Betsy McCaughey

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Democrat’ plan to tank economy

By: Betsy McCaughey                                          July 8, 2016

Democrats are feeling the Bern.
The party’s 2016 platform parrots Bernie Sanders’ socialist rhetoric, and he’s pressing party brass to move even farther left.
The platform claims the biggest problem facing our nation is extreme inequality. Wrong. What ails America is economic immobility.
And the Dems’ platform would make it worse.
Americans stuck on the bottom rungs of the ladder are justifiably enraged. Yet they’re not angry at the rich. They’re frustrated about working harder than ever, and not moving up. The system feels rigged.
The American dream is that no matter how humbly you start out, with hard work you can succeed and see your children go even higher.
Sadly, it’s not happening. That’s the major takeaway from Francis Buckley’s riveting new book, “The Way Back,” which shows that wrongheaded policies are limiting US economic mobility to below most European countries and Canada.
The Democrats’ 2016 platform doubles down on these policies: over-taxation, lax immigration standards and slavish protection of the public-school monopoly.
Start with taxes. “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality,” Democrats rant, “we believe the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.”
Fair? The United States already taxes corporations at higher rates than most countries – one reason the Obama economy limps along at 1.7 percent annual growth while countries with lower corporate taxes are doing far better. Meager growth here means fewer job opportunities and less mobility.
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But the platform never mentions economic growth and ignores the causal connection between high taxes and the current malaise.

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Democrats threaten they’ll make “American corporations pay US taxes immediately on foreign profits” so they can “no longer escape paying their fair share…by stashing profits abroad.” That’s a red herring. Most countries don’t tax profits made outside their borders.
Reckless threats like that are likely to make American companies pull up stakes and move, taking jobs with them.
On education, the platform’s adamant defense of the public-school monopoly is immoral. Democrats pledge more resources for “pre-K-12 schools in every zip code” even though there’s no evidence more spending improves education. US teachers are already among the highest paid in the world.
What’s obvious is that trapping poor kids in low-performing schools stops the process of economic mobility cold before it can even start.
Children of the political elite have plenty of options. The Obamas and Clintons sent their daughters to the tony Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. Yet these Democrats oppose giving other parents the ability to choose private or parochial schools.
The platform is a shameless surrender to the teachers’ unions. In exchange for the millions of votes these unions can deliver, the party protects incompetent teachers and locks children into failing schools.
On immigration, Democrats defend a policy that exacerbates inequality. They support preferences for relatives of people already here. Stressing family ties inevitably brings in droves of unskilled people, along with grandparents and others unable to work.
A recipe for more inequality.
Our nation’s policy should be: Show us how you intend to contribute economically and you’ll be welcomed in without regard to your race, national origin or family connections.
As for welfare benefits, Democrats predictably call for expanding them. But the United States already doles out more generous benefits than Britain, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and most other countries, as Buckley points out.

The Democrats’ platform promises to help more people reach the middle class. But welfare programs won’t do it, and neither will the party’s other proven-to-fail policies. What the nation needs is economic growth. Somebody please tell Bernie.

Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

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