Ken Blackwell is FRC's Senior Fellow for Constitutional Governance. This article appeared in American Thinker on January 14, 2020.
Hypocrisy in politics is typical, but every so often, it reaches a new low. Such is the case with a recent political ad attacking dark money's influence in politics — an ad funded by dark money. The group Future Majority did exactly that as part of their 2018 efforts to elect Democrats to Congress. Now groups like Future Majority are focused on denying President Trump re-election in 2020.
Democrats have no good response to the president's popularity and his accomplished record, so they turn to dark money–funded smear campaigns to discredit him and his supporters. Politico reports that Future Majority — one such dark money group — is prepared to invest $60 million in swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan in 2020 to defeat the president.
Another dark money group is Arabella Advisors, orchestrators of many supposed "grassroots" campaigns on issues ranging from climate change to President Trump's Supreme Court nominees. But in reality, Arabella doesn't organize actual grassroots opposition to the Trump administration; it creates fake groups that pump out phony opposition through subsidiaries such as the Sixteen Thirty Fund.
One Arabella campaign focuses on President Trump's tax cuts. Liberals want to replace the Trump tax cuts with tax hikes to finance more spending. But repealing the Trump tax cuts would be disastrous to the economy, as they allow working people to keep more of what they earn, and they are incentivizing businesses to re-invest in America.
According to Edwin Feulner, the founder of the Heritage Foundation, "[t]he tax cut contributed to the strong economy we've been enjoying, leading many businesses to hire more and more workers. The United States added more than 2.6 million new jobs in the year following the passage of the tax cut — nearly a 25 percent increase from the previous year."
Another area where dark money groups oppose the Trump administration is the battle over government regulation of business and industry. President Trump repealed many Obama-era regulations and is working with Congress to simplify the regulatory system.
For example, liberal groups are fighting deregulation in the lending industry and are actively working to limit the efforts of people who are struggling with bad credit to get loans. They claim that short-term loans offered by payday lenders are predatory, and they continually press for artificial controls — rate caps — placed on this one segment of the lending industry — not large banks, credit unions, credit card companies, etc.
But when government regulators attempt to control one segment of a market or industry, the exact opposite of the desired goal usually occurs. Taking away lending choices for consumers, without providing viable alternatives, serves no one. Those who take out payday loans <ahref="https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/462188-a-national-interest-rate-cap-would-harm-consumers-in-the-name-of-consumers" target="_blank">understand the risks and need a short-term cash infusion.
Government meddling in free markets usually hurts consumers. The Employment Policies Institute analyzed Georgia and North Carolina after both states implemented a rate cap and found that "[w]hen compared to other states, a November 2007 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and the number of costly bounced checks both rose in North Carolina and Georgia."
Liberal dark money groups consistently support proposals expanding the scope of government while limiting consumer options. Arabella Advisors' backing of the Affordable Care Act fits this pattern, as the ACA expanded the size of government while eliminating many private health care options.
Instead of admitting the ACA failed, these groups are proposing even more government interfering to try and fix problems they created. If candidates backed by these groups gain power, they will likely push for Medicare for All further expanding the role of government.
Medicare for All would eliminate private health care and force everyone into a one-size-fits-all system that cannot meet the needs of the sick. Enacting Medicare for all would decrease the quality of care and increase patient costs.
What are liberals so afraid of? Perhaps it's the president's record of lowering taxes, eliminating needless and costly government regulations, and working to find ways of lowering health care costs. Tax cuts, deregulation, and improving health care are three critical issues that will drive voters to the polls next year. If the president loses re-election, dark money Democrats will work tirelessly to roll back the president's accomplishments and return to the days of big government inefficiency and a flatlined economy.
The president's actions are boosting the stock market, raising consumer confidence, and drawing fresh investment in American business and industry. That means millions of higher-paying jobs for working -class citizens and improvement of quality of life. As the election season advances into 2020, we must expose the liberal dark money operations that threaten the progress of the administration's last four years and jeopardize our revived free-market system.