Standing on the promises….
No, not those promises, but the promises of politicians.
Consider these current promises from the Democratic candidates for president.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is promising to make college and university attendance free for students for families earning less than $125,000 per year. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s promise is to forgive up to $50,000 in student loans for graduates who make less than $100,000. Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Kamala Harris of California promise to subsidize college costs.
Among the leading Democratic presidential contenders Sanders and Warren are promising Medicare for All that would replace the current public/private health insurance system with a single government-run system. But all promise to create more publicly funded options for health care, such as allowing people to buy-in to Medicaid.
There are more, like Warren’s promise to provide subsidized child care for all families earning below 200% of the poverty line and entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s promise to give every American family $1,000 a month.
You get the idea.
Preposterous promises you say.
Well, not that long ago Donald Trump got elected president by making preposterous promises that appealed to his base. These included making Mexico pay for “the wall,” balancing the budget quickly and eliminating the national debt in eight years, growing the economy 4% a year, and saving the coal industry.
Of course, none of those promises are coming true. Raided military construction projects and taxpayers are funding the wall, not Mexico. Budget deficits and the national debt are escalating. While the economy got an initial kick from Trump’s tax cuts, growth is averaging under 3% annually. And the coal industry continues to collapse.
Presidential candidates have often been unable to deliver on campaign promises due to a reluctant Congress or changing circumstances. But those cited above seem all too willing to make appealing promises they have little chance to deliver.
We’re seeing the gap between politics and upright character traits integrity and honesty grows wider and wider.
» BILL CRAWFORD is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.
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