20.12.15

LIVING AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.

I had a social occasion to attend yesterday, and yet got home in time to catch the end of the Democratic debate, just in time to watch Senator Clinton attempt to lay a reality check on Senator Sanders.  Senator Clinton wants to pry populist voters away from Senator Sanders by suggesting (correctly) that European levels of social services require European levels of taxation on working people.
CLINTON: Yes, and it was the same one that President Obama made. Because I don't think we should be imposing new big programs that are going to raise middle class families' taxes.

We just heard that most families haven't had a wage increase since 2001. Since, you know, the end of the last Clinton administration when incomes did go up for everybody. And we've got to get back to where people can save money again, where they can invest in their families, and I don't think a middle-class tax should be part of anybody's plan right now.
Without irony. I joined the debate in medias res, and it's clear from the transcript that it's all about creating new big programs (single payer, free college) that will raise everybody's taxes and aggravate the Eurosclerosis that is the proper description of seven years of Hope and Change.

Senator Sanders's riposte is part non sequitur, part evidence of how the Democrats are a party of Old People peddling Old Ideas.
SANDERS: Number one, most important economic reality of today is that over the last 30 years, there has been a transfer of trillions of dollars from the middle class to the top one-tenth of one percent who are seeing a doubling of the percentage of wealth that they own.

Now, when Secretary Clinton says, "I'm not going raise taxes on the middle class," let me tell you what she is saying. She is disagreeing with FDR on Social Security, LBJ on Medicare and with the vast majority of progressive Democrats in the House and the Senate, who today are fighting to end the disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide paid family and medical leave.

What the legislation is is $1.61 a week. Now, you can say that's a tax on the middle class. It will provide three months paid family and medical leave for the working families of this country. I think, Secretary Clinton, $1.61 a week is a pretty good invest.
Such rules might also make employers less willing to hire people, or more willing to hire people on temporary or short-time bases, so as to not have a work force to which the law applies.

As Reason's Nick Gillespie notes, this presidential cycle is all about the lesser evil.
It appears all but certain that Election 2016 will offer voters major-party choices between bad and worse. Partisans will slug it over whose candidate is bad and whose is worse while the rest of us play different angles, such as which president might work better as a hedge against single-party control of Congress. In this sense, it's good that we don't have to bother watching the Democratic debates, since it's going to take a lot of effort to figure out which candidate will do less damage from the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, the pundit class will babble on about "process" and "bipartisanship" and "consensus."

We have much to look forward to.

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