In what looked like a post-apocalyptic scene out of a B-movie where more than half the government had disappeared, President Biden came to the Capitol to affirm his leadership of the “Cult of Free.” In so doing, he completed the Democrats’ transition from the party of the working middle-class Americans to a radical political sect fixated on exploding the welfare state.
No president has proposed $6 trillion in spending in 100 days. No president has been willing to smear his own nation and drive partisan and racial division to do it like Mr. Biden.
Free universal preschool, undoubtedly a nod to the teachers’ unions. Free paid family leave. Free college, even for illegal immigrants. Free health care. Millions more Americans magically getting checks in the mail like manna from heaven.
The notion that anything and everything can be “free” has been a tried-and-true strategy of the left for decades. Never before, though, have so many Democrats lined up like lemmings to deliver this biggest of all lies to the American people.
The president boldly parroted the cult’s talking point that trickle-down economics has never worked. But the Cult of Free wants exactly that — a top-down economy and top-down, federally-driven policy that eviscerates our republican form of government. There’s nothing bottom-up about this approach.
Instead of corporations or the so-called wealthy investing in businesses, workers and innovation, the left wants Americans to trust government with doling out resources based on the priorities of a few elite interest groups, donors and leaders of the Democratic Party.
The Cult of Free devalues work and replaces personal initiative with victimization. It replaces the free market with taxpayer money and class warfare.
To provide a sense of how nonsensical all this is, Mr. Biden railed against 55 corporations that didn’t pay federal income taxes last year but had a combined profit of $40 billion. Internalize that if the government took all their profits for 10 years, it would pay for only 0.22% of his American Families Plan.
Cult of Free isn’t interested in improving the lives of Americans. If its congregants like Mr. Biden were, they would propose making student loan payments, health insurance, health care expenses, child care, life insurance and afterschool educational programs tax deductible for more Americans. The income caps and phase-out formulas are far too low to help many middle-class families.
If Mr. Biden cared about better social services, he’d increase the charitable deduction. On the environment, proposing tax incentives for EVs and high-efficiency home improvements would make sense as well.
Just like with the established research on the flat tax, decreasing these tax receipts from individuals, particularly the middle-class and small-business owners, will lead to higher revenue for government because it will encourage economic growth, better personal financial stability, more people having health care and savings.
But these prescriptions deprive the government of short-term revenue and therefore offend the Cult of Free, because allowing people to keep more of their own money denies the left of the ability to offer their phony giveaways.
The fact that Washington is addicted to spending is no great revelation, but this cycle of giving people back their own money and telling them you’re doing them a favor is downright insidious. Republicans can stop it. Just voting against the cult isn’t enough. It’s time to burn down their lies with better ideas.
Republicans need to propose an equally bold alternative agenda that actually would help families, while exposing the Democrats’ Cult of Free as deliberate deception. Their historic lack of courage has been dejecting for the people who struggle to pay for it all.
Of course, GOP courage would be helped immeasurably by every American talking to their families, their children about the deceits of the left. An educated citizenry is a potent defense to snake oil salesmen like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer. Adherents to the cults of men never fair well.
• Tom Basile, host of Newsmax Television’s “America Right Now,” is an author and adjunct professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches earned media strategy.