With the constant confusion and noise coming from the Trump administration, I am surprised the Democrats think they need to attempt a serious messaging initiative right now. Maybe it is the polling data, which says voters don’t think Democrats stand for anything beyond being anti-Trump, or maybe they are just impatient, but watching Democratic leaders announce their new economic plan — “A Better Deal” — was awkward and embarrassing.
Sometimes, I almost feel bad for them.
Democrats are anti-business. And they can’t be anti-business and pro-jobs at the same time. We know what the Democrats’ economic formula produces. They had eight years of the Obama economy, which was low-growth, slowed job creation, and mostly benefited billionaires and coastal elites. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, et al. were just fine with that.
Democrats are more concerned with social tinkering and accommodating their liberal coalition than they are with doing anything that would foster real economic growth. And notwithstanding the usual homilies Democrats issue about needing an economy that works for the American people, all they offer are calls for more burdensome regulation, more handouts, and more mandates from Washington. They simply can’t help themselves. Their anti-business bias comes through no matter how hard they try.
My favorite example from A Better Deal comes from House Minority Leader Pelosi, D-California, via an op-ed in The Post. Pelosi writes: “We will demand that proposed mergers meet tough new standards to protect competition before approval, and will institute post-merger reviews to ensure that consolidated companies keep their promises to American consumers.” What? Can you imagine what the “post-merger reviews” would entail?
We all know what the Democrats really want to do. They want every business to be a “safe space” with gender-neutral bathrooms and HVAC systems that meet the artificial standards set forth by their global climate crusaders. They want to impose more diversity grievances on businesses, and they want private businesses to be just viable enough so that trial lawyers and unions can suck the life out of them.
Remember, at a certain level, macroeconomics is pretty simple. You can raise taxes or lower taxes. You can increase regulation or decrease regulation. Government can be friendly to business or government can be hostile to business.
The Democrats have made clear exactly what they are interested in — higher taxes, more regulation, and government that is suspicious and downright contemptuous of business.
Nothing has changed; Democrats haven’t learned anything from their losses at the ballot box. Their “Better Deal” campaign is a sham. In order to perpetuate themselves in office, Democrats want Americans to accept government dependency, not free-market opportunity. The last thing the Democratic Party wants is a robust business environment and a thriving, job-creating private sector.
Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant, and a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush White Houses and several national campaigns.
The Washington Post