In this idyllic landscape of Democratic magical thinking, there is no state and local budget crises, no unaffordable and underfunded defined-benefit public pension obligations, nothing at all standing in the way of "investing" in our public safety, except (in ex-Republican Stern's words) "right-wing extremists." Vallejo, California is not bankrupt because of public employee pensions, and the rest of the state is not following suit. It's a hell of a place, this Democrat-land. Wish I could live there.
Last night's speeches were notable less for what they contained and more for what they did not: any engagement with the issue of having a debt load (of $16 trillion) that is now larger than GDP, of having a long-forecasted entitlement time bomb marching northward toward 100 percent of federal spending, of having underfunded obligations in the trillions of dollars promised by politicians addicted to handing out "free" benefits.
"If you want to get America back to work, you don't fire cops, teachers, nurses and firefighters. You invest in them," said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.). It really is that simple. Keynote speaker and mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro offered a similarly basic formula: Spend Invest more money on education, and education will improve. It's worked so well up to now.
"We have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow," Castro said, in a speech long on policy banality. "We know that you can't be pro-business unless you're pro-education." And we know that you can't be "pro-education" unless your idea of education policy involves spending more money on it.
He points out that many of the Dem speakers have had to fight with their own public sector unions because there isn't any money left. But at the DNC, the unicorns, magic dust and faires are so lovely.
One of the great ironies of this convention already is that speaker after speaker denounces Republicans for being unable to tell the truth or get their facts straight. Meanwhile, one of the most important truths of modern governance—we are well and truly out of money—sits neglected in the corner. This might be a great way to rally the Democratic base, but it's thin gruel for the majority of Americans who think, correctly, that the nation's finances have spun out of control.