For 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates
Where Will the Money Come From?
The big, unruly crowd of would-be Democratic presidential candidates is engaged in a free-for-all. Literally. They’re fighting to see who can promise the most free stuff to the largest number of people – college tuition, student-loan forgiveness, Medicare-For-All, Universal Basic Income (UBI), and throw in the kitchen sink of subsidized housing for the homeless who crowd the sidewalks of places like San Francisco and Portland where everybody votes Democratic.
Some Democratic candidates come right out and call this socialism. Others lie about being socialists. The socialists are lying too… They say we’ll take from the rich and give to the poor.
A few numbers: The 10% of Americans who earn the most money make a total of about $4.75 trillion a year. These are the rich. Not that they’re crazy rich… An annual household income of $118,000 puts people in the top 10%. But let’s not quibble, $118,000 ain’t hay. They’re the rich. We’ll take from them.
And, what the heck, let’s take everything from them – all $4.75 trillion.
Now let’s give to the poor. Or try to. The federal budget for 2018 was $4.1 trillion – without any new programs for dispensing costly goods and services at no cost to the recipients.
If we took every bit of the $4.75 trillion from the rich, it would last the federal government 14 and a half months.
Meanwhile, the people we took the money from have been earning nothing for more than a year… so they now qualify for free stuff, too.
Where are we going to get it? I suppose we could ask the 10% to go back to work but not get paid. They might be crabby about that.
So let’s not tax income… Let’s tax wealth. Being bloated plutocrats isn’t about what the rich earn – it’s about what they own. The filthy rich still have a fortune socked away in physical assets, stocks, bonds, and those secret Cayman Islands bank accounts they all use. (Slip a little Medicare-For-All and UBI to Cayman Islands bank tellers and we’ll have rich people’s PINs in no time.)
America has tremendous wealth disparity. A brief search of the Internet… which is free the way Democratic candidates say all good things should be, therefore the Internet is a good thing, and since the Internet is good, all the information I find on the Internet about “wealth disparity” must be true…
But I digress.
As I was saying, a brief search of the Internet tells me that the net worth of U.S. households is approximately $95 trillion and the richest 10% of Americans own at least 75% of that wealth or, in round numbers, $71 trillion.
Now we’re talking real money. We’ll have plenty to give to the poor.
Of course, we’re going to have to pay off our national debt first – $22 trillion. The reason we’ll have to pay off our national debt is that America’s top 10% of professionals, business owners, and senior corporate executives are unemployed and lazing around their beach houses (soon to be expropriated). They’re not buying any Tesla Model X SUVs or Sub-Zero wine refrigerators or Tory Burch clothing, accessories, and beauty products. They’ve quit paying the landscaper and the pool service. They’re letting the grass grow and the Jacuzzi get scummy. They’ve fired the nanny and aren’t tipping the pizza-delivery guy anymore.
This makes America’s economy look lousy even though Americans are now getting everything for free, which should make us the envy of the world.
But nobody in that world is ever going to lend the U.S. government any money ever again – because of how lousy our economy looks. So we’ll have to pay off our $22 trillion national debt.
Okay, that still leaves us with $49 trillion… Oops. Make that $47.5 trillion. (We forgot to subtract $1.5 in outstanding student loans.) However, we’ll now need a much larger federal budget. Medicare-For-All has a projected annual cost of $3.2 trillion. And UBI will set us back $3.8 trillion a year. (Free college tuition is just a rounding error of about $70 billion. We won’t even count that.)
So… Current spending of $4.1 + $3.2 + $3.8 = $11.1 trillion.
The next Democratic president (assuming he or she has a Democratic House and Senate) will have $47.5 trillion to pay for free stuff. Divide this by $11.1 trillion and we see that it will last… a little more than four years. Hooray! Just long enough to get re-elected!
And after that?…
After that we’ll have to move to some place where they’ve got this kind of arithmetic figured out already. Venezuela, for example.