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Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vt.) in Newton, Iowa on Saturday.


Photo:

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination to

Hillary Clinton.

But even if he loses again in 2020, his long-term project to pull Democratic candidates in the direction of socialism is already a success.

Today the left-leaning Americans for Tax Fairness is celebrating the end of moderation among Democrats seeking the White House. The organization gleefully announces:

All four leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have proposed tax and spending plans many times the size of Hillary Clinton’s fiscal plan in 2016, showing how far the debate has shifted in the progressive direction in four years. Like Clinton, they would all raise taxes almost exclusively on the wealthy and corporations to improve public services working families rely on like healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

Don’t believe that part about taxes only hitting the rich and corporations. But it’s hard to argue the point that radicalism is the new normal for office-seeking Democrats. According to the lefty outfit:

Clinton proposed upping tax revenue on the wealthy and corporations by $1.4 trillion over 10 years to pay for $1.7 trillion in public investments. Biden and Buttigieg have both offered up plans raising taxes on the rich and corporations by around $3.4 trillion, although both have made statements suggesting their totals could go quite a bit higher. Sanders and Warren are proposing around $10 trillion in high-income and corporate tax hikes, exclusive of the revenue they propose raising for their Medicare for All plans.

Notably, Michael Bennet, another moderate Democrat running for president, has proposed raising $5.2 billion from the wealthy and corporations to fund $6 trillion in new investments.

The organization estimates $28.4 trillion in new tax hikes under the plans described by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and $22 trillion in tax increases proposed by Mr. Sanders.

The Sanders tax tab would almost certainly be much higher to cover the cost of all his new spending. In October

Brian Riedl

wrote in City Journal:

All told, Sanders’s current plans would cost as much as $97.5 trillion over the next decade, and total government spending at all levels would surge to as high as 70 percent of gross domestic product. Approximately half of the American workforce would be employed by the government. The ten-year budget deficit would approach $90 trillion, with average annual deficits exceeding 30 percent of GDP… This unprecedented outlay would more than double the size of the federal government.

Now Ronald Brownstein writes for CNN:

Sanders’ plan, though all of its costs cannot be precisely quantified, would increase government spending as a share of the economy far more than the New Deal under President

Franklin Roosevelt,

the Great Society under Lyndon Johnson or the agenda proposed by any recent Democratic presidential nominee, including liberal George McGovern in 1972, according to a historical analysis shared with CNN by

Larry Summers,

the former chief White House economic adviser for

Barack Obama

and treasury secretary for

Bill Clinton.

As much success as Mr. Sanders has had in persuading nomination rivals to adopt radical positions, his history and policy proposals say that the Sanders economic wrecking ball would be the most destructive of all.

***

Mr. Sanders’ radical politics don’t stop at the water’s edge. The Vermont senator routinely insists that his version of socialist governance would be nothing like the murderous reigns of the world’s Marxist tyrants. But then he keeps insisting on saying nice things about the world’s Marxist tyrants. In a recent visit to the New York Times, Mr. Sanders said:

In terms of

Evo Morales

[of Bolivia], his record was a pretty good record. He went a long way to limit or to cut back on extreme poverty in a very poor country. Give a voice to the indigenous people of that country. Should he have run for another term although they made it legal? Probably not. But you know, within the context of what?… I think Morales probably should not have run again, but his record is not a bad record.

This week the Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady notes Mr. Morales’ warm relations with Iran and in November reviewed the appalling Morales record:

The South American socialist, who had ruled Bolivia like a tyrant for 14 uninterrupted years, fled his country after the army told him earlier this month that it would not use force against demonstrators protesting a fraudulent election.

Ms. O’Grady added that Mr. Morales is “secretary-general of the Bolivian federation of coca growers, one of the largest producers and distributors of cocaine in the Western Hemisphere” and “trampled the rights of the lowland indigenous people in the

Amazon

when they opposed the expansion of the coca business”. She adds:

…in the early years of his tenure he used his popularity and a commodity boom to destroy his country’s democratic institutions.

But Mr. Morales’s popularity declined when commodity prices tumbled, the economy slowed, and the government ran low on money.

The country remains one of the poorest in Latin America. The only way to credit Mr. Morales with “a pretty good record” is by judging success as adherence to Marxist ideology and the trashing of individual liberty.

Bernie Sanders is giving Americans who cherish freedom fair warning of the misery he intends to impose on them. Why would Democrats want to follow his lead?

***

In Other News

For Corporate Headquarters, Could Denver Be The New Dublin?

Assuming U.S. voters don’t decide to abandon the market economy in November, they can continue to enjoy a new phenomenon resulting from President Trump’s 2017 enactment of corporate income tax reform. While Mr. Trump’s predecessor sought ways to prevent companies from fleeing the U.S. tax burden, there’s now a competitiveness argument for moving into the United States. The Canadian Press wire service reports today:

Shareholders in

Encana Corp.

have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the oil and gas company moving its headquarters to Denver from Calgary and changing its name to Ovintiv Inc.

CEO

Doug Suttles

says the 90 per cent vote in favour of the resolution shows clear support for the long-standing Canadian company’s decision to move its corporate home south of the border…

It says a corporate domicile in the United States will expose it to increasingly larger pools of investment in U.S. index funds and passively managed accounts, as well as better align it with its U.S. peers.

***

Follow James Freeman on Twitter.

Subscribe to the Best of the Web email with one click.

To suggest items, please email best@wsj.com.

(Teresa Vozzo helps compile Best of the Web. Thanks to Miguel Rakiewicz and Tony Lima.)

***

Mr. Freeman is the co-author of “Borrowed Time,” now available from HarperBusiness.

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8





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