OPINION: Dems give new meaning to the term ‘free for all’
by John Grimaldi, editorial contributor at
the Association of Mature American Citizens
Democratic presidential hopefuls are offering voters freebies galore as the 2020 Presidential Election gets under way. They’re promising free child care, Medicare for All and no-cost college educations. Do they think the electorate is made up of free-loaders who are ready and willing to trade their votes for all manner of giveaways?
One candidate threw his hat into the ring along with a truly cockamamie proposal that takes the cake. Granted, Andrew Yang is among the least known candidates, but when he announced that he was a candidate for the Democratic party’s nomination he did so with great fanfare and a proposal that he is unabashedly willing to pay cash for votes.
In Yang’s own words: “As president, my first priority will be to implement the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income (UBI) for every American adult over the age of 18: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation.” Check out his Web site.
Think about it for a second. Yang is promising to use taxpayer money to give Americans, as a whole, some $200 billion a month with “no strings attached.” His largesse is fantastical and would cost an inconceivable $2.4 trillion a year.
It’s unlikely to happen but like Yang’s more high-profile competitors for the Democratic nomination, he is probably hoping that the voters won’t do the math.
Take the schemes being proposed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and other progressives seeking the nomination, among them the notion of Medicare for All, as Sanders calls it. Voters would love it if they could get their health expenses paid for. But, nobody gets something for nothing.
For example, it might appear that you’d be able to see your doctor for free and undergo expensive medical treatments at no cost under Medicare for All. However, several authoritative studies reveal the hefty price tag that comes with free medicine and medical services.
Justin Haskins, at The Heartland Institute, put it this way in an article posted on the fox.com news site: “millions of middle-class earners would be hit particularly hard under ‘Medicare-for-All.’ For example, [income tax] filers earning $50,000 to $75,000 would likely need to pay on average $7,773 to $9,171 more in new taxes. Those families earning $75,000 to $100,000 would pay $12,612 to $14,880 more. Most households with more than $100,000 income would pay close to or more than $20,000 in additional taxes.”
In addition to the cost, the nation would be paying an additional price as the delivery of health care begins to deteriorate. Consider why many Canadians are willing to pay for U.S. doctor visits and treatments rather than take advantage of free care in their own country. It’s simply because they get better treatment south of the border and they don’t have to put up with long delays.
It seems that progressive presidential contenders are staying up nights trying to outdo each other by coming up with new promises of even more free stuff if only voters hire them to run the country.