Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza believes Scandinavian-style “socialism” would never work in the United States because Americans would not accept giving up half their paychecks to fund it.
While promoting his new book “United States of Socialism” on a recent episode of C-SPAN’s “After Words,” D’Souza argued that unlike Sweden’s system, the U.S. model of socialism being promoted by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is built on the cynical foundation of dividing Americans.
“American socialism is based on a simple idea, an idea outlined by George Bernard Shaw, in fact, a century ago: Any government that robs Peter to pay Paul can count on Paul’s support,” D’Souza said.
The bestselling author explained that at the heart of U.S. socialist appeal is the idea of receiving “free” benefits.
“The key to their strategy, and this is the political element of this, ‘We’ve got to offer people something for which they don’t have to pay, so we can trade that something for their vote,'” D’Souza said.
“The Scandinavians do not do that,” he said, because everyone pays for the benefits provided.
For Americans, setting up such a system would not fly.
“It’s essentially bitter medicine,” D’Souza said. “You could go to the American people and say, ‘Listen, guys, the government will now provide you with certain key services — free school and free college. You would have your retirement provided for. You would never have to pay another health care bill in your life.
“But in return, we ask of the entire society just take your paycheck, cut it in half and send that half into the U.S. government. That would be the true Scandinavian model.”
“Now most Americans would be, ‘I’m not going to do that. That’s ridiculous. That’s absurd,’ and the left knows that,” D’Souza said.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation noted that Sweden and Denmark both have higher top marginal tax rates than the U.S. and that rate reaches deep into middle-class salaries.
“For example, in Denmark, the top statutory personal income tax rate of 55.9 percent applies to all income over 1.3 times the average income. From the American perspective, this means that all income over $65,000 (1.3 times the average U.S. income of about $50,000) would be taxed at 55.9 percent,” the Tax Foundation’s Elke Asen wrote.
In Sweden, the top rate is 57.1 percent, which applies to all earning 1.5 times the national average.
“In comparison, the United States levies its top personal income tax rate of 43.7 percent (federal and state combined) at 9.3 times the average U.S. income (around $500,000). Thus, a comparatively smaller share of taxpayers faces the top rate,” Asen wrote.
Additionally, both Sweden and Denmark have a value-added tax, which is essentially a 25 percent national sales tax levied on businesses throughout the manufacturing process.
This cost, of course, gets passed on to consumers — rich and poor alike — through the prices they pay for goods.
In that sense, it’s a very regressive tax.
“This idea of distributing the load [is required]. If everybody wants benefits, everyone’s going to have to pay,” D’Souza said. “The Scandinavians don’t use the vocabulary of ‘free’ stuff because they know it isn’t free. Who’s paying? They are.”
Anthony Kim, editor of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, told The Western Journal that the people of Sweden chose to enter into a “unique social contract” regarding their generous welfare state.
“That’s kind of the Swedish way,” he said, versus the American socialists’ way of thinking: “We’re going to tax you at this rate. We’re going to get you, so we can redistribute things over there.”
Kim further noted that Sweden and Denmark scored well on Heritage’s economic freedom index, so the countries clearly recognize that having a good, capitalist business climate is the key to creating the wealth needed to pay for government benefits.
Denmark is No. 8 on the list of 180 countries ranked, while Sweden is No. 22. The United States comes in at No. 17.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to reverse the Trump tax cuts, including on corporations. He would raise their tax rate to 28 percent, making it harder for U.S. companies to compete on the world stage.
The former vice president’s “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations” says, “A guiding principle across our tax agenda is that the wealthiest Americans can shoulder more of the tax burden.”
News flash to Biden, Sanders and AOC: They already are paying the vast majority of federal income taxes.
The top 25 percent of income earners (those earning approximately $81,000 or more) paid over 85 percent of all income revenue in 2018, according to the Tax Foundation.
The top 1 percent alone accounted for approximately 37 percent of the total.
Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of earners paid just 3 percent of income tax revenue.
These figures came after the Trump tax cuts of December 2017, which Democrats claimed were all to the benefit of wealthy Americans.
We have already been down the “sock it to the rich” road during the divisive, class warfare-driven Obama administration.
It led to the worst economic recovery recorded since World War II.
If the United States wants Swedish-style benefits, there is only one way to make such a system work: Everybody has to pay.
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