The strange-birds of ‘The 2020 Gang’


There are a lot of strange-birds in politics, but no one has ever seen anything quite like the positions being warbled by the 2020 gaggle of presidential candidates, a group of strange-birds being labeled “The 2020 Gang” by some observers.

We have entered a political era when people with no substantive credentials and few life successes believe they are qualified to be the leader of the free world and to govern your life. This era started last decade when a little-known man became president, whose primary real-life achievement had been to run a rag-tag street pack in Chicago.

Almost none of the current presidential candidates has ever created a job or a real business, or run a complex organization, except for a couple of the governors, and even they had the title of Governor but not much to brag about in the accomplishments department.

When I see the photos and read the public statements of the 24 people in the 2020 gaggle, somehow it reminds me of the old Barnum & Bailey circus, when a small car full of clowns would pull up in center ring, and an endless stream of clowns would tumble from the car, playing tricks on each other.

Reading about this group of 24 candidates, it seems to be a contest to see who can one-up everyone else, and who can stumble over each other to promise the biggest bumper-sticker list of goodies, most of them “free” to lure voters.

What these candidates are really engaged in is deception, making false or unattainable promises as payment for support. The candidates can’t deliver on these promises because they are unaffordably costly and too outlandish. These people are not unlike con artists who promise a huge return on your money if you will only turn your cash over to them to invest: “Vote for me and I’ll take money from wealthy people and (pick one or more) pay off your college debt, give you free medical insurance, cell phones and food stamps, give you a free college education and slavery reparations”. And on and on.

Let’s break out the microscope and zoom in on the 24 candidates.  What are they proposing? First, 20 of them embrace AOC’s Green New Deal, and four do not. All 24 of them support the Paris Climate Agreement, from which President Trump announced the U.S. is withdrawing. Eighteen of them have signed the pledge of “No Money for Fossil Fuels”.  All of them who have announced an opinion support the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the same is true for imposing universal background checks for firearms transactions. Fourteen would advocate expunging Cannabis Conviction Records, while 10 have not expressed a public position; this is the same number (14) who advocate eliminating private prisons. Fifteen of the candidates support a universal single-payer (government) healthcare system financed mainly by taxes. Twenty out of 24 want to raise the minimum wage to $15; roughly the same number support paid family leave and paid sick leave. All of them who have announced a position (19) are opposed to Trump’s border wall with Mexico. All of them advocate making Washington D.C. a state. All 24 are “Pro-Choice”, none are “Pro-Life”, and of the ones who have expressed an opinion, all would refuse to retain the Hyde Amendment. While the position of six of the candidates is unknown, 18 of them support the LGBT Equality Act.

Where’s the money going to come from to pay for all this and to expand government, you ask? Not a single one of these candidates has a realistic answer. Most don’t say exactly how to pay for it. What we hear from the candidates, when the question is asked, are vague responses about “taxing the billionaires”, an “ultra-millionaire tax”, or increasing the taxes on gains in the stock market. None of the ideas put forth for how to pay the gigantic new wave of taxes will even come close to paying for what the costs will be. The U.S. would be bankrupt. All these candidates need to gobble down some smart pills and to enroll in an Economics 101 class, en masse.

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company. He is a frequent columnist for BizPac Review.
John R. Smith


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