The U.S. Department of Labor jobs report, released Friday, shows eye-popping gains, concluding a year that has been great for workers. Hourly wages shot up after 10 years of stagnation and real household income topped its highest level in history. Basically anyone who wants a job can get one. "If we're not right at full employment, we're very close to that," says a top Federal Reserve official.
But progressive Democrats eyeing a White House run in 2020 are lying about the economy to sell their pie-in-the-sky government programs. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro are all backing universal "free" health care, "free" college, student loan forgiveness and a guaranteed paycheck from Uncle Sam. As if we're in a depression instead of a boom.
How would they pay for their massive giveaways? All these Dems are demanding that corporations and the rich "pay their fair share" to cover the tab.
And it's a big tab. Sanders' universal health care comes in at $32 trillion in government spending over 10 years. Add to that free college, student loan forgiveness, and a guaranteed jobs program and the tab totals $42.5 trillion, according to the Manhattan Institute economist Brian Riedl, formerly a Senate Finance Subcommittee staff member.
The federal government currently collects $44 trillion in tax revenues over 10 years. The progressive agenda would require doubling that.
On Sunday night television, Bronx Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., proposed raising taxes on what she calls the "tippy top" rich to pay the colossal cost of the progressive giveaways. She wants to hike the marginal rate to 70 percent on anyone earning $10 million a year or more. Hours later, Castro threw his support behind the fraudulent idea.
It's fraudulent because their tax hike on the rich would raise, at most, $720 billion over 10 years, according to Mark Mazur, a former Treasury Department official now at the centrist Tax Policy Center. That sounds like a lot of money, but $720 billion is a mere sliver of the $42.5 trillion cost of the progressive agenda. There just aren't enough rich taxpayers.
That's why hiking taxes on the rich is a phony solution, a hoax meant to deceive voters. Yet every one of the leftist Dems eyeing a race for the White House repeats it.
To put the cost of their colossal giveaways in perspective, actually raising $42.5 trillion dollars would require a whopping 87 percent national sales tax on everything Americans buy, says Riedl.
That's not soaking the rich. It's enslaving all of us.
This weekend, Warren, the first Dem to officially enter the 2020 race, fed Iowa audiences a false tale of hard times in America. She said the economy is "rocky" and added "particularly rocky for people of color." No way. African-American unemployment is near its record low. Hispanic unemployment is the lowest ever.
Warren said the current economic system is unfair, and she whipped out her Accountable Capitalism Act. She'd give workers 40 percent of corporate board seats, and compel boards to serve vague goals like social justice instead of maximizing profits. Investors won't put their money into an enterprise under those conditions. Warren's scheme would tank the economy.
Unlike Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, who admit to being socialists, Warren vows to be "a capitalist to my bones." Don't believe it. She's as much a capitalist as she is a Native American.
Connect the dots. The current hiring surge is being triggered by a huge increase in business investment. Investors are pouring money into companies to buy more vehicles, computers and equipment. Companies in turn are hiring more drivers and office personnel.
Behind the investment and hiring boom are the Trump tax cuts. Now Democrats are pledging to reverse those cuts and pile on more taxes if they capture the White House in 2020. They're literally campaigning to undo prosperity. Republicans couldn't hope for anything better.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York State. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.