DICK BAYNTON: Political Sophistry

Dick Baynton

Recently I heard one of the current band of presidential candidates whine that he had interviewed several people only to find that they were having a tough time paying their bills and they were working more than one job. This is the schism driven rhythm of politics; no surprise here. There are always going to be some people who are underemployed underpaid and underprivileged. There are always going to be some introverts, school dropouts and malingerers who either get support from family and friends or government agencies. The real truth about the economy today is that it is robust and anyone seeking a job can find one. Anyone who lacks skills can receive training within a few miles of their home.

Progressive party members are making the current economy sound like ‘hard times’ with the assurance that they will bring back the ‘good times.’ There is an old business adage that says this, ‘you can’t get out of debt by incurring more debt.’ The current crop of progressive ‘Robin Hoods’ who are going to raise taxes, offer free college and single-payer health care are fanning the smoldering entitlement kindling that if enacted will break out into an inferno that will swell the national debt of $23 trillion by exponential proportions.

Here’s the problem with progressive liberal thought; they believe that political power drives the nations of the world and especially our own USA. That’s not true for governments are just the ‘zebras’, the officials, the regulators of commerce. Commerce is the real creator of economic value of healthy economies, depressions, recessions and bankruptcies. Working people are paid by those who have accumulated capital and produce products and services for people all over the world who want and need those products and services. Never forget this epiphany: government is not a direct participant in commerce but is paid tariffs, taxes and fees for regulating local, interstate and international trade.

Here is the economic status of our country at this time; job gains in January 2020 were 225,000. The unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.6% because more people were seeking employment. Wages rose from 3.1% which is a little better than December of 2019 at 3%. Payroll growth over the past three months averaged 211,000 jobs compared with 175,000; the average for all of 2019. Candidates who want to uncover mass unemployment should stroll the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland or Seattle where human waste, injection needles and garbage is strewn about tents and tarps that provide shelter for people and animals.

Many of the jobs that fled to foreign countries over the past decade have returned contrary to negative statements made by critics. More than 6 million people have abandoned SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and nearly 1.8 million workers have been added to the Civilian work force over the past several years. Overall, our economy is solid but in need of greater control over federal government spending; a recent government report indicated that spending for 2020 will be about $4,829 trillion while revenue will amount to about $3.863 trillion. As a result our national debt will apparently eclipse the present $23.2 trillion by $1.3 trillion.

Right now 20% (66 million) of our citizens are on Social Security and about 10 million people are collecting disability at an annual cost of about $1.1 trillion. There are about 24 million workers in all levels of government including military but exclusive of security agencies. There a 12.8 million workers in private sector manufacturing. Candidates Sanders and Warren advocate paying for free college education and single payer healthcare for all at a cost from $25 trillion to $30 trillion. Middle class and wealthy taxpayers would pick up the tab of this nightmarish plan of toppling the economy just as Columbia University Professors Cloward and Piven predicted back in 1966. Their theory was that by making welfare the biggest budget item, the government would begin paying all citizens equally and the result would be Shangri-La with the national anthem being Kumbaya.

As I have mentioned before in this column, our nation, our constitution and our freedoms are at risk. We must not accept the leadership of a misguided billionaire on the one hand or the culture of socialist welfare on the other. They are pedaling political sophistry.

Dick Baynton