An Unfair Criticism from VDH

"What is the alternative to Trump?" he asks. He begins with a very fair criticism -- of Trump, no less.
No president for the past 19 years has sought to offer any remotely sane budget. And with still relatively low interest rates, massive federal spending, a $22 trillion national debt, and an annual deficit of nearly $1 trillion, it is hard to imagine, in extremis, that there remains any notion of “stimulus” or “pump-priming” left.

Yet we hear little about such financial profligacy.

Not a word comes from Trump’s critics about the need for Social Security or Medicare reform to ensure the long-term viability of each — other than the Democrats’ promises to extend such financially shaky programs to millions of new clients well beyond the current retiring Baby Boomer cohorts who are already taxing the limits of the system.
I have occasionally noted in this space that I would like to hear a plan to save the Medicare We Have before we float plans for Medicare For All, but so far none have been forthcoming. I am forced to conclude that our two largest generations, who drive most of our politics, are satisfied with the arc toward failure. The Boomers who are still the frontrunners know there's enough for their generation; and the Millennials just beginning to assume office aren't interested in saving programs they can't imagine surviving long enough to serve them.

Anyway, VDH goes on to this:
To counter every signature Trump issue, there is almost no rational alternative advanced.... Instead of vague socialist bombast and promises, where is the actual detailed progressive version of the Contract with America, so voters can read it, digest it, and then decide whether it is superior or inferior to the status quo since 2017?
There's certainly been plenty of vague bombast, but there is actually a detailed set of plans on offer from Elizabeth Warren. They include the following:

* A wealth tax;

* New taxes on corporations, as well as mandates that would force them to put some of their workers on the boards;

* An 'economic patriotism' plan built around 'corporate citizenship' that is, if we are honest, fascist in Mussolini's specific sense of the term ("Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.");

* Essentially every kind of gun control anyone has thought of as an option;

* A plan to eliminate the Electoral College;

* A housing assistance plan that reads as if it were written to satisfy the criticisms raised by Ta-Nehisi Coates;

* Black reparations;

* Native American reparations;

* Gay reparations;

* Female reparations, these to be extracted from their future employers;

* College student reparations;

* Punishment for hospitals with high maternity death rates ("What could possibly go wrong? Well, the hospitals may have no control over the things that are causing the disparity. Yet hospitals that serve large numbers of black women will lose funding."); also, universal child care;

* A plan to boost immigration by decriminalizing currently-illegal entry;

* A plan to shut down mining and other wealth-extraction from public lands;

* ...and numerous other plans.

In fact, the only thing she seems to have no formal plan to do is reforming health care generally. I'm sure it's on her list of things to do, but it's not something she's explained exactly how she'd do.

She's got a pretty sweeping agenda, and I notice that she hasn't spelled it out at her campaign website in anything like the detail she has done elsewhere. It's at least as transformative as anything Obama imagined.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

High maternity death rates. Blacks have worse outcomes in every state, every country where it is measured, and in every socioeconomic class. Hispanics, even when poorer than blacks, do not. They in fact sometimes do better than whites. I therefore conclude that genetic explanations are more likely, not environmental. Punishing hospitals will result in worse care for black mothers and babies, not better.

jabrwok said...

I'd rather we just abolish the welfare programs, not try to "save" them. Let me keep my own money, stop taking it to finance other people's healthcare and retirements.

Dad29 said...

Paul Ryan actually proposed workable and decent plans for 'fixing' social security (maybe Medicare, too...I can't recall.)

They died, partially b/c Obama got elected, but mostly because we elect politicians, not true and faithful servants.

Grim said...

I'm not saying I wouldn't rather abolish the programs; I just don't want to hear about new social welfare programs while the ones we have are dying on the vine.

Christopher B said...

In VDH's defense he did say 'rational alternative', not laundry list of giveaways and pipe dreams that wouldn't survive contact with the Congress that Warren would be facing if she got elected, even if it was majority Democrat.

Grim said...

What then does 'rational' look like, given the probability of a divided Congress / President?