Judd Gregg: Francifying America

The Democratic Party is coalescing around some basic themes and tenets.

Its candidates for president for the most part support this “new” direction for the party.

Nationalized healthcare, now rebranded as Medicare For All, is one of its calls to arms.

This proposal would add between $30 trillion and $40 trillion to the national debt. It would eliminate private insurance now supplied by employers to approximately 180 million Americans, who are for the most part satisfied with their coverage.

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Free college is another plank of the “new” Democratic cause.

This is a little misleading. The Democratic candidates espousing this are not suggesting that professors should work for free or that colleges should not pay for the maintenance of their facilities. Thus, it is really not free. It should be more honestly called a “We Will Have Someone Else Pay For Your College Costs” program.

The ‘someone else’ will include many people who do not go to college but work to support their families. They will now have the good fortune, under the Free College plank, to pay for someone else’s education too.

A national minimum wage is also on the agenda.

This has a track record of creating less opportunity for entry-level employees and part-time workers such as college students, especially in the area of food service.

It is a good idea if you like fewer jobs for those who are less skilled — but of course that is not a big consideration when you are absorbed in the insular ways of Silicon Valley and Berkeley.

A non-carbon nation is the next item to rally around: All things carbon are evil, apparently.

This is a difficult point to sustain since almost everything manufactured to make everyday life better involves some level of carbon sourcing. Of course, we can all drive electric cars — but most electricity comes from carbon-emitting plants and will do so for the foreseeable future. The Green New Deal has a dark side of hypocrisy.

The Modern Monetary Theory has been embraced as the “new” Democratic Party economic thesis.

This approach to economics says that deficits and debts essentially do not matter. It is of no consequence that our national deficits are running at $1 trillion per year, nor that our national debt now exceeds $22 trillion.

The economic theory now espoused as the “new” way says there is plenty of room for more spending and debt. Thus the “new” Democratic Party feels no compulsion about calling for program after program in order to attract voters’ support, whatever the cost.

As if all that were not enough, the voices on the farthest left now want to pack the Supreme Court and eliminate the electoral college.

Someone appears to have forgotten to tell the “new” Democratic Party about the “old” Constitution.

Most Americans will be startled by the arrogance of claiming that the way we have been governed for more than 200 years must be abruptly changed.

The unique strength that has made us such a remarkable nation is driven in large part by the genius of our founding fathers and the Constitution they gave us.

But the “new” Democratic Party believes that that a 29-year-old former bartender from the Bronx and a self-proclaimed Native American law professor from Harvard are better able to define our future than were George Washington, James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.

Before the Democratic Party takes the rest of America down this path, it might be worth evaluating the results in other western nations where similar policies have been pursued.

France is a good place for such a review.

France has been on a continuous downward path in standard of living for years. For much of that time, the prevailing ideology has been the same democratic socialism that is now the banner of the Democratic Party here.

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With each passing year of larger government, higher taxes and less productivity, the people have been sold more and more ideas for even further expansion of an already expansive government. The Yellow Vest street protesters are calling for even more socialist intervention by the government and they now have a hero.

He is Bruno Le Maire, the finance minister.

Minister Le Maire wants the entire western world to toe the line of the French socialist movement.

He is calling for a global minimum tax. He wants to levy much larger taxes on American tech giants like Amazon and Facebook. He wants to combat income inequity with massive government intervention. He calls for companies to be socially responsible as defined by his government.

He is the natural bedfellow of the “new” Democratic Party here.

France, however, is not where America has been and it is not where we want to go.

Our market economy and our constitutional democracy are the underpinnings of our success. Contrary to what the “new” Democratic Party would like to have us believe, they will not lead to our decline.

Americans will soon have to confront a choice about whether we lurch down the path of democratic socialism and give ourselves over to being Francified by the “new” Democratic Party leadership.

Alternatively, we can continue on the American course of opportunity, liberty and an unobtrusive government. This is the path that has separated us from the rest of world — and made us the envy of that world.

It should be a simple and clear choice…C’est la vie.

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.