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Assault on America, Day 134: As Bernie avoids touting socialism, 2020 Dems pick up the slack

Trump tweet Bernie Sanders
With the 2020 Democrat presidential primary campaign in full swing it’s no surprise the party’s hopefuls have said some pretty outlandish things recently. In just the span of days Democrats promised to extend federal health benefits to illegal aliens (Joe Biden), institute a federal gun registry (Cory Booker) and suggested climate change is the reason there’s an immigration crisis along the southern border (Beto O’Rourke).

But none other than socialist-touting Bernie Sanders perhaps topped them all when he bragged that the promising U.S. economic figures of late were simply the continuation of positive upward trends inherited from Barack Obama’s reign -- and that Donald Trump didn’t deserve anyone’s thanks for helping to make America’s economy great again.

Bailey Vogt reported at The Washington Times, “President Trump slammed Sen. Bernard Sanders … for suggesting the strong economy is not because of Mr. Trump, claiming the economy ‘would have crashed’ if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.

“’Bernie Sanders, ‘The Economy is doing well, and I’m sure I don’t have to give Trump any credit - I’m sure he’ll take all the credit that he wants,’’ Mr. Trump tweeted, quoting Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent.

“’Wrong Bernie, the Economy is doing GREAT, and would have CRASHED if my opponent (and yours), Crooked Hillary Clinton, had ever won,’ Mr. Trump said. The quote comes from a quote published by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, where Mr. Sanders said Mr. Trump’s tax breaks are not what is helping the country.”

On the surface Bernie didn’t say anything shocking or unexpected from a Democrat’s perspective. Political parties and politicians are never willing to credit opponents when times are good. To do so would completely undermine their rationales for why the country needs a switch… back to them. Republicans weren’t quick to credit Bill Clinton for shrinking the federal deficit on his watch, for example -- but the GOP did take over Congress two years into Big Bubba Bill’s first term, passed the Contract with America, instituted a number of important reforms and made the country’s citizens feel better about government… just saying.

Like a quarterback usually receives too much credit (or blame) for his team’s fortunes, presidents always claim economic numbers demonstrate their policies work (even if conditions are bad -- it could’ve been worse if the other party were in power, right?). When compared with past presidents Trump seems particularly adept at assigning acclaim to himself, but it also could be because he’s a loyal Twitter user and chooses to communicate that way. Lord knows the establishment media won’t spread the good news for him.

Social media is a plague upon the world but it does have its good points. What would Bill Clinton have blurted out electronically if he’d had direct and instant access to over 60 million people (Trump has 60.2 million Twitter followers and 25.3 million Facebook followers) at the push of a few buttons? Would Clinton have extolled the virtues of “Midnight Basketball” and repeatedly reinforced how “[He] did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”?

Who can say? For now, there’s little doubt Trump’s assumption of presidential powers has made a significant difference in the economy. The signs are everywhere and shouldn’t be ignored. The Republican passed tax cuts in 2017 resulted in companies going on hiring binges, leading to today’s near-historic lows in unemployment. The administration’s emphasis on reducing regulations further escalated the economic good vibrations. Nothing quite like being set free to produce and dream where small businesses are concerned.

Trump’s heavy-handed promotion of all-things oil and natural gas sector boosted America into the largest energy producer on the planet, all while maintaining the country’s excellent inclination towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a clean environment.

Trump’s and Republicans’ elimination of Obamacare’s health insurance mandate freed millions from the shackles of government overreach. Other Obamacare reforms contributed additional improvements. It’s not the full repeal GOP leaders promised all these years but little things and baby steps can engender recoveries. Just think about how much better it would be if the feckless GOP congressional honchos actually had their act together and rid the country of the whole law?

Government doesn’t deserve all the credit but policy has a lot to do with how job creators feel about their businesses. Good economic totals are as much a prediction for the future as payment for the past -- it takes a lot to want to bring on more help, expand companies and pay people’s salaries. It’s an endeavor owners don’t take lightly.

Sanders wouldn’t get far in selling his socialism package to Democrat voters if he admitted Trump’s been good for the economy. Everyone knows some people still suffer -- such as the homeless, which are only doing worse thanks to liberal policies which pour gasoline on an already raging fire -- but if citizens are working, enjoying larger incomes and going around with smiles on their faces it’s a hard pitch to convince voters that conditions are awful.

And Trump is right -- if Hillary Clinton had won the election the economy would’ve crashed, or at the very least not been as healthy as it is now. With a President Hillary there wouldn’t have been any tax cuts, no regulatory relief, no boosting of energy production and no cheerleading of the American manufacturing sector (or renegotiated trade deals). Federal land policy wouldn’t have been revised. The defense department would still be passionately recruiting transgenders and the most salient national security threat would be climate change.

Clinton would have had to deal with a hostile Republican Congress, but her “pen and phone” could’ve done an impressive amount of damage (as Obama’s did).

Hillary would’ve appointed two hardened liberals to the Supreme Court and bogged down the lower federal courts with more ends-oriented judges. She would’ve populated federal departments with cronies and stooges who’d give preference to favored Democrat constituencies. Illegal immigrants would flow over the border unhindered and welcomed with cash cards and housing vouchers courtesy of the compassionate American taxpayer. Gun manufacturers would’ve been stuck with excessive federal oversight. It would be ugly.

Perhaps nastiest of all, America’s worldly reputation would be in worse shape than it was under Obama. Government is never the answer to big problems -- it just perpetuates the hurt.

Maybe Bernie Sanders realizes socialism isn’t the be-all winning message he thought it was as he's toned down promoting it on the campaign trail. Colin Wilhelm reported at The Washington Examiner, “Despite signs of growing support for socialism among young Democratic primary voters, America’s most famous socialist doesn’t want to dwell on the ideology.

“Instead, Bernie Sanders prefers to focus on the individual populist measures that make up his platform.

“’It’s a long discussion, but all I would say is virtually all of the initiatives we are supporting are supported by a majority of the American people,’ said Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who has long styled himself a ‘democratic socialist.’ ‘So you can call them whatever you want, and of course programs like Social Security, and Medicare, and the Veterans Administration have been attacked as being quote-unquote socialist.’”

Social Security and Medicare were originally intended as safety net measures designed to provide a minimum subsistence for elderly Americans. The modern iterations of the programs are pretty close to the definition of socialism -- and neither party has the gumption to fix them so they won’t bankrupt the country.

Socialism is good at it -- sucking all the wealth out of a society. If you don’t believe it, look at Venezuela.

Sanders -- and all Democrats -- loves talking about how great things would be if government controls everything yet never mentions the drawbacks of socialism, particularly the lack of incentives people have to better themselves and earn that extra marginal dollar if the tax collectors would then take most of it. Why invest if there’s no hope of profit? Why assume risk if the benefits were then distributed to a bunch of people living off the public dole? Not everyone who gets a government check is destitute. There’s a heck of a lot of fat and waste there.

It’s understandable how Democrat presidential candidates hope to set themselves apart from the others by dissing on President Trump, his record and his policies. But when push comes to shove they’d better provide facts to back up their claims. Bernie Sanders and cohorts aren’t making the grade.

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