Democrats face a long-term decline in the structures and funding that make theirs a competitive party. Without massive new spending and programs, the party will decline in size, strength, and funding to the point where it will cease to be a serious competitor for national power. Without dramatic changes in America’s laws, it is the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, that is on the path to oblivion.
So here’s their plan.
Democrats are planning three massive spending bills, each roughly $2 trillion, over the next ten years.
Biden’s first annual budget would spend an unprecedented $6 trillion, about 25.6 percent of America’s economic output, a cost not imposed on Americans since World War II. The goal is to make this scale of spending the new normal.
Democrats are threatening $3.6 trillion in higher taxes.
They aim to increase the capital gains tax to 40.8 percent, twice China’s and the highest since Jimmy Carter in 1977.
They would also hike the federal corporate income tax from 21 percent to 28 percent. Given that the average state and local corporate income tax is roughly 6 percent (and fully deductible from federal income taxes), most businesses will be hit with a marginal combined corporate tax of 33 percent, ten points above the European average of 23.5 percent and eight points higher than communist China.
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Biden plans to take away the “step up in basis,” a hundred-year-old feature of the U.S. tax code designed to protect family farms and small businesses from being crushed by taxes at the end of each generation. Today, as for the past hundred years, when parents died, the children would assume the farm/business with a cost basis at the time of death. They would not pay capital gains taxes on the increased value (greatly augmented by inflation) of the family business during their parents’ lifetime.
Biden would remove this long-standing protection and force every generation to pay capital gains (now 40 percent rather than 23.8 percent). How is the family business to pay such taxes? Go into debt? Sell the farm?
The Democrats actually repealed the “step up in basis” in 1976. It was so unworkable it was never implemented and was formally repealed in 1980 by President Carter and a Democrat Congress.
Biden plans to hire eighty-seven thousand more IRS agents as part of an $80 billion gift to the agency in order to squeeze more money from taxpayers. Biden promises that spending $80 billion on the IRS will drag in an additional $787 billion in tax dollars over ten years. Previous budgets have given less optimistic estimates of how much an additional IRS agent can bring in. They have always fallen short.
Are there billions in unpaid taxes to be collected? This assertion is the magic wand repeatedly waved by Democrats to justify more spending on IRS agents. The projected revenues from more “enforcement” never materialize.
Biden supports a “poll tax,” not on the right to cast a ballot but on the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment. Think about that for a minute — a tax on a constitutional right. During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to impose a $200 federal tax on owning a semi-automatic firearm and another $200 for magazines holding more than ten rounds.
Was he serious? The question was answered when he appointed gun control fanatic David Chipman to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman, like Biden during his campaign, supports a $200 tax on all “assault weapons” — a meaningless term of art as malleable as “infrastructure” that, Chipman claims, includes the eighteen million AR-15s and even .22-caliber rifles in some cases. This is not a tax on machine guns but on regular hunting rifles. Oh, and when you pay the fee/tax you have to send in your fingerprints, photo, and a multi-page questionnaire that asks for your address and your “reason” for owning the gun.
Or you can sell your gun to the government and avoid the tax. Voila — one constitutional right taxed away.
So this is the Democrats’ plan: a dramatic increase in government spending from the average of the last ten years of 21.2 percent to 24.5 percent of the nation’s income, a hike in taxes on investment and business income on individuals and businesses, and gun control.
Why? Did the Democrats not notice that Bill Clinton ran this play in 1993 and 1994 and the Democrats lost fifty-two seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate? The Republicans won majorities in the House and Senate from 1994 to 2006 — the next twelve years.
Those with weaker memories might at least harken back to 2008–10, when Obama did exactly the same tax-and-spend two-step and in 2010 lost the House by giving up sixty-three seats, along with forfeiting six Senate seats.
But it turns out that progressive Democrats have noticed those two recent history lessons. That is precisely why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others take one look at the narrow Democrat majority in the House — 219-211 with five seats open as of this writing — and the fifty-fifty tie in the Senate and say, “Let’s get as much toothpaste out of the tube as possible now, however messy, because we will lose control of Congress in 2022.”
And, with the new census showing the country’s population shifting to red states and previous Democrat gerrymanders in Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona likely to be undone in 2022, the Democrats will, as the Daily Kos predicted, be locked out of the House for a decade. Read my lips: no new taxes, no new spending. For ten years. Therefore: smash and grab.
As a prophylactic, the Democrats are creating what they hope will be a new collection of dependent classes that will allow them to buy enough “dependency votes” to push through 2022. Each of the three spending bills is designed to create more government employees whose gold-plated salaries and promised pensions will encourage them to vote and vote their self-interest as tax-eaters, not taxpayers.
At every turn the spending is designed to create only unionized jobs and/or government jobs. The tax hikes are designed to reduce private-sector jobs and wages and eliminate most independent contractors and small businessmen, who generally view their income as created by their own hard work and therefore, unfortunately for them, tend to vote Republican.
The above can arguably be done by executive order or through a reconciliation package that requires a simple majority in the House and fifty votes in the Senate plus the vice president’s tie-breaking vote.
But should West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and (not or) Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema vote to alter or abolish the filibuster, then the agenda moves to permanently changing the rules to lock in a Democrat majority in both Houses of Congress that will be immune to challenge.
Rewriting Labor Law
Democrats in the House and Senate have demonstrated almost unanimous support for the PRO Act, a radical rewriting of U.S. labor law that begins its list of horribles by eliminating the “right to work” laws in twenty-seven states that allow workers to say “thank you, no” to being forced to join a union and pay dues or fees.
The PRO Act plagiarizes from California’s AB 5, the law that outlawed most independent contractors, prohibiting them from being their own bosses and forcing them to work as employees so they can be dragooned into a union and have dues extracted. The PRO Act also forces employers to give the home addresses and private phone numbers of all employees to union bosses so they can visit said workers at home at night and have them sign a piece of paper that will substitute for the previous secret ballot required to vote a union into power over all workers — those who voted “aye” and those who voted “no.”
Taking Control of the Ballot Box and Election Law
Democrats are pushing for nationalization — not of the steel industry but of all election law in America through the “For the People Act” (HR 1). No longer would states and local governments run their own elections. This Congress, a Democrat-controlled Congress, would gerrymander the entire nation for at least the next ten years. Voter ID, the law in all twenty-seven EU nations and thirty-six states – gone.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) also would cease to be a bipartisan, evenly balanced Republican/Democrat commission that requires commissioners of both parties to charge and convict a candidate with violating election law.
If enacted, the law would give the president’s party the tie-breaking vote to investigate, convict, and punish any candidate for House, Senate, or president. That alone would allow the FEC, at present a flawed but neutral judge of electoral misbehavior, into an agency capable of determining ahead of time who wins the House and Senate in 2022. HR 1 already has passed the House with 220 Democrats voting yes, just one Democrat voting no, and not a single Republican vote. S 1, the bill’s Senate counterpart, has forty-eight co-sponsors, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is determined to force a vote on the legislation.
Biden’s plan, if he can limit or end the filibuster, is to create the third great wave of government spending and power. The New Deal, enacted from 1933–39, and the Great Society were the first two “great leaps forward” in building a European-sized welfare state with workers in harness and paying through union dues for the reelection of the almost permanent majority in Congress. (Presidents come and go; Washington is run from Congress.)
Half of the federal government, 10 percent of the nation’s GDP, is consumed by programs enacted from 1934–36 and 1964–66.
From 1932 to 1994, the Republicans held the House and Senate for only four years — two years under Truman and two years under Eisenhower. That gives the Democrats a more perfect record than most one-party states around the globe. They had more complete control longer than Mexico but not quite as long a run as Castro.
Today, three factors inform the Democrats that they have to seize and maintain power now or lose slowly and then more rapidly if the rules are not changed.
First, in 1994, Republicans ran united, with more than 95 percent of candidates signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising to oppose and vote against any tax hike. They won and held both the House and Senate 60 percent of the time since 1994. No taxes have been raised at the national level except during the four years of united Democrat control with Clinton in 1992–94 and Obama in 2008–10. A Democrat Party dependent on more government employment and increased welfare dependency for votes is terrorized and weakened politically by a Republican Party popular for consistently opposing tax hikes, and government funding for Democrat activists requires the tax increases that Republican control denies them.
Second, labor unions were created to be the funding structure of both the Democrat Party and the progressive Left, but that structure is faltering. Unions once forced 35 percent of the American workforce to pay them dues. But unions, like any parasite, weaken their host, and over time unionized firms and industries declined. Today only 6.3 percent of the private sector is unionized.
Since the 1960s, Democrats wisely have opened government jobs to unionization, and 35 percent of state and local workers are now unionized. Today the number of private- and public-sector union members is nearly equal. But the 2018 Janus Supreme Court decision ruled that no American could be forced to join a union or pay dues as a condition of working for state and local government. Over time that 35 percent will drift downward, and the Left cannot fund itself with a handful of billionaires and foundations. The total of fourteen million public and private union members paying an average of $500 dues today amounts to $7 billion each year and $28 billion every four years.
Third, class warfare does not work well when 53 percent of American households have a 401K and/or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Unions are less attractive when sixty million Americans work at least in part as independent contractors. The majority of Americans want to be their own boss rather than working for someone else.
To continue as a political contender, the Democrat Party must break the rules and seize power now: dent or abolish the filibuster, pack the Court, add several states, weaken ballot security, and force workers into unions whether they like it or not.
Failing the above, the Democrat Party will drift downward into impotence and irrelevance as union membership — increasingly voluntary — declines and the vast majority of Americans become workers and savers and investors who will vote for a Republican Party that will never raise taxes. Stopping future tax hikes forces the government eventually to reform itself to cost less — and hire fewer Democrat precinct workers. Rinse. Repeat.
That’s a virtuous cycle for the nation — and a death spiral for the party of the left.
Source: The American Spectator