Student Loans

Democratic Contenders Apologize for Everything Except Their Lousy Economic Policies

Being a presidential candidate means never having to say sorry for heavy-handed proposals to limit choice and promise free stuff.


Since last the Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) announced a massive new student-loan forgiveness proposal, Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) said she'd like to ban right-to-work laws, Beto O'Rourke unveiled a $5 trillion climate change plan, Joe Biden officially began his campaign/apology tour, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) yet again declined an invitation to disavow his prior support for nationalizing the major means of production. Is anyone else sensing a pattern?

Katherine Mangu-WardNick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch discuss the leftward bent of Democratic economics, drilling down particularly hard into the bucket of higher education (ed note: the mixed metaphor makes even less sense in the podcast), while also getting into Social Security insolvency, long-term fiscal unsustainability, conversations about conversations, and—yes!—the HBO/Marvel Studios programming y'all were consuming over the weekend.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Fluffing a Duck' by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Elizabeth Warren's Plan To Cancel College Debt Is a Giveaway to the Well-Off and Well-Connected," by Peter Suderman

"The Immorality of Student Loan Forgiveness and Free College," by Nick Gillespie

"Most Democratic Presidential Candidates Think College Should Be Free. Here's Why They're Wrong." By Nick Gillespie

"Elizabeth Warren's Fake Wonkery," by Peter Suderman

"Harris Wants to Ban Right-to-Work Laws, Chooses Union Endorsements Over Worker Well-Being," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Harris Would Hike Teacher Pay Across the Nation by 23 Percent," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Harris Is Rising Above the 2020 Pack With Promises to Be Everything to Everyone," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Here's What's in Beto O'Rourke's $5 Trillion Plan To Fight Climate Change," by Joe Setyon

"Joe Biden Officially Enters the Presidential Race," by Christian Britschgi

"Bernie Sanders Wanted 'Public Ownership of the Major Means of Production' in 1976," by Matt Welch

"Social Security Will Be Insolvent in 16 Years," by Eric Boehm

"GAO: Current Federal Fiscal Situation Is 'Unsustainable,'" by Eric Boehm

"The Long Night Is Over on Game of Thrones, but the Real Villain Is Still Coming," by Robby Soave

"Elizabeth Warren Wants You To Know She Totally Loves Game of Thrones. Especially Daenerys. Yay, Women!" By Robby Soave

"What Elizabeth Warren Gets Wrong About Daenerys Targaryen," by Ilya Somin

"What Game of Thrones Can Teach Us About Political Power," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame," by Kurt Loder

"Avengers: Endgame Is Exactly the Movie You Want It to Be," by Peter Suderman

What are we consuming this week?

Katherine Mangu-Ward

Peter Suderman

NEXT: Right to Try Gives Terminal Patients Access to Potentially Life-Saving Treatments Without FDA Permission

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. At this point in time every candidate for the Democrat primary has to please the “20%” of their party and are largely being judged by their standards on social media. The fact that two of the front runners are old white guys calls for endless apology such that they can never be sorry enough for who they are.

    I wonder if, toward next Summer, if this will level out [as in let’s get real there are more than than those who endlessly freak out of gender identity] or will it serve to winnow out those who are less than pure, such that the choice will be limited to someone acceptable to the Bronx electorate?

    1. Notwithstanding the SJW crap, neither Biden nor Sanders can ever be sorry enough for what they are — authoritarian political hacks.

    2. If the democrats believed in MORE freedom and less Socialism and Entitlement programs they might get more votes. President Trump is attempting to be fair yet tough on those capable people who have been feeding at the pubic trough for generations since FDR made it available to them to do nothing and get money sent to them in their mailboxes every month! They also covered up the greatest criminal fraud in history who was never a citizen of the US! Oh by the way it was Pelosi and Reid who vetted that fraud who almost destroyed our country! Freedom means LESS government intrusion into our lives and the Democrats always want more! The economy is gaining strength like never before, and the Democrats only response is to falsely accuse Trump of everything he never did wrong and belittle him like the bullies they all are, Pelosi and Schumer should be ashamed and Nadler, Schiff and many others are continuing to do everything in their power to divert attention from President Trump’s successes! The Media is so biased they make the strongest economy in many decades into last page “news”! Pathetic!

      1. >>>If the democrats believed in MORE freedom

        fun planet i bet

      2. They also covered up the greatest criminal fraud in history who was never a citizen of the US!
        Which was that?

      3. Is this a chain email or a post! The exclamation marks are overdone! Hard too take seriously!

  2. Never apologize Mister, it’s a sign of weakness.

    ’nuff said.

  3. Remember the days when politicians at least tried to present the appearance of responsibility? Remember when they attempted to present their policy as something other than an attempt to buy votes?

    The mask is off. It’s been thrown on the ground, trampled, burned, shat upon and buried.

    I find the honesty refreshing.

    1. shat upon
      I find any kind of scat refreshing.

      1. Me too. Especially Ella Fitzgerald, or Al Jarreau.

  4. the Our Revolution placards of the terminally affluent are hysterical

  5. Spoiler: before listening I am willing to lay odds none of the above mention that Republican Comstock-style looter prohibitionism is what wrecked the economy in 1873, 1907, 1929, Feb 1933, 1987 and 2008. As long as Christian National Socialism can feign incomprehension, obfuscate and mislead on that series of causal connections in a fractional-reserve banking system, its myrmidons can persuasively pretend the OTHER looters are a worse economic hazard. Voting libertarian says “I understand law, finance and economics well enough to see through that.”

  6. Yep. Even if you don’t like Trump, it’s hard to argue that his opponents offer more than promising some voters that other people will be forced to pay to give them stuff. And they are trying to one up each other by promising even more stuff to be paid for by someone else.

  7. Ayn Rand nailed it 60 years ago.
    And they have hated her for it ever since.
    -John Galt

Please to post comments