Allyne Caan / October 16, 2015

It’s Time to Change the Name of the Democrat Party

The Democrat debate was a tribute to Marx.

On major networks across the nation, Tuesday’s Democrat presidential debate was interrupted so viewers could watch a tribute to Karl Marx.

Oh wait, that was the Democrat presidential debate.

Itching to succeed the current progressive occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee took the stage to lay out their plans for America — plans that sounded a lot like “from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.”

Chafee promised to “close the gap” between the haves and have nots, and self-proclaimed democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders decried the rigging of the American economy to favor the 1%. Rigging is bad. Very bad. Unless people like Bernie do the rigging. Then rigging is good. Very good.

Meanwhile, Clinton donned her Wonder Woman cape to “save capitalism from itself” and address “the kind of inequalities we’re seeing in our economic system.” She must have accidentally deleted the memo that centrally controlled distribution of wealth to achieve equality is also known as socialism. Then again, Clinton has deleted a lot of things lately.

It was quite a show, really — and it’s amazing any podiums were placed stage right, since the whole evening was a performance of Left and Lefter.

Ironically, as The Wall Street Journal notes, “The end of a two-term Presidency is typically a time for taking credit, celebrating achievements and promising to continue successful policies,” but even the Left recognizes a stupid idea from time to time.

After all, what could they possibly point to from Obama’s two terms? A near-doubling of our national debt? Hardly a winning argument.

Instead, the candidates actually admitted that, after seven years of Obama, things are still pretty dreary. O'Malley, for example, pointed to a shrinking middle class. “Our poor families are becoming poorer, and 70% of us are earning the same, or less, than we were 12 years ago. We need new leadership, and we need action.” Of course, he had to go back 12 years to be sufficiently Bush-bashing.

So what would one of these new bosses look like?

A lot like the old boss, actually.

As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) points out, when asked by debate moderator Anderson Cooper how they would differ from Obama, the candidates proffered Obama 2.0, including a “right” to health care; free college for all; amnesty, in-state tuition and ObamaCare for illegal immigrants; paid family leave; a $15 minimum wage; and a free pony.

Ok, not a pony.

“One thing never came up,” notes IBD: “the national debt. Under Obama, it’s soared from 60% to over 100% of GDP, meaning our national IOU is bigger than our $18 trillion economy. To anybody but Democrats, that’s a crisis.”

But socialism has done so smashingly elsewhere, why not try it here?

In describing his socialistic utopia, Sanders pointed to — where else — the Scandinavian paradise. After all, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have “accomplished” much “for their working people,” says Sanders. Well, if Bernie wants to have a Danish love-fest, he might also want to do some better debate prep.

Admittedly, Denmark has a huge welfare state, which Sanders loves. But that state is propped up by high taxes on the middle class that include not only high income taxes but also a value-added tax — meaning a tax on every stage of production or distribution of a product. This is hardly the “top 1%” paying their “fair share.”

Indeed, as National Review’s Kevin Williamson writes, “If Senator Sanders were an intellectually honest man, he’d acknowledge forthrightly that the only way to pay for generous benefits for the middle class is to tax the middle class, where most of the income earners are.”

Second, Scandinavia is actually more free-market friendly than Sanders thinks. Corporate tax rates are lower there than in the United States, and the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index ranks Sanders’ beloved Denmark a slot ahead of the U.S. in freedom level. Does this mean he’ll soon propose cutting our corporate tax rate?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, now.

In truth, as IBD notes, “The Democratic debate shows just how far left the party’s lurched. Capitalism was on trial, and self-ID’d socialism was literally front and center. Stop the charade. Just change your name to the Democratic Socialist Party.”

Nary a candidate was willing to assert categorical opposition to socialism and all advocated socialistic policies under the guise of equality. In the end, they put on a show that would have made Marx proud.

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