Commentary

Stephen Moore: Lockdown Democrats Push a 'Can't Do' Movement

By Stephen Moore | May 26, 2020 | 9:42am EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped pass a $3 trillion pork-barrel spending bill amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped pass a $3 trillion pork-barrel spending bill amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

America is starting to reopen for business across the country — except for a handful of states where lockdown orders are expected to remain in place for weeks to come.

With very few exceptions, the cities and states that have ordered their businesses to remain comatose and their millions of workers to go without paychecks are blue, blue, blue. This list includes New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and Oregon. They all have Democratic governors.

Once great and mighty cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Manhattan are ghost towns. They all have Democratic mayors.

These governors and mayors say they are relying on "science" and the advice by public health officials. But there is no "scientific" consensus on this terrible virus, and what was thought to be "scientific" fact three weeks ago is now in great question.

For example, last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told us that the disease could be spread on metal surfaces. Now they say never mind, we were wrong. They said masks should be worn, and then they said they aren't helpful, and now they are pivoting back to masks. Well, which is it?

It turns out the politicians hear what they want to hear — whatever confirms their preexisting bias. The bias of liberal Democrats is to shutter — to put government ahead of business and to put the nanny state ahead of the rights of individual workers.

In Washington, Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., bulldozed through the House a massive $3 trillion pork-barrel spending bill to combat the negative effects of the lockdown Democrats fervently support. Pelosi's bill would offer blue states and cities locked down hundreds of billions of dollars of aid from red states. So, the states that are working with Republican governors now have to subsidize the Democratic states that aren't working. This is called "enabling," and President Donald Trump and the Senate would be foolish to appropriate these taxpayer dollars.

With or without this aid package from Washington, come September and October, there is going to be a massive amount of human misery and suffering resulting from what mostly blue state politicians have done to their citizens. Americans are likely to observe an economy that is getting better in the red states than in the blue states. They will see chaos and economic ruin in cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. These cities may start to look like Caracas, Venezuela, in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, red states like Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas will be doing much better in jobs and business conditions.

Democrats have foolishly defined themselves as the lockdown party. With many Americans, this is popular — for now.

But it is a downer ideology. Modern liberalism is a "can't do" movement, while the free market conservative movement is a "can do" crusade.

For the last 20 years, red states in the South and Sun Belt and Mountain States have been growing at about twice the pace of blue states with high taxes and heavy regulation. My prediction is that blue states are now facing a change or die choice, and no amount of free money from Washington will change that cold reality.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy."

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