We conservatives are all obsessed these days with our country’s seeming descent into Banana Republic-Land. With the last administration burying the crimes of the Democrats’ would-be standard-bearer, Hillary Clinton, and weaponizing the FBI, CIA, NSA, DOJ, and State Department to perpetrate a coup against Donald Trump, things can seem pretty grim at times. We right-wing politics-watchers need some comic relief now and then. For that, I present to you Cardi B who, surprisingly, provides a ray of hope that all may not be lost on the Left.
For those who don’t know (and I admit, I didn’t really know until recently), Cardi B is a singer. Apparently, she is a singer in the rap genre. Once you hear her speak, you will more fully appreciate what a phenomenal country we live in, where even the most foul-mouthed, ignorant individual can manage to identify and tap into a talent she has found within herself, and exploit it to the tune of many millions of dollars. She deserves credit for that. And because of that, she was almost featured -- in a positive way -- in a separate column I wrote on meritocracy being eroded in America.
But I decided that, for illustrative purposes, Ms. B fits much better in a column about your typical Democratic celebrity showing an initial glimmer of understanding of what we conservatives seem to understand intuitively about wasteful government spending, high taxes and lack of accountability. But then, not quite being able to make the full cognitive leap to an embrace of conservativism, she instead goes all in for the Socialist from Vermont.
Three videos featuring Ms. B greatly facilitate my illustration and have the added benefit of making for a riotously good time. They should be watched in the proper order: Cardi B rant on wasteful government spending first, then Cardi B on Uncle Sam taking too much of her money, and finally Cardi B philosophizing with Bernie Sanders.
The Cardi B wasteful government spending ran tis priceless. It’s just a minute long. I’ll have to clean it up for a family publication. Ms. B informs us that she pays 40 percent in taxes and this is apparently outrageous. She fulminates, “Uncle Sam, I want to know what you’re doing with my [BLEEP-ing] tax money because I’m from New York and the streets is always dirty. You was voted the dirtiest city in America. What is y’all doin’? There’s still rats on the damn train... So what is y’all doin’ with my [BLEEP-ing] money? I want to know. I want receipts! I want everything! I want to know what y’all doin’ with my [BLEEP-ing] money!”
Putting aside that train maintenance and local prisons are the responsibility of her esteemed Mayor Bill DeBlasio, not “Uncle Sam”, Ms. B actually is showing a little bit of insight here that should warm the heart of your average Tea Party rally participant, cuss words notwithstanding.
Then we get to Ms. B’s second anti-government rant. Cardi opens by saying she “hates” when people question why celebrities spend money on luxury items for themselves when that money could go to humanitarian causes. Then she moves on to complaining about the expenses she has to cover for her business and that the government just doesn’t seem to care.
“Who are you to tell people what to do with their hard-working [BLEEP] money? First of all, do you know that artists, celebrities -- the IRS, out of every check that you make, they automatically take 45 percent… Then, like a artist like me, and a lot of rappers that I know, they literally take care of their whole family… The IRS don't consider that a ‘business’ [she gestures with air quotes].”
Oh, the horror! She pays 45 percent in taxes (it was 40 percent in the first video, but whatever) has a lot of expenses for her posse, and the IRS just has no sympathy. Gee, welcome to the club Ms. B.
But here’s where things get weird. While she showed such promise in her initial I’m-mad-as-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore channeling Howard Beale videos, she throws all that potential away by embracing Bernie Sanders. Oh, the waste!
In what appears to be her first foray into political thought, Ms. B interviews Bernie, doing a sort of pseudo-spontaneous give-and-take with the Sandman about his policy prescriptions for America, all set to hip background music that doesn't seem to go with either of their personalities or the political nature of their discussion. It seemed more appropriate for a Sunday brunch at Elaine’s or in a Seinfeld episode.
Ms. B asks Bernie, “One of the popular questions are [sic], how would it be possible to get free health insurance, free education, and how will our student loans be forgiven? Because a lot of people think that it’s impossible and a lot of people don’t want extreme socialism.” Right on, Cardi!
Bernie, the Old Red, then comes back with some demagoguery about how Canada, Germany, Sweden, the UK, etc. offer healthcare as a “human right”, how evil “profit” is earned by insurance and drug companies in America, and that somehow, under the magical Medicare-for-All system he plans for us, everything will be oh-so-much-better with “no more premiums, no more copayments, no more deductibles.” But he does allow that “[Y]ou do pay more in taxes depending on your income,” but “The overwhelming majority of the people will end up paying less than they’re currently paying.”
Well, that’s good enough for Cardi. Except here’s some news for her. According to George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, Bernie’s healthcare plan would cost more than $3.2 trillion per year. For comparison’s sake, the entire federal budget right now is roughly $4.4 trillion per year. And as Bernie has made clear, the more you earn, the higher your tax burden will be to fund his plan. So someone in Ms. B’s top 0.1 percent tax bracket? Well, heh, heh. You thought your 40 percent (or was it 45 percent?) tax hit from Uncle Sam was high? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
I cannot honestly say that I understand the talents that have lofted CardiB to the heights of success, but hey, I like Johnny Cash. Let’s just say her music isn’t the type for which I’d part with my hard-earned greenbacks. I don’t begrudge her the fact that she discovered a talent within herself that other people find of value and she’s turned that into a mega-fortune. I just wish someone would sit down with 26-year-old Ms. B for a little chat about Milton Friedman, supply-side economics and a century of socialism’s failures. She showed such promise.
William F. Marshall has been an intelligence analyst and investigator in the government, private, and non-profit sectors for more than 30 years. He is a senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc. and a contributor to Town Hall, American Thinker, and The Federalist. (The views expressed are the author’s alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.)