Photo: CNN

The Democratic Debate last night shows that the candidates want to defeat Donald Trump at all cost and, in order to do so, will make promises that are popular, but impossible to keep. 

During the debate, last night, one of the moderators indicated that voters who are opposed to Donald Trump will vote for the Democratic candidate simply to remove the sitting President and without regard to their stance on important issues. For so many people, they view the Democratic candidate as their only option. 

What people need to understand when listening to the debates is that most of these proposed plans require dollars into the billions and even trillions and may not be realistic. Some simply can not happen while other proposals will not happen in the way that candidates “promise” that they will. Similar to Trump’s assurance that Mexico will pay for the wall, many Democrats assume that higher taxes on the top 1% will cover the exorbitant cost of their proposed plans.  Regardless, the people will not care as long as the President in 2021 is not Donald Trump. I certainly do not because there is no way I will vote for Donald Trump, ever.  

Listening to the debates last night, it was difficult to hear candidates throwing around huge sums of money that they are telling the voters are easily attainable to fund their grandiose plans. Is that really true? How can we know that?

It seems blatantly obvious that these candidates are not running with reasonable solutions to the economic disparities or issues that face this country and the world but are simply running to defeat Donald Trump. It seems like 2016 all over again but the parties have reversed roles. The plethora of candidates that are running in opposition to Donald Trump are proposing solutions that are not economically or practically feasible with no real assurance that they can or will happen.

Which should the government do first: get rid of trillions of dollars of national debt, get rid of trillions of dollars of student loan debt and make public college free, have Medicare for All, with or without still including private insurers, save the planet with some solution to forestall the effects of climate change and clean up the environment, or work to better our infrastructure?  There is no way, even if the richest of the 1% and corporations face an increase in taxes, that the United States Government is capable of doing all of these things at once, let alone one.

There is no way the United States Government is capable of canceling student debt and making public college free while having Medicare for All at the same time.

There is definitely no way the United States Government can do even one of those things without dealing with billions if not trillions of dollars of additional debt burdening future generations. Now, throw in reparations for slavery, which I fully support, that will need to be implemented in a way that is restorative for Black communities. How will that be paid for?

Elizabeth Warren cannot possibly spend two trillion dollars to fix the Climate Crisis, which would increase the national debt by over ten percent. Right now, the United States is over twenty trillion dollars in debt and that debt increases by the second while the USA spends more money and operates through deficit spending. During times of war, it is true that the US does not have to balance the budget, but the US still has to pay the interest on that debt. 

These candidates talk about a trillion dollars like its nothing. How is Klobuchar going to get a trillion dollars to fix infrastructure? The United States spends the most out of any country on its military and that is over five hundred billion. A trillion dollars is a thousand billion dollars. It is a very significant amount of money, not a number you throw around in a debate like it is no big deal.

There are things these candidates talk about that are feasible: reducing gun violence and making better gun policy, healing the racial divide, and treating white supremacy like the domestic terrorism that it is, among others. All of these are things every candidate on that stage can achieve while not spending an obscene amount of money that we do not have. All of the ideas these candidates have are great ideas, ideas that would change lives for so many people, even the ideas that cost billions and trillions of dollars. However, there needs to be an honest and open dialogue about the feasibility of each and every candidates’ proposals and what they will cost the country not only today but for decades to follow.

Similarly to election interference, the national debt is something that none of the politicians want to talk about and it is a topic that has not been raised in the debates thus far. In the United States, the national debt is a depressing topic because the country currently has more debt outstanding than most any other country. In part, this is because the United States is a home for so many people, one of the strongest nations, and one of the most generous nations to its people and the world. However, the national debt crisis in this country is not something that should be ignored by its politicians or its candidates for the Presidency.  It too needs to be addressed.  

For me, it is true that no matter what happens in the next election Donald Trump cannot win another term, even though that still seems likely to happen. However, the candidates need to be realistic about how and what policies can or cannot feasibly be implemented. While feasibility is not a popular political talking point, it needs to be something that can be and should be discussed as a way to inform people and hold politicians accountable for their campaign promises.  The candidates proposed plans should be rooted in the concept that they can be accomplished given the political and economic landscape that exists. After all, we, the people of the United States, will be voting for and electing a candidate for President who we hope will at the very least be able to accomplish something positive with the four years that they are given.

Margaret Valenti

Margaret Valenti is the Editor of Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.