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Liberals Don't 'Invest'; They Spend Other People's Money

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-avowed socialist, sometimes sounds like a multibillionaire entrepreneur when promoting his political agenda.

He intends, you see, to "invest" a great deal of money.


Of course, unlike a billionaire entrepreneur, Sanders won't be investing his own money. He will be "investing" yours.

Nor does Sanders intend to be a mere retailer. He is promising to make "massive investments" in a "Green New Deal" that will result in "a wholesale transformation of our society."

"From the Oval Office to the streets, Bernie will generate the political will necessary for a wholesale transformation of our society, with support for frontline and vulnerable communities and massive investments in sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and a transformation of our transportation system," says his website.

He promises to "Directly invest an historic $16.3 trillion public investment toward these efforts, in line with the mobilization of resources made during the New Deal and WWII."

Sanders similarly vows to support "small family farms by investing in ecologically regenerative and sustainable agriculture," to "invest in nationwide electric vehicle charging infrastructure," to make "a $300 billion investment" to "increase public transit ridership by 65 percent" and to lead "the world in fighting climate change by investing in reducing emissions throughout the world."

At the same time, Sander promises to "Invest $14.7 billion in cooperatively owned grocery stores."


Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is also promising to make "investments."

She touts, for example, what she calls her "Plan to Invest in Rural America."

"Our failure to invest in rural areas is holding back millions of families, weakening our economy, and undermining our efforts to combat climate change. It's time to fix this," she says.

This includes dealing with the urgent need to teach Americans how to use the internet -- and providing it to them through government-run systems.

"Even when there's access to broadband internet -- and even when it's available at an affordable price -- people may still not take advantage of it because they don't know how to use it," Warren says in an essay for Medium. "That's why I will work to pass the Digital Equality Act, which invests $2.5 billion over ten years to help states develop digital equity plans and launch digital inclusion projects."

"I will make sure every home in America has a fiber broadband connection at a price families can afford," she says. "That means publicly-owned and operated networks -- and no giant ISPs running away with taxpayer dollars."

Warren's trademark investment proposal, however, is her plan for universal childcare. "My plan will guarantee high-quality child care and early education for every child in America from birth to school age," she explained in an essay in Medium.


She calls this a "win-win-win investment in our future."

Politicians like Sanders and Warren are now using the terms "invest" and "investment" the same way they have long used the terms "reproductive rights" and "reproductive freedom."

They are euphemistic lies meant to cover up an ugly truth. When American politicians say they favor "reproductive rights" or "reproductive freedom," what they mean is they favor the legalized killing of an unborn child.

When politicians like Sanders and Warren now say they want to make an "investment," what they mean is they want to take and spend someone else's money.

Private individuals and private corporations invest their own money, or money they have borrowed on their own credit, with the intention of creating something that brings back even more money in return.

Private investment, when it works, builds things that create wealth.

More federal spending, which is what Sanders and Warren want, creates a bigger federal government with more people dependent on it.

It also creates a heavier tax burden on the people who are not dependent on government but pay for it.

Sanders and Warren both say they are going to pay for their "investments" by taxing the rich.

"At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we need a progressive tax system in this country that is based on the ability to pay," says Sanders.


"If we are serious about reforming the tax code and rebuilding the middle class, we have got to demand that the wealthiest Americans, large corporations, and Wall Street pay their fair share in taxes," he says.

"While we must make income taxes more progressive, that alone won't straighten out our slanted tax code or our lopsided economy," says Warren.

"That's why we need a tax on wealth," she says. "The Ultra-Millionaire Tax taxes the wealth of the richest Americans. It applies only to households with a net worth of $50 million or more -- roughly the wealthiest 75,000 households, or the top 0.1%. Households would pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 3% tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion."

The essence of the political pitch Sanders and Warren are making is that there will be more takers then givers.

In the transformed America they envision, that would be a permanent fact.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of

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