Zakaria on Democratic Proposals: 'The Numbers Sometimes Don't Add Up and Emotional Appeal Seems to Trump Actual Analysis'

February 24, 2019

CNN host Fareed Zakaria sounded off during the opening monologue of his Sunday show about on the viability of Democratic Party ideas.

The liberal host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS" prefaced his monologue by saying how it was "refreshing" to see so many new ideas from the Democratic Party but said some of the bigger ideas could be a problem.

"It's refreshing to see the Democratic party bubbling with now ideas. But its new thinking seems starkly different from the party's reform effort of the past three decades. The wonky proposals of the Clinton-Obama era were pragmatic, and today we have big dramatic stirring ideas, and that could be the problem," Zakaria said. "Democrats are spinning out dramatic proposals indeed but in which facts are sometimes misrepresented, the numbers sometimes don't add up, and emotional appeal seems to trump actual analysis."

Zakaria cited freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D., N.Y.) interview with Anderson Cooper as an example of the Democrats having a "casual attitude" toward facts.

In the interview, the self-described democratic socialist said the focus on her factual errors was "missing the forest for the trees" and having her facts right wasn't as important as being "morally right." Zakaria also chided Ocasio-Cortez celebrating Amazon's announcement that it will no longer build a second headquarters in New York City and her believing the state government was going to give the company $3 billion in cash.

It wasn't just Ocasio-Cortez that he targeted. He called out Democrats for embracing "Medicare for all" without a way to pay for it.

"Consider the race by prominent Democrats to embrace 'Medicare for all.' A variety of studies have estimated the total increase in government spending between $2.5 and $3 trillion a year. Few of the proposals being floated would likely raise close to that in revenue," Zakaria said.

He added that universal health care is important but there are smaller proposals, like strengthening an individual mandate from Obamacare, that can be used to achieve it.

Zakaria then lambasted Democrats' tax proposals, saying they are more interested in "burning the billionaires."

"Consider the tax proposals being tossed around on the left, including a wealth tax championed by Elizabeth Warren. I understand the appeal of tapping into those vast accumulations of billionaire loot. But there is a reason nine of the 12 countries that instituted similar taxes have repealed them in the last 25 years," Zakaria said. "Raise the capital gain state tax, and get rid of the loopholes that make the American tax code one of the most complex and corrupt in the world. But again, this is less stirring stuff than burning the billionaires."

"We already have one major political party that now routinely twists facts, disregards evidence, and makes stuff up to appeal to people's emotions and prejudices. If the Democrats start moving along this path as well, American politics will truly descend into a new dark age," Zakaria concluded.