The first recollection I have about watching a newly elected President being sworn into office was in January 1961. At that time Democrat President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Those words made a lasting impression on me as I realized that America became great in a short time period because of contributions made by American citizens. If this was the view of the Democratic party, then that was right for me.
My choice of political parties changed after I graduated from college. I discovered that the Democrats advocated for many social programs which essentially took income away from those that earned it and gave to those, who for whatever reason, did not earn it. I reasoned that if I had to earn income to pay for my subsistence, shouldn’t other able-bodied Americans pay for theirs?
By then the Democrats had veered far from the spirit of President Kennedy.
In 1996, prior to his re-election, President Clinton seemed to echo Kennedy’s sentiments. In the State of the Union speech, Clinton declared, “The era of big government is over.” He indicated that Americans should exercise more individual responsibility and expect less government responsibility.
Clinton then worked with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to reduce government spending. Clinton convinced Congress to lower the capital gains tax rate from 28% to 20%. That resulted in the economy growing at a 4 ½% annual rate for the next four years. It also resulted in tax revenue from capital gains increasing significantly.
This led to a surplus in the federal government budget annually from 1998 to 2001. Prior to that, 1960 was the last time the government had a budget surplus. The Democratic Party platform looked very appealing. Democrats were offering lower tax rates, smaller government, economic prosperity and an emphasis on individual freedom along with a social conscience.
In 2007, the Democrats changed. Rather than offer positive policies consistent with American principles, they offered very negative campaigning and an increase in social responsibility. By 2008, their platform included more social programs, led by a new concept in health care.
The Dems changed the priority of the health goals from the traditional 1) Quality, 2) Cost, 3) Coverage to 1) Coverage, 2) Cost, 3) Quality. In 2010 the Dems, with absolutely no GOP support, passed the Affordable Care Act. More than 20 million previously uninsured, could now get coverage. But the cost and quality suffered.
Now the Dems want to push more comprehensive health care which is completely controlled by the government and will cover 100% of the population. Under this plan, the cost and quality will suffer. The Dems also want to have taxpayers pay all outstanding student loan debt and pay for all students to attend college.
That means more taxes and a bigger government.
While those policies will appeal to much of the Democratic base, the Dems know that those policies are not supported by the majority of Americans. As such, they believe the only path to victory in the 2020 elections, lies with a negative campaign. So they are smearing President Trump. It is, quite frankly, disgusting.
A smear is defined as “a usually unsubstantiated charge or accusation against a person.” To smear someone is to “vilify, especially by maliciously spreading grave charges.”
Even though an extensive nearly two-year investigation by a special prosecutor and a team of ruthless and extremely biased investigators, revealed that the president did not collude with the Russians nor was there sufficient evidence to charge the crime of obstruction, the Dems keep smearing.
They claim Trump is guilty of covering up, even though there was no crime to cover up. They say Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice since he fired former FBI director James Comey. Trump has a right to fire Comey who serves at the president’s will. They say Trump is guilty of making illegal payments to cover up an affair he had. It turns out that there is nothing illegal about the payments his campaign may have made.
Dems say Trump is in violation of the emoluments clause, by having some government workers stay at a Trump-owned property. Even though Trump estimates that becoming president has resulted in him not earning billions of dollars as a businessperson, the Dems claim he is profiting personally from government business that may have earned his companies a few thousand dollars.
In total there are more than 60 Democratic investigations into Trump’s present and past behavior. The investigations are designed to simply smear the President since the Dems know that the GOP majority Senate will never vote to impeach even if the House does. The Democrats have turned into a smear machine. What happened?
The Dems hope that if they smear Trump enough, they will turn away enough trump voters so they can win the election. This disgusting behavior will likely not work and will result in Trump winning re-election and perhaps getting a GOP majority in the House. In may even result in the GOP getting a larger majority in the Senate.
The Dems know that they lose on the issues. The only chance they have is to smear President Trump. That is, however, a losing and disgusting strategy. Instead, the Dems should focus on what they can to positively, to improve the welfare of Americans.
Michael Busler, Ph.D., is a public policy analyst and a professor of finance at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics. He has written op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 35 years. @mbusler www.facebook.com/fundingdemocracy