Also nonsensical is Clinton's call for a special commission to deal with the pending Social Security and Medicare crises -- to wit, $53 trillion in unfunded retirement and medical promises, which amount to $175,000 for every American. A commission would be a grand idea, if Clinton had not already kneecapped it with a no-new-taxes-except-on-the-very-very-rich pledge.
Republican John McCain's campaign rhetoric also has strayed from his fiscally conservative record, but today, I focus on the Democrats. Their soak-the-rich approach has always been a problem, because overtaxing productive people can hurt the job market. So what do Democrats do? Pander more.
Both Clinton and Obama are promising big new programs, middle-class tax cuts and an end to deficit spending -- paid for by raising a tax of "the highest volatility," as Prante put it. Which means that the minute the economy is in trouble, revenue will dry up. This is a formula for fiscal pain.
With a realistic view of affluence, there are not enough rich people to close the federal deficit or the pending entitlement crisis -- even if a Democrat actually ends the war in Iraq. When Democrats redefine rich to cover only the really, really rich, they make their unrealistic promises all that much more unattainable.
Clinton and Obama keep telling Americans that they have these wonderful plans to create vital programs that will make this country a greater, better place to live. Too bad their programs are never so important that Americans should have to pay for them. They are not even so important that well-heeled hi-def flat-screen TV Democrats should have to pick up part of the tab.
Call it the new American idealism. Ask not what you can do for your country. Make someone else pay for it.