The Corner

Politics & Policy

The ‘Million Dollars Per Person’ Affair Is Telling

Michael Bloomberg appears on a video monitor inside the media center for Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 18, 2020. (David Becker/Reuters)

Herewith, a good example of why the Democratic Party is stuck in its current mode.

Obviously, the math here is spectacularly off. If Michael Bloomberg had divided the money he spent on his presidential run evenly among Americans, we would each have got $1.53, not $1 million. For Bloomberg to give $1 million to each American, he would have to be worth $327 trillion (in cash), which, for context, is around 17 times American GDP and about five-and-a-half thousand times what he’s actually worth. The scale of the error here is galactic.

It’s also extremely telling. This, right here, is why so many left-leaning Americans think that “the billionaires” can pay for everything. It’s why Elizabeth Warren was enthusiastically boosted by the media despite her ridiculous pretense that she could pay for a series of gargantuan initiatives without raising taxes on anyone but the extremely rich. It’s why Democrat after Democrat promises not to raise “middle class taxes” while promising programs that require the raising of middle class taxes. How did this bad tweet make it onto TV to be endorsed? Why did Mara Gay agree with it? Why didn’t Brian Williams notice? Because the people involved in this clip thought it was true. This is how they see the world.

But it’s not true. Not even close. Forget the million for a moment and make it Andrew Yang’s thousand instead. Would that be possible? Nope! If Michael Bloomberg were to try to achieve what Andrew Yang promised ($1,000 per American per month, forever), he would be able to give every American about $183 in the first month before he’d have $0 left. To make it through a single month, he would have to be five times richer than he is. And, after that single month, even at five times his current wealth, his fortune would be completely and permanently depleted. Elizabeth Warren’s unconstitutional wealth tax topped out at six percent. Filter Bloomberg’s money through that tax and you get $11 per American per year.

There is still no such thing as a free lunch. If Americans want expanded services — or a monthly stipend — they are going to have to pay for them themselves. There is no billionaire out there who can do it for them.

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