When actions speak louder than words
Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence--not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free….Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
President Donald Trump 2019 State of the Union When Medicare was done by the Congress at the time, under Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan said, ‘Medicare will lead us to a socialist dictatorship.’ This is an ongoing theme of the Republicans. However, I do reject socialism as an economic system. If people have that view, that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic party.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) April 15, 2019
An invisible virus has made liars out of the biggest politicians in Washington, D.C. Last year, top Republican leaders lashed out against a resurgence of the American left, especially among young people, denouncing the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as a short slide to a Venezuelan-style socialist autocracy. These GOP officials crowed about the robust American economy and the glories of capitalism. Mainstream Democrats chimed in, too, if more politely.
Then came COVID-19. On Friday, President Trump signed into law a $2 trillion relief package to rescue the country from both the pandemic itself and, just as importantly, an economic shockwave that has crippled the Dow Jones Industrial Average, shuttered Main Street businesses across the country and now threatens, if economists can be believed, a 30 percent unemployment rate. The package received bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and Senate.
The 880-page relief package flexes the muscle of a strong national government, bailing out companies, including the airlines, strengthening unemployment compensation, giving grants to businesses to keep employees on the payroll and, in something that is like a trial universal basic income, sending $1,200 checks to all but the most well off Americans.
No federal politician who voted for the coronavirus relief package would ever call the legislation “socialist,” but, frankly, actions speak louder than words. Their vote represents a complete abdication of any belief these politicians might have had that capitalism represents a final solution to mankind’s ills. The bill isn’t quite socialism. Socialism is when the government does all of the things in the legislation but raises the money to pay for them. The COVID-19 relief package pays for nothing, tossing the burden of this spending on future generations.
The relief package reveals that in a tough spot there is no real ideological division between Democrats and Republicans. Both parties support capitalism and markets, but not in a crisis. Both parties support balanced budgets, but not when the economy needs stimulation. Both parties support private business, but they are happy to float forgivable government loans to businesses to keep people employed. Both parties support capitalism except when it fails. Then they support socialism but always by another name.
We take no position over whether the coronavirus relief bill is good, bad or indifferent. We’ll all find out for ourselves soon enough. We only call out both Republicans and Democrats for their charade war against socialism, a battle they never believed in.