John Edwards has a refreshing strategy in the presidential primaries: pretend the center doesn’t exist. He wants to win the Democratic nomination by running hard to the left, especially on economics. In that vein, he told California Democrats at their state convention that not only will he raise taxes on high-income families, he considers that just a starting point:
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said yesterday raising taxes for higher-income families back to their levels under the Clinton administration is a floor, not a ceiling, and he would consider even higher tax increases.
“What I believe is the starting place is to go back to the Clinton levels,” Mr. Edwards told reporters after addressing the 2,000 delegates to California’s state Democratic Party convention. …
“I believe it is more important to bring about the transformation,” he said, pointing to his universal health care plan, achieving independence from foreign energy and reducing global warming emissions. “Some people believe it’s more important to push those things off and reduce the deficit — the deficit’s the priority.”
So Edwards won’t raise taxes to eliminate the federal deficit, which would disappear entirely under the present economic policy in the next few years anyway. Unlike his fellow Democrats who want to drain more money out of the economy ostensibly to address government overspending, he wants to continue overspending, and pull even more money out of the pockets of Americans to fund it. The deficit? Ha! Edwards laughs in the face of the deficit!
The “transformation” Edwards wants is nothing more than a return to the same failed policies of the Great Society. We already have an entitlement burden that Washington has shown little courage in addressing. The Democrats won’t discuss reforming the basis of Social Security, claiming that it’s fiscally sound, when it will collapse within the lifetimes of almost half the people who currently pay into the system. Medicare, which is at least eight times the problem of Social Security, hasn’t even come under discussion. Yet Edwards wants to push a “transformation” that will add to the entitlement burden such activities as universal health care and global warming.
At least Edwards doesn’t pretend to be a centrist, unlike some of his competitors for the Democratic nomination. He’s running on the confiscate-and-spend, government-program platform that passed out of style during the Carter administration. A vote for Edwards is really an explicit vote for an overwhelming, European-style nanny state that we cannot afford. A vote for the other Democrats probably amounts to the same thing, but they’re either more clever or less honest than John Edwards.