Roger L. Simon

Why the Democrats Made Such an Idiotic Tax Proposal

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, to deliver over million petition signatures demanding that President-elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "keep their hands off the American people's earned Medicare benefits." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

With the economy roaring as it hasn’t in decades, the stock market at all-time highs, and unemployment (including for blacks and Hispanics) at all-time lows, the Democrats have just proposed to “fix things” by raising taxes.

Say what?

This proposal, which includes raising the highest bracket and the corporate rate (after years of trying to get it down), plus raising the rates for “30 million companies which are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter-S corporations, and LLCs” not to mention bringing back the alternative minimum tax (a boondoggle for preparers), will end up costing the vast majority of Americans most, if not all, of the money they just got from the Republicans’ tax reform bill.

Call it “Away with all crumbs!”

Only someone as terminally frozen in 1968 as Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as the spokesperson for the proposal, could think of this as anything less than economic suicide. It’s not for nothing ol’ Bern’ took his honeymoon in the former Soviet Union only a year before the wall came down, speaking of deep financial insight.

Surely, Chuck Schumer, standing beside Bernie at the bill’s unveiling, understands how idiotic this is. But he’s not talking — or when he is, he’s telling what he certainly knows is a particularly creepy lie in the bill’s defense.

So what gives? How can they possibly be doing something so dumb? Several explanations come to mind:

  1. Everybody knows it will never pass.  Even if the Democrats take the House and the Senate (the latter highly unlikely) they would have to get Trump to sign it, invalidating his signature tax reform.  So this asinine scheme will never be tested where any tax proposal should be tested — the real world.
  2. Their base is shouting for blood.  This means the rich must be punished even if it punishes everyone else, even if it causes a recession, even if it causes a depression.  Reason 1 makes this easier since nobody really cares what the result is anyway or even notices.  Further, the media can be relied upon to ignore or obfuscate as usual.  So far they have barely reported this proposal, because they know it’s nonsense and might embarrass the Democrats.
  3. Trump — the cause of everything.
  4.  More  specifically, other than constantly vilifying the president in every conceivable way (see reason 3), the Democrats have absolutely nothing else to run on. Schumer’s previous economic proposal sunk like the proverbial stone — no one can even remember it. So they had to come up with something.
  5. General virtue signaling, especially for the benefit of blacks and Hispanics. In order to get their votes, insist to them once again how they’re being screwed, even though Trump’s policies have clearly made their lives better. This is the part that makes the evil party evil. Basically, it’s racist.
  6. Because they’re mammals.

Okay, this last takes some explanation. I have just finished “How I Escaped from Political Correctness and You Can Too” by Loretta Breuning, a fascinating book that argues that our political views are more often determined by a need to replenish compounds like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin generated in our bodies, compounds that we share with more primitive mammals.  It sounds almost crackpot but I have never read anything that explains so well why normally intelligent people adhere to such absurd politically correct views without questioning them.  To vastly oversimplify Breuning’s thesis — she has considerable scientific background — our mammal-like need for group approval and reassurance, to be part of the herd, which is stimulated by our addiction to those internal compounds, keeps us repeating patterns over and over.  What greater example of that than Bernie.  Taxes must go up for the benefit of the working class even if it makes them poorer.  Go figure.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.  His latest book is I Know Best:  How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If  It Hasn’t Already. He tweets @rogerlsimon.