- - Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Americans have a natural-born yearning for hearth and home where families can grow in peace and prosperity. A certain collection of their would-be leaders prefer to build castles in the air. “Progressives” grabbing for the reins of power in Washington are ignoring warning signs flashing elsewhere from outbreaks of indignant citizens watching officialdom separate them from their hard-earned money and their hopes for a better future.

Democrats competing in the 2020 presidential campaign are speaking with one voice in promising that they will snatch trillions of dollars in American treasure for their programs if elected. From the confiscatory wealth taxes proposed by socialist Bernie Sanders and socialist-light Elizabeth Warren to the Trump corporate tax cut repeal floated by supposed moderate Pete Buttegieg to liberal wanna-be Joe Biden’s promise to hike the rate from the current 21 percent to 28 percent, the economic notions of the presidential contenders would wind up taking cash from Americans’ pockets and putting it in Uncle Sam’s. When government grabs too much, it feels to the governed like they’ve been rolled. Iran is the most recent case in point: In the Islamic republic, violent protests over a sudden 50 percent hike in gasoline prices have spread across the nation during the past month.

A mullah-backed “shoot to kill” policy has resulted in the deaths of 208 persons in 21 cities, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with 7,000 arrests. A senior U.S. State Department official placed the number of deaths at closer to 1,000. Press video shows police forces battling demonstrators and the ruins of torched gas stations. Even in places where black gold flows like rivers, outrage rises in parallel with prices at the gas pump.

France is in the throes of a widespread strike by public-sector union workers angered over plans to reform the nation’s pension system by reducing benefits, with an estimated 800,000 protesters recently forcing the closure of schools and hampering operations of public transportation and hospitals. Police in Paris used tear gas to quell rioters intent on illuminating the City of Light with the glow of street fires.

There is a legitimate point to be made that as longevity climbs, handing out government retirement checks to zestful 62-year-olds is overly generous. Even in the magical land of nouvelle cuisine, the hoary fingers of acrimony clutch at hearts hurt by the sudden loss of an expected favor.

In Chile, ire over a 4-cent subway fare hike in October has snowballed from the capital into a nationwide series of impassioned protests. Government security forces making rough arrests have added injury to anger, rattling the reputation of Chile as an oasis of stability among the perennially dysfunctional states of Latin America.

Hong Kong’s current turmoil isn’t rooted in financial matters, but the fruit it bears could have severe economic repercussions. The semi-autonomous city is wracked with protests triggered by fear that its cherished freedoms — legal ones in particular — are about to be nullified by the authoritarian regime running mainland China. If it falls into the claws of the Chinese dragon, the system that leads the world in economic freedom is likely to falter and fail.

The current string of illuminati leading the Democratic Party’s presidential polls are soon to test their big-government, tax-heavy notions against the free-enterprise, tax-saving record of President Trump.

The Trump tax cuts of 2017 reduced tax rates on individuals and corporations, yet unmatched revenue has poured into the U.S. Treasury. Fiscal 2019, which ended in September, brought in a record $3.46 trillion. The cuts also placed U.S. tax rates at a level lower than all but three member nations of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the organization reported Thursday. Only Ireland, Chile and Mexico boast lower tax rates than the U.S. figure of 24.3 percent of gross domestic product. By contrast, the average Frenchman, wracked with anxiety over possible pension cutbacks, is paying the highest rate of 46.1 percent.

With the Trump economy resulting in stock prices toying with historic highs and unemployment figures sitting at historic lows, his challengers for the White House are determined to roll out grandiose proposals that would saddle Americans with trillions in new taxes. Seriously.

There is a touchiness the world over about government economic policies that threaten the well-being of hardworking families. Democrats determined to follow that costly course risk provoking America’s indignation.

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