By Richardt Stormsgaard
A reporter asked Elizabeth Warren about her embrace of Medicare-For-All and the New Green Deal after the Democratic debate, and she parried the question with this rhetorical question “Why would somebody want run to talk about the things we can’t do?”.
It is less than twenty years ago that another leftist, Ralph Nader of the Green Party, spent his entire campaign advocating for ideas that could not be done, that were out of the main-stream, leading eventually to the Bush election win in 2000. Ralph Nader and his voters bear huge responsibility for our recent past, including the current right-wing SCOTUS and the stolen election in 2016.
According to the center-left think tank, the Urban Center the proposed Medicare-For-All would require tax increases unheard-of since World War II. The Atlantic on 10/16/19 published an article named “The eye-popping costs of Medicare-For-All”. Contrary to claims from Sanders, Warren, Harris, and others on the left the implementation of it would cost as much as social security, medicare, and medicaid combined over the next decade, and thus be nowhere near revenue neutral.
A moderate Democratic nominee can run on expanding the ACA, which Republicans have not dared to not dismantle, to cover all Americans either through a medicaid expansion and/or a public option within our existing private health care system. Private insurance pays about twice as much into the US health care delivery system as medicare and medicaid combined so dismantling the private system will mean much larger taxes to make up for that huge deficit. Private insurance is in effect subsidizing over-all health care costs benefiting everybody. It will also anger a majority of Americans that are very happy and satisfied with their current health care (82% of Democrats are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of their current health-care. In Denmark the percentage is only 56%).
Moderates and independents will vote for the moderate Democrat as the wins in 400 red districts in the 2018 mid-term election strongly indicate. They will not vote for a leftist advocating huge tax increases while taking away the health care most of them like.
A moderate Democrat can run on updated and improved principles of the vast, multi-faceted Waxman-Markey Bill (The American Clean Energy and Security Act) that stalled in 2010. It still enjoyed considerable moderate Republican support, and it will appeal to moderates and independents today, and lead to a potential win in 2020. Research from Global Energy Institute shows that 73% of Americans want a cleaner and stronger environmental agenda, but only 21% a New Green Deal, at least some of whom likely unaware of the astronomical costs that surpass even those of Medicare-For-All. A leftist candidate in 2020 will almost certainly lose.
So in fact Democrats have major issues that they can talk about to win the 2020 election rather than adopt losing positions that will fail in a national election.
In Denmark the average tax rate is 49%, in Canada 35%, and in the US 25%. The major underlying reason for many political problems in this country are a direct result of Americans’ great reluctance to pay the necessary taxes for the services they would like. A half century ago the US had affordable higher education and healthcare, a middle and working class that was the envy of the rest of the world and tax rates somewhere between those of Canada and Denmark today.
But Americans did not want to continue to pay for the system that had given them so much. They began voting for tax cuts, deep deregulations of entire agencies and industries, wanting government off their backs, beginning during the Reagan administration.
If Democrats choose a leftist for the 2020 election it will likely be remembered as the last election where Democrats had the opportunity to stop the right-wing take-over of this country. Civil(including abortion) and voting rights, the social safety net, environmental legislation will be rolled back bit by bit and we will have future national elections where the results are basically predetermined much like they are in countries like Russia and other oligarchies and autocracies around the world.