On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer promised that Democrats would reveal a "sharp, bold" new economic agenda that would appeal to working Americans. What he delivered on Monday was warmed over cliches and tried-and-failed policies. If this is the best Democrats can offer, they truly are out of ideas.
"This is the start of a new vision for the party," Schumer wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed Monday outlining his "Better Deal" economic plan. There was nothing new about it whatsoever.
Even the name is unoriginal. For the past 80 years, Democrats have been putting different adjectives in front of "Deal" in attempts to freshen up FDR's New Deal.
In selling his plan, Schumer cribbed language from Bill Clinton, circa 1992 ("work hard and play by the rules"), which Thomas Friedman complained was out of date back in 2012, and Obama circa 2008 ("tilting the playing field in favor of the wealthy and powerful").
Most of Schumer's "new" policy ideas are just as dated.
- First, Schumer says Democrats are going to "take on" the drug industry — by which he means impose federal price controls. Nothing new there. Clinton called for price controls back in 1992. And ever since President Bush created Medicare Part D in 2003, for example, Democrats have been clamoring for the government to "negotiate" drug prices for seniors. Unlike other entitlements, Part D relies on private sector competition to keep costs down. It has worked remarkably well, keeping costs well below forecast.
- Second, Schumer wants to turn the clock back on antitrust regulation to at least the Carter era, when the government deemed that anything big was bad. The result was time and energy wasted trying to break up big companies like IBM, on the misguided notion that they were dangerous, permanent monopolists. We've since learned that this approach mostly ends up thwarting innovation and raising consumer prices, and that the market does a better job than government at reining in "monopolies." Just ask IBM. After the Reagan Justice Department dropped the government's antitrust case, it succumbed to a market shift driven by upstart Microsoft.
Schumer's antitrust plan is doubly absurd since it's the Democrats' own policies — specifically Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare — that are driving consolidation in the banking, insurance and hospital industries.
- The third "sharp, bold" idea Schumer unveiled Monday was … wait for it … tax credits for companies that hire the unemployed
The complete story here > Democrats 'Better Deal' Agenda Isn't New, And It Isn't Better