of major industries and we are not socialist.’ Recently, the prime minister of Denmark said that here in Washington, D.C.,” said Edwards.
Criticizing the fundamentals of the American system is now mainstream among liberals. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., drew strong condemnation Wednesday for dismissing the notion of American greatness.
“We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great. We have not reached greatness,” said Cuomo, arguing that greatness cannot be achieved until more equality is achieved on behalf of women.
Edwards was floored.
“That is all too predictable, because a socialist is not a patriot. He is not for the country in which he lives. He’s an internationalist, so he is not for private property. He is for the government dictating or circumscribing what people are going to be allowed to do with their own property.
“Mr. Cuomo ought to be ashamed of himself. It was his father who fought for this country and was a patriot and was proud of it. His forebears came from Italy and they made their way here. Why? Because they thought America was great,” said Edwards.
The challenge for Edwards and his allies is to combat the messages of socialism throughout our culture. He says education got us into this mess and it is the only way to turn the tide back towards freedom. He says it’s not hard to punch holes in the case for socialism.
“It does sound good until you begin to pick it apart and until you begin asking questions like who’s going to pay for it and what are you going to have to give up to get all of this wonderful free stuff.
“It seems to us at Heritage that it’s a matter of education and of setting the record straight about the absolute, abject failure of socialism for a century and more,” said Edwards.
Edwards says conservatives also need to do a better job of proclaiming the virtues of capitalism and free enterprise, but he believes there are already some signs of improvement.
“I see some encouraging signs of teaching high school teachers what socialism is all about, taking that message back and then educating our young people.
“We have to do it. We can’t let this thing slip and slide until we find ourselves in the murky socialist depths,” said Edwards.
The Senate Budget Committee approved a tax reform bill along party lines Tuesday, sending legislation to the Senate floor that a key fiscal conservative lawmaker says is vital to pass if Americans want to see the economy continue growing and eventually booming.
The vote in the committee was 12-11, and included ‘yes’ votes from Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn. The bill already cleared the Senate Finance Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted Tuesday that getting to 51 votes in favor of the bill is still a work in progress, but Rep. Dave Brat, R-Virginia, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, says Republicans must push this bill across the goal line or the economic consequences will be severe.
“Our economy needs it and you see every day on the financial channels that if anyone hiccups and there are two ‘no’ votes then the market goes down,” said Brat, contending that investors are bullish because they are assuming tax reform will get done.
“That’s an objective reality that’s out there. This is baked in the cake and if we don’t come up with these tax cuts, the economy will not continue to grow like it has been. It’s been flying high and consumer expectations are high and that’s where we want to keep it,” said Brat.
The effort to sway moderates took a bit of a hit this week, when the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, estimated that the Senate bill would add $1.4 trillion to the national debt over ten years and would hurt middle class and poor Americans the most.
Brat is firing back on multiple fronts, first challenging the CBO’s recent history of badly inaccurate estimates.
“I think that’s probably based on the teachings of Karl Marx. They’ve been wrong so many times on every thing they do,” said Brat, noting a recent report on health care costs in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The CBO said Obamacare was going to lower the cost of health care. Now the premiums for a family are $30,000. The deductible is $9,000. So you’ve got to pay $39,000 before you see one dollar of insurance. There’s CBO’s infinite wisdom on scoring the costs of these things,” said Brat.
Despite the frequent criticism of capitalism, Brat says world history proves the free market is the surest path out of poverty.
“Is capitalism good for the poor or is communism and command systems and top-down (better)?” said Brat. “The history of nations is the history of poverty unless you have capital accumulation.”
Brat says the GOP approach of allowing deductions for all capital will not only be a boon for business owners but will likely mean more money in pockets of employees. He says that’s a far cry from the Democrats calling for higher taxes and much higher spending.
“They want to increase $10 trillion, increase spending $11 trillion and they end up with more debt than wee do in our tax piece even after they they raise taxes $10 trillion in the Progressive Caucus budget and tax plan,” said Brat.
While confident Republicans have a good plan, Brat says they need to do a better job of messaging.
“I wish the mainstream media was more fair in the messaging and our team needs to do a much more aggressive job of messaging about the benefits of free markets,” said Brat.
Sen. Johnson and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, had earlier said they could not support the existing Senate bill because it provided far more benefits to corporations than to small businesses. Johnson says he’s encouraged by some changes made to address his concerns.
Brat says Johnson and Daines are right that pass-through businesses that file at the individual rate need more help in the legislation. He says the House worked to beef up tax breaks for those small businesses, including just a nine percent tax rate on the first $75,000.
He also says Americans will be helped by married couples paying just 12 percent on income below $90,000. The next bracket, 25 percent, stays in place up to $260,000.
Brat would like to see more help for small businesses, but he says math is a real challenge for the GOP in making all of this work.
“There’s about $6 trillion in tax cuts and $4.5 trillion in pay-fors, so on net they know there’s only so much you can put around, so you want it to be as pro-growth as you can be,” said Brat.
But Brat says time is of the essence and Republicans need to get the job done.
“They all know we have to have these tax cuts go into effect,” said Brat. “It’s going to be a net win for everybody.”