“The national Democratic leadership is going so far left, they’ve left America,” former President Ronald Reagan said nearly 40 years ago. How correct he has proven to be.
President Biden and Democratic Party leaders in Congress are catering to the left-wing progressive base in their party, which is animated by young voters who are increasingly receptive to the idea that socialism is preferable to capitalism.
In April 2020, a coalition of Millennial and Generation Z-led far-left organizations released an open letter to then-candidate Joe Biden declaring that to secure their support he had to commit to a laundry list of progressive policies. These policies included cancelling student loan debt and adopting the framework of the anti-fossil fuel Green New Deal. The letter demanded that to win their support, Biden “must demonstrate, authentically, that you empathize with our generation’s struggles.”
The letter’s signatories wrapped themselves in the cloak of “social justice.” But as an essay on the Discover the Networks website explained, “The ‘Social Justice Movement’…endorses socialism and economic redistribution as a means of redressing the alleged evils of capitalism and producing a programmatic equality that it acknowledges will be purchased at the price of individual liberty.”
Democratic Socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) personifies this movement. Using the adjective “Democratic” before “Socialist” is simply putting lipstick on a pig. AOC believes in concentrating vastly increased power in the federal government to direct the distribution of wealth and achieve government-defined social ends. Displaying her authoritarian tendencies, she wants the government to “rein in our media,” particularly Fox News.
AOC believes that the country’s electorate is moving to the Left because of a “generational shift” in political beliefs driven by young voters. Sadly, some recent polling proves her point.
According to a Pew Research Center poll published in September 2022, twice as many Democrats/lean Democrats between the ages of 18 and 29 viewed socialism positively (58%) compared to those with a positive view of capitalism (29%).
As it became much easier to vote in the 2020 presidential election than ever before because of lax and expanded mail-in voting, vote harvesting, and extended periods for early voting, young eligible voters’ turnout significantly increased from 2016. The majority of them voted for Joe Biden.
“Voters ages 18-29, particularly young people of color, supported Biden at a greater rate than any other age group, NBC News exit polls show,” CNBC reported.
“Young voters (ages 18-29) preferred Biden over Trump by a 26-point margin in 2020, and Democrats over Republicans by 28 points in the 2022 midterms,” according to Axios.
President Biden knows that to greatly improve his chances of winning a second term, he needs to replicate or exceed the 2020 voter turnout of his supporters in the 18-29 age bracket. So, he has put his foot on the accelerator in offering programs via executive orders and legislation that tap into the demands from this increasingly socialist leaning voting bloc. And social media influencers are being enlisted to get the message out to young voters that President Biden is on their side.
As perhaps the most striking example of how President Biden has reached out to young voters with a windfall, last year he issued an executive order letting millions of higher education students off the hook for student debts they had willingly incurred. His executive order, now under review by the Supreme Court to determine whether the president exceeded his authority, would stick the rest of us with the tab to the tune of an estimated $400 billion.
The many millions of workers without a college education, who have taken out loans to pay for the tools of their trade or for the vehicles they use for work, do not get the same taxpayer-funded debt relief. The parents who paid the full freight for their children’s higher education would not be reimbursed under President Biden’s executive order. Neither would the students who managed to pay off their loans for higher education themselves.
That does not matter according to AOC, who has been a vigorous supporter of President Biden’s executive order and would like to see it expanded. In response to a question from one of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram followers who asked her how cancelling student debt would help those who paid their loans, AOC responded, “Not every program has to be for everybody. Maybe student loan forgiveness doesn’t impact you. That doesn’t make it bad.”
Yes, it does. What makes this executive order so bad is that it would turn the traditional American notion of individual responsibility on its head. All for the benefit of a privileged class of higher education students who want a taxpayer-funded escape hatch from their higher education debt obligations.
But President Biden and his Democrat comrades in Congress know that this giveaway is crucial in securing the votes of young adults.
In October 2022, pollster John Della Volpe tweeted that the reason for “40% of likely #GenZ voters stating they are more or much more likely to vote for a Democratic candidate in November” was “due specifically to President Biden’s action on student loan debt.”
Sure enough, on election night Mr. Volpe tweeted, regarding the Democrats’ surprisingly strong showing in the 2022 midterm elections, “If not for voters under 30 … tonight WOULD have been a Red Wave. #GenZ did their job.”
Student debt relief was not the only top-down government redistribution scheme designed by the Biden administration. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the Biden administration’s Federal Housing Finance Agency is moving forward with a rule set to take effect on May 1st that represents the reverse of normal mortgage lending practices. The rule will make home borrowers with excellent credit scores pay more for their mortgages than they should based on their own credit risk profiles. The purpose is to subsidize mortgages for borrowers with lower credit scores who will then pay less for their mortgages than they should based on their own credit risk profiles.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson sought to justify the new rule as a measure designed to “increase pricing support for purchase borrowers limited by income or by wealth.” But it would be accomplished at the expense of borrowers who have scrimped and saved over time to build up their credit scores on their own.
On average, credit scores tend to increase with age. As an analysis published by American Express in 2022 stated, “A younger person is more likely to have a lower credit score than an older person simply because they have shorter payment and credit histories than their older counterparts.”
Once again, the Biden administration is looking to give an undeserved break to borrowers, which would be especially helpful to young adults looking to buy a home perhaps for the first time that is probably above their means.
We have seen an earlier version of this movie before. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the federal government’s policies to make housing more affordable led the government sponsored lending enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower their own credit standards in underwriting bank mortgage loans. This in turn incentivized banks to make high-risk mortgage loans to unqualified borrowers with little means to pay them back. The banks tried to spread the risks by issuing and selling mortgage-backed securities. When the high-risk borrowers defaulted on their loans, the house of cards collapsed, leading to the subprime mortgage crisis and the Great Recession that started in 2007.
This time, the Biden administration is pursuing the same affordable housing objective but with the twist of using a rule to force borrowers with high credit scores into becoming the benefactors of those with low credit scores. Strategic Wealth Partners CEO Mark Tepper labeled the rule “socialism for homeowners.”
President Biden’s war on fossil fuels keeps intensifying with massive government spending to speed the transition to a fully green energy economy and the imposition of more government controls over the nation’s economy and Americans’ everyday lives. The Biden administration, for example, is proposing to clamp down on tailpipe emission standards that will effectively lead to the end of the sale of gas-powered cars, forcing Americans to purchase more expensive electric vehicles. It is preparing to prohibit retailers from selling commonly used incandescent light bulbs. And so on and so forth.
AOC is not entirely pleased, however. In her mind, President Biden has not gone far enough.
In an interview with the Socialist magazine Jacobin, AOC criticized President Biden for what she called his “lurch to the right” by approving a big oil drilling project in Alaska. “I think the Biden administration has been very disappointing on climate,” AOC said. And with no subtlety, she warned President Biden that “it is extremely risky and very perilous should the Biden administration forget who it was that put him over the top. When you look at the places — not just abstract levels of turnout, not just where numbers came from, but these swing places that gave Joe Biden the edge on an [Electoral College] victory — it was young people that that (sic) won him this election, communities of color, high turnout areas.”
Younger Democrats are not so enthusiastic about another term for President Biden, considering his advanced age. Nevertheless, “51% of younger Democrats say they would probably vote for Biden in a 2024 general election,” according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
President Biden is hoping that he has done enough for young voters to earn their support in large numbers in 2024. Biden is counting on their realization that, given the alternatives, he would be the best choice for young voters in the general election to give them at least some of what they want.