Democratic convention's first night a vivid reminder of party’s flawed 'spend-your-way-to-prosperity' model

You simply cannot tax and spend your way to prosperity

The speakers at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night were acting as though they have a plan to quickly move the U.S. economy towards recovery – something that is already happening on an unprecedented scale -- and then usher in sustained growth under a theoretical Biden-Harris administration.

In reality, the only thing their policy proposals would grow is government. In fact, that is all they are intended to grow.


As was the case during the entire primary process, Democrats do not have a single policy that will encourage private-sector job growth.

There are two major problems with this big – make that enormous -- government approach.

First, everything Democrats are proposing amounts to increased government spending financed by money they would take out of the private economy through massive tax hikes.

Second, unlike President Trump, not one of these snake oil salespeople has a record of actually creating the kind of growth they’re talking about. Given their policy proposals, this is no surprise.

The concept the Democrats are running on does not work. You simply cannot tax and spend your way to prosperity.

No matter what name they give it — “Green New Deal,” “unprecedented response,” or “free” this or that — the Democrats laid out plans that are no different in principle from every other failed spend-your-way-to-prosperity program ever attempted.

It’s doubly disappointing because if anyone should know the futility of this kind of thinking, it should be this Democratic Party, only 11 years removed from the Obama-Biden administration’s “shovel ready” $800 billion dollar stimulus.


Despite setting new records for government spending, they wound up shoveling hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into scams such as Solyndra while failing to produce the recovery the nation needed from the depths of the Great Recession. This is the plan they want to put on steroids.


And, oh yeah, the Obama administration claimed this “stimulus” spending would keep unemployment below 8%. The unemployment rate went over 8% the month the stimulus bill was passed and stayed there for the next 43 months.

The concept the Democrats are running on does not work. You simply cannot tax and spend your way to prosperity.

If you could, the Soviet Union would have become the world’s most powerful economy, Venezuela would still be the economic jewel of South America, and Barack Obama would be remembered as the greatest jobs president in history.

Money left in the economy and allocated according to the needs and desires of the people has always been and will always be the engine that drives American growth.


There is simply no way that bureaucrats in Washington can create value, growth, or jobs at the levels required for general prosperity -- and certainly not at the levels millions of American companies and businesspeople can produce by striving to accommodate the demands of their consumers.

Sanders may have lost his party’s nomination once again but on Monday night it was perfectly clear that he won the policy debate.

It is perhaps fitting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., — the American politician who most openly associated with the world’s communists in the Soviet Union, Cuba, and elsewhere — was featured prominently during a night devoted to the same authoritarian economic mindset that undergirded those regimes.

He listed a bevy of government “initiatives” and then repeated the conceit of so many socialists before him, that these “initiatives” would somehow create “millions of jobs” by taking wealth away from the American people and doling it out to politically favored constituencies.

Again, this has been tried. It does not work.

Sanders may have lost his party’s nomination once again but on Monday night it was perfectly clear that he won the policy debate.

Biden simply lacks the will or the political support to do anything other than adopt Sanders's discredited agenda.

The entire evening confirmed that. Speaker after speaker delivered ode after ode to the glory of government control.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., perhaps put his party’s view most succinctly. Patting himself on the back after presiding over far and away the most COVID-19 deaths in the country, he was proud to announce that, government “determines whether we thrive and grow or whether we live or die.”


We have been through this drill many times before, most recently during the Obama-Biden administration.

What we saw Monday night amounts to a new coat of paint on the same discredited strategy, using trendy new buzzwords in an effort to sell the same rotten policies.

The one man who should know better than to lend his name to this nonsense was John Kasich, who as governor of Ohio cut taxes, promoted private-sector job growth and privatization, and reaped great benefits from doing so. To see him lend his voice to this exercise in smoke and mirrors was an embarrassment.

By contrast, President Trump’s economic vision needs no smoke and mirrors. He has proven results — not just the extraordinary expansion of his first three years in office, but the two centuries of American growth before that.

If you want jobs and prosperity, you get them exactly the way President Trump did: by leaving money in the hands of individuals and private businesses — especially the small businesses that employ a plurality of Americans — and giving the private sector the right policy mix of low taxes, reasonable regulation, sturdy infrastructure, and fair international trade.

Nothing the Democrats proposed can do that. Nothing.

Andy Puzder was chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants for more than 16 years, following a career as an attorney. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.” He was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. labor secretary. In 2011, Puzder co-authored "Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn't Understand It." His latest book is "The Capitalist Comeback: The Trump Boom and the Left's Plot to Stop It" (Center Street, April 24, 2018).