(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Mike Pence blasted Democrats who have embraced socialism, pointing out how unsuccessful it has been for Venezuela, and criticized the Democrats’ Green New Deal which is estimated to cost taxpayers as much as $93 trillion according a study co-authored by the Congressional Budget Office.
“The only thing green about the so-called Green New Deal is how much green it’s going to cost taxpayers if these people ever pass it into law. You know Margaret Thatcher probably said it best: ‘The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money,” the vice president said in a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) Conference in National Harbor, Md.
“Democrats are embracing the same tired economic theories that have impoverished nations and stifled the liberties of millions over the past century. That system is socialism,” Pence said.
“Remarkably, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination is an avowed socialist, but it’s not just him. Bernie’s been joined by a chorus of candidates and newly elected officials, who have papered over the failed policies of socialism with bumper sticker slogans and slick social media campaigns,” he said.
“What they’re actually offering is just more of the same: more taxes, more spending, more government, and less freedom,” the vice president said.
Pence touted the successes of freedom compared to socialism, including economic prosperity, ending slavery, and winning world wars.
“It was freedom, not socialism that gave us the most prosperous economy in the history of the world. It was freedom, not socialism, that ended slavery, won two world wars, and stands today as the beacon of hope for all the world,” he said. “It was freedom, not socialism, that’s moving us beyond the prejudices of the past to create a more perfect union and extend the blessings of liberty to every American, regardless of race or creed or color.
“It was freedom, not socialism that gave us the highest quality of life, the cleanest environment on earth, and improved the health and well-being of millions. It was freedom. What Medicare for all really means is quality health care for none,” he said, addressing Democratic candidates’ support for single-payer health care.
Pence said Republicans “want to make poor people richer,” while Democrats “want to make rich people poorer.”
“We want to make poverty more rare. They want to make poverty more comfortable. That’s the choice we face today - men and women - between freedom and socialism, between personal responsibility and government dependence. Where freedom encourages investment, socialism stifles growth. Where freedom welcomes diversity, socialism demands conformity,” he said.
“And as President Trump said in his State of the Union address, America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control. The moment America become a socialist country is a moment that America ceases to be America, and as the president said 24 days ago, so we must say with one voice: ‘America will never be a socialist country,’” the vice president said.
“We know where socialism leads. You want socialism? Just look at Venezuela. Venezuela was once one of the richest and most vibrant democracies in the western hemisphere, but under Maduro’s socialist rule, it’s become one of the poorest and most despotic,” Pence said.
“Today, more than nine out of 10 people live in poverty in that once rich country. More than 3 million Venezuelans have abandoned their homes and fled the brutality of the Maduro regime, but the struggle in Venezuela is between dictator and democracy,” he said.
“The struggle in Venezuela is between socialism and freedom, and as I told world leaders in Colombia just this week, Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and Nicolas Maduro must go,” the vice president said.
Pence said what Venezuela needs is freedom.
“The truth is Venezuela needs what America has. Venezuela needs freedom. Freedom is about enabling people to live their lives as they see fit, not government control. Freedom produces more and better goods than any other system in any other place and time in American world history,” the vice president said.
“Freedom is more generous, more helpful, and more humane than any other socialist or economic model ever attempted, because it’s the only philosophy that respects the dignity and worth of every single life and sees every man, woman, and child as made in the image of God. That’s freedom. That’s our heritage, and freedom works. This is what we believe,” Pence added.