This is the week of the first Democratic primary debates. And you know what that means!
More talk of freebies than you could ever dream of. Or afford.
But that won’t stop these progressive candidates from proposing new spending plans to reap primary votes starting in Iowa come February and then New Hampshire. They will squeeze in mention of this wondrous free stuff during their few minutes on camera Wednesday or Thursday nights.
You won’t hear quite so much talk about how they intend to pay for all these goodies. But you can count on paying more in taxes of all kinds come early 2021, especially if one or both chambers of Congress are controlled by Democrats.
Remember the trillion-dollar stimulus package Barack Obama and a Democrat Congress produced in 2009-10? Vice President Joe Biden guaranteed back then we’d have hundreds of thousands of “shovel-ready” new jobs created each month. That didn’t happen.
Now, on his first day in the Oval Office, front-runner Biden has promised to kill the Trump tax cuts, which means tax hikes for nearly everyone which means less consumer spending which means a slower economy which means, well, you get the picture.
Today, Bernie Sanders is proposing to cancel $1.6 trillion (with a T) in student loan debts for about 45 million voters, I mean, Americans. Poof! Just like that. Also all private and graduate school debt gone. You’re free now.
He also wants to make tuition at every public university totally free, all part of his package that would make public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.
“This is truly a revolutionary proposal,” Sanders will say modestly as he tries to stem the advance of Elizabeth Warren on his second-place poll standing.
Sanders will announce this today with Rep. Ilhan Omar, who will introduce the legislation in the House.
Oh, look, Warren wants free tuition too. But first canceling the student debt for 95 percent of the 45 million carrying it. She calls these debts “a crisis” caused because:
State governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system — free and accessible to all Americans — they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families. The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment.
Warren would finance this scheme with what she calls an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” which is 2 percent annual tax on the 75,000 families with $50 million or more in wealth.
Sanders sees his plan financed by $2 trillion in new taxes on Wall Street transactions — a 0.5 percent tax on all stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds.
Julian Castro also has a complex debt forgiveness plan, but the ex-mayor has as much chance of getting his party’s nomination as you do.
Surprisingly, these ideas spark opposition among some other Democrats, who see them as welfare for well-educated people. It should be fun watching them duke this out.