Election 2020

The Depressing State of the 2020 Presidential Race

Lots of bad ideas from both sides of the political aisle.


So many people want to be president. Unfortunately, many have terrible ideas.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) wants companies to prove they pay men and women equally. "Penalties if they don't!" she says. But there are lots of reasons, other than sexism, why companies pay some men more than women.

Harris also wants government to "hold social media platforms accountable for the hate infiltrating their platforms." But "holding them accountable" means censorship. If politicians get to censor media, they'll censor anyone who criticizes them.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) wants the post office to offer banking services. The post office? It already loses billions of dollars despite its monopoly on delivering mail. Sanders also wants to increase our national debt by forgiving $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

He wants to ban for-profit charter schools and freeze funding for nonprofit charters. That's great news for some government-school bureaucrats and teachers unions that don't want to compete but bad news for kids who flourish in charters when government schools fail.

Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) once sounded better about charters, saying, "When people tell me they're against school choice…or charter schools, I say, 'As soon as you're willing to send your kid to a failing school in my city…then I'll be with you.'"

Unfortunately, now that Booker is a presidential candidate, he says little about school choice. He also wants government to guarantee people's jobs and to pay more Americans' rent.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) wants to force everyone to buy fertility treatment insurance.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) wants to impose a wealth tax on very rich people. That would certainly benefit accountants and tax lawyers while inspiring rich people to hide more assets instead of putting them to work.

Warren also wants to ban all oil and gas drilling on federal land, have government decide who sits on corporate boards and make college free.

The Democrat who leads the betting odds, former Vice President Joe Biden, also says, "College should be free!"

Free? Colleges have already jacked up their prices much faster than inflation because taxpayers subsidize too much of college. Biden and Warren would make that problem worse.

The Republican incumbent has bad ideas, too: President Donald Trump imposes tariffs that are really new taxes that American consumers must pay. Trump says tariffs are needed because our "trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars. (That means) we lost $800 billion!"

But it doesn't mean that, Mr. President. A "trade deficit" just means foreigners sent us $800 billion more goods than we sent them.

We got their products, and in return they only got American currency, which they'll end up investing in the U.S. That's good for us. It's not a problem.

Luckily, the president has good ideas, too. He says he wants to shrink the code of federal regulations back to its 1960 size. It would be great if he actually did it. Trump slowing the growth of regulation is one of the best parts of his presidency.

Some Democratic candidates have sensible ideas, too.

Cory Booker proposed legalizing marijuana.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticizes his opponents for their "college for all" freebie, saying, "I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that a majority who earn less because they didn't go to college would subsidize a minority who earn more."

And all candidates could learn from Hawaii's Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), who served in Iraq.

"I know the cost of war!" she says. "I will end the regime change wars—taking the money that we've been wasting on these wars and weapons and investing it in serving the needs of our people."

Sadly, she wouldn't give that money back to the people. She'd spend it on other big government programs.

Politicians always have ideas other than letting you keep your money.

I bet we'll hear other bad ideas this week when 20 of the Democratic candidates debate.


NEXT: Democrats Reveal Their Hostility to the Second Amendment

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  1. Some of these proposals seem outside the purview of the federal government.

    1. We’ll just have to trust Congress to do their job, and limit federal authority.

    2. First question to candidates:

      Do you believe in any restriction on government, or any role it should not perform?

      For any candidate who answers no, then “through the door, first firing squad on the left”.

    3. In that photo of Bernie, there should be a quote of him yelling at Trump “I’m pinching your head!”.

  2. I recently read that FOX will not be permitted to broadcast the upcoming Dem debates this summer. The DNC has some issue with their reporting.

    I got the idea that FOX should make a short puppet show of the Dem debates using puppets for each of the 15 or so candidates. Make the puppets look exactly like the candidates and have them debate using the most ridiculous statements the various people have made, and of course add some exaggerations to make it as ridiculous as possible. FOX could run this in the same time slot as the debates, and then put it on YouTube.

    You might have them argue about abortion, each one extending it into older and older ages: “Fourth trimester?? How about 40th trimester? That would give the mother real freedom to choose!!” “Why should we end it at all? It would save the mother’s mental health if she didn’t have to listen to backtalk from those brats.” “And they should be free!” “Free, no these poor moms need reparations for being impregnated due to testosterone poisoning. Make it at least $50,000. More if the fetus is older than 3 years.”

    Or socialism: “America has been successfully implementing socialism for decades – look at Social Security and Medicare. I am fully in support of such social programs.” “Oh yeah, well I think that’s a pale imitation of the real thing! We need cradle to grave security, guaranteed jobs, and government regulation of farming.” “And we definitely need to root out anti-government activists and lock them away … for the children. We could establish ‘safe spaces’ for them, away from the cities. Maybe on government farms or in government mines.” “Indeed, a string of such camps to show the dignity of labor – you know, labor camps. Like a string of small islands with only the good agricultural practices. What’s the word for that again…?” “An archipelago. We could call it a Good-Ag Archipelago!”

    And free stuff. “Health care is a human right. Medicare for all!” “Not just healthcare. You know what’s even more important …. FOOD. Food must be a human right, too. Free food for all”. “And how about housing? Who wants their fellow citizens to sleep out on the streets? Free housing for all!” “And not some little hovel, each person must have at least 1,000 sq ft of space.” “With nice furniture and a modern kitchen!” “And a two car garage.” Etc, etc, etc

    In following weeks, to keep it interesting, the puppets might be replaced with cartoons, or marionettes, or just faces painted on someone’s hand (like they did on Big Chuck/Little John.

    Ridicule is very effective at downgrading someone’s standing, their reputation. Remember “I can see Russia from my house.”??

    Do you think this would interest FOX or the RNC?

    1. Unfortunately no. Most of the old white boomers want their free shit too, and they’ve been told they earned it

      1. every time i see a boomer say “I paid for my medicare!” i cringe.

        no buddy, you paid for maybe 1/3 of it, luckily i’m here to pick up the rest.

        1. I freely acknowledge I did not fully pay for the Medicare I am receiving. However, I was forced against my will to enter into a contract with our government to surrender money for decades for the program. Now, I am merely holding the government to their part of the bargain they forced me into. Same with Socialist Security. I would gladly have opted out if that option was available to me.

          1. Bullshit. YOU kept electing pols who deliberately avoided mentioning any reforms of those to make them either operationally sustainable or true capital infrastructure/investment. So you (and me – I’m technically a boomer) are entirely to blame for KNOWINGLY keeping both of those a Ponzi scheme.

            1. Holy shit – you’re that old???
              Definitely would not have guessed that based on the level of emotional maturity you display

              1. Wow that might sting. If it wasn’t coming from a halfwit.

                1. Halfwit? So that makes you a .0032 wit?

            2. I have never voted for candidates who support any social programs, when I have a choice.

          2. You paid into the general fund of the US treasury. A portion of that money went to retired people via social security and Medicare while you were still working. At no point did you enter into any kind of contract with the US government, and you have zero entitlement to the funds you now claim to be owed. Sorry.

            1. Ever try not to pay taxes? They take your money by force and/or put you in a cage. The bargain was forced on me, I upheld my end, and I’ll take advantage of it as much as possible. Of course, as you indicate, they can alter the deal any time they wish. It’s really much worse than any contract.

        2. no buddy, you paid for maybe 1/3 of it, luckily i’m here to pick up the rest.

          Well, “buddy”, that depends entirely on your income level. For me, Medicare and Social Security are absolutely lousy, money-losing propositions, meaning I get much less back than what I paid for. On top of that, I was forced to pay for your education and a lot of other crap you took for granted.

    2. It’s a fantastic idea.

      Therefore, it won’t be done

  3. “With nice furniture and a modern kitchen!”
    Hm. Re-structure the Department of the Interior? Add the Undersecretary for the Interior, Ikea?

  4. The only reason one of these Democrats who have been pushed into full Sweden mode by their barefoot, nasty-haired hipster constituency is going to get elected is because Trump is such a vile person. That’s too close for comfort for me.

    1. I guess Trump left a bad taste in Tony’s mouth. Now we know what Trump’s ‘type’ is.

      1. I wonder why he only rapes women who aren’t his type.

    2. The only reason one of these Democrats who have been pushed into full Sweden mode

      If only they were, but they aren’t.

      Sweden is already more free market oriented than the US, it balances its budgets, and it pays for its social welfare system by taxing the middle class.

      Democrats want even more restrictions on free markets, want to pile on debt, and want to pay for social welfare services by “taxing the rich”, and absurd and unsustainable set of policies.

  5. while inspiring rich people to hide more assets instead of putting them to work.

    That’s not what wealth taxes do. Wealth may leave the country (to a country that doesn’t tax wealth with a govt that is subservient to wealth) but the wealthy ain’t gonna hide their assets. Cuz any assets that are hidden are also assets that can’t be protected in court. Hide your assets and those assets become out-law (in the Robin Hood sense).

    Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all. – Adam Smith

    If you don’t think the wealthy understand that quote, then you haven’t been paying attention. The reason we rely almost exclusively on an ‘income’ tax is because income isn’t property. It is transaction. It is therefore a way for those who have property to force those who are involved in transactions to pay for the govt that benefits those with property. To force the income statement to pay for the balance sheet – while the balance sheet remains fully in charge.

    1. Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.

      As long as such property has been obtained by honest work and not by coercion or violence, it should well be protected by the civil government. After all, your earned property is merely an extension of your body. We all agree one owns one’s body, correct?

      1. As long as such property has been obtained by honest work and not by coercion or violence, it should well be protected by the civil government.

        I got no problem with that at all. As long as you admit that that is a service rendered and should be paid for – by the owner of the property that is so protected. It is NOT a general welfare or infrastructure/free rider type of benefit.

        After all – it is only your contention/assertion that it was obtained by honest work and not by coercion. Nothing that coerces someone else into agreeing with your assertion. The entire point of a legitimate govt is to create the widely understood rules for people to agree on what is honest, what is coercion, what is the property that results from those, how will disputes be handled, etc. Without those rules OF the market, there can be no market, no contract. Nothing beyond I say so and I’m bigger than you.

      2. We all agree one owns one’s body, correct?

        Well I’m not at all a fan of reducing liberty to property. That’s a crappy modernist notion that leads only to a form of aristocracy/plutocracy. It’s propertarian not libertarian. Or maybe its libertarian and not classically liberal.

        But given that big caveat – I agree. And that’s actually the basis for the exclusive focus on the income tax. For one side in that income transaction, the only property they really bring to the transaction is their time, their effort, their skill, etc. Those are forms of property that can’t easily be stored/saved. If you don’t work this week. that doesn’t mean you have 40 extra hours to work next week. It’s either used or not. And in pretty much every employment situation, you use that up BEFORE you get paid for having used it. Which puts you at risk for not getting paid for that. In economic terms, that’s actually a bit perverse. The party with the least ‘capital’ actually finances that transaction. Which leads to the expected ‘service rendered’ from govt. To be assured payment, they need to rely on a govt and a govt that is coercive/big enough to force the other side to fulfill their side of that contract. Hence the income tax paid by the income recipient.

  6. idiots running for president is hilarious i love every second.

  7. income isn’t property

    Way to get your pinko commie vomit all over my Adam Smith. These things do not taste great together. You know less about taxes, financial statements and property than you do about history.

  8. The Democratic pack of candidates reflects the national context; namely, a fragmenting, declining nation on fire gravitating towards a matriarchal society. That issue, matriarchy, is the most important issue troubling these United States of America today; yet, as such is mentioned rarely if at all.

    Visit …
    https://www.nationonfire.com/matriarchy-in-america/ .

  9. Is Reason double-posting Stossel articles to get the extra clicks now? Or stretching out what should be one post into two posts? (maybe another one is coming out tomorrow?)
    Since they know some of us only come back for certain writers who aren’t infected with the TDS? God, I’m hating this site more and more.

  10. “Lots of bad ideas from both sides of the political aisle.”

    Don’t be so negative.
    Look on the bright side.
    It will give the sane good excuses to use drugs and alcohol.

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