President Trump has given notice that the lurch to socialism by the Democrats will be a key issue on which the Republicans will contest the 2020 elections.
Trump flagged his intentions during his State of the Union address on February 5 - when addressing the deteriorating situation in Venezuela:
We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom - and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.
Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.
Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
The Democrats' enthusiastic embrace of a Resolution introduced on 7 February into the United States Congress by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) that "it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal " confirmed in Republican circles the spectre of America eventually becoming a socialist country.
Now top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow has ratcheted up this fear during a speech given at the Conservative Political Action Conference on 28 February:
I want you to put socialism on trial, I don't want us to stand idly by. I don't want to let this stuff fester. I want it challenged. I want it debated. I want it rebutted. And I want to convict socialism.
Kudlow proceeded to challenge this perceived threat:
The Green New Deal would literally destroy the economy. Literally. It would knock out energy, transportation, airlines, jobs, businesses. We'd probably lose 10-15 percent of our GDP. It's remarkable.
The Green New Deal may tally between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10-years according to the American Action Forum (AAF) run by Douglas Holtz-Eakin - who directed the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005. That includes between $8.3 trillion and $12.3 trillion to meet the plan's call to eliminate carbon emissions from the power and transportation sectors and between $42.8 trillion and $80.6 trillion for its economic agenda including providing jobs and health care for all that would see 170 million Americans lose their private health insurance plans.
The Democrats have yet to reveal how this funding would be raised.
However the AAF has concluded:
The Green New Deal is clearly very expensive. It's further expansion of the federal government's role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life, however, would likely have a more lasting and damaging impact than its enormous price tag.
It is refreshing that Americans are now being presented with policies from the Democrats – rather than persistent bitter personal mudslinging aimed at discrediting Trump that has marked the last two years of Trump's presidency and is certainly not going to stop.
The voters will make up their own minds – contrasting the economic benefits of a booming domestic policy not seen in the USA for a long time - with GDP growth reaching 4.2 percent, unemployment at its lowest point in half a century, and a booming stock market – coupled with actual and proposed regulatory reform removing Government from controlling peoples' lives.
Democrats will be quick to play down the Republican claim that Democrat policies will see America becoming the United Socialist States of America – just as the Republicans will be focused on calling on Americans to reject socialism and maintain capitalism.
It promises to be a battle royal.
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