Betty Arenson | What’s In It for You, Joe Taxpayer?

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
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The candidates coming from the party of the Democrats are tripping over themselves striving to top each other with free stuff. With the 2020 primary about 10 months away and the general election eight months after that, it’s hard to imagine what freebie could possibly be left on the table but undoubtedly some mix of the pool will think of something.

Bernie Sanders is open about his disdain for corporations and business in general. The CNBC article “Bernie Sanders is running for president — and his polices would have a huge impact on business” gave a glimpse of his platform’s key points as follows: 

• Bernie Sanders is entering the 2020 presidential race. 

• Sanders has supported policies such as Medicare for all, breaking up big banks, a $15-per-hour minimum wage and free public college, all of which have gained more traction in the Democratic Party in recent years. 

• Out of all the 2020 candidates, Sanders would have perhaps the biggest effect on businesses and wealthy Americans.

In 2015 PBS cited Sanders as a “climate change hawk.” Naturally that meant taxing businesses for emissions to fund “green” initiatives. He wants universal preschool, free college tuition, breaking up big banks, repeal laws that (may) protect some gun manufacturers, universal healthcare (Medicare for all), a path to citizenship, waiving of some deportations and wants prisoners to vote. 

Sanders would raise federal income tax rates for incomes over $250,000 and tax capital gains income like working income. He supported the Iran deal and, by his actions, rejects Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

There are no indications Sanders believes differently today.

Cory Booker announced his plan this week to provide reparations to black Americans for past slavery. Agreement followed with the choir of senators and fellow presidential candidates, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and “Beto” O’Rourke. 

CNN Politics (April 8) wrote of Booker’s plan for a commission to “…seek to remedy generations’ worth of discrimination as a result of overt policies fueled by white supremacy and racism that have oppressed African-Americans economically for generations … policies that have ushered millions of Americans into the middle class” but “systematically excluded blacks.”

Yes, the incendiary themes and words of racism, white supremacy, racial bias and unbalanced economic scales are afire on the front burner for the 2020 election. 

Booker’s campaign promotes “baby bonds” that would give each child a savings account, with money added annually based on a family’s wealth. He referenced a Columbia University study that concluded the program would “dramatically reduce racial wealth inequality.”

On Jan. 3, Kamala Harris introduced the LIFT bill (Livable Incomes For Families). This freebie is merely another Earned Income Credit program. 

Here’s the breakdown from

• The LIFT credit would reduce federal revenue by $2.7 trillion between 2019 and 2028 on a conventional basis.

• LIFT would slightly increase the weighted average marginal tax rate on labor, leading to 825,906 fewer full-time equivalent jobs and a 0.7 percent smaller economy in the long run. Pretax wages would remain unchanged.

• The smaller projected economy over the next decade would result in slightly lower revenue collections. As a result, it’s estimated that this proposal would reduce federal revenue by $2.8 trillion on a dynamic basis. 

• LIFT would greatly increase the progressivity of the tax code by raising the after-tax incomes of the bottom 20 percent of taxpayers by 20.5 percent. Overall, taxpayer after-tax income would rise by 2.4 percent.

The details include receivers being able to opt into getting a year-end refund or taking it monthly. Childless workers are eligible, too, with values ending sooner. This program discourages marriage because people garner more by filing as a single.

Candidate Elizabeth Warren wants a lot of free stuff too, like universal child care. She’ll pay for it with the #UltraMillionaireTax, (Feb. 19 tweet). There’ll be a 2 percent tax on those with a net worth (note: not income, but assets) of $50 million and a 1 percent tax on billionaires (assets or income?). The Wall Street Journal puts the annual price tag at $70 billion. 

It’s immensely clear and appalling that Warren picked dollar amounts above the range of her multi-millionaire status.

Candidate “Beto” O’Rourke, among other liberal ideas, touts giving released felons the right to vote. 

The March 14 New York Times referenced a Houston Chronicle op-ed wherein O’Rourke admitted his own criminal history of arrests “for attempted forcible entry and once for drunken driving when he was in his 20s; both charges were dismissed — and argued that his success since then had been possible because of his race and economic status.” 

 Robert Francis O’Rourke is a multi-millionaire who married into the $500 million William Sanders family (Forbes, Nov. 4). 

This is but a sampling of what America’s citizenry of hard-working taxpayers are facing. 

What’s in it for you?

Betty Arenson is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among several local Republicans.

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