An immigrant for Venezuela has seen what happens when socialism takes control of a nation.
And now he wants to warn Americans of what will happen if they follow people like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Daniel Di Martino wrote an op-ed for USA Today titled “Venezuela was my home, and socialism destroyed it. Slowly, it will destroy America, too.”
Though so many of us Venezuelans fled to the USA to escape from the destructive consequences of socialism, liberal politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. José Serrano, D-N.Y., have praised the same kind of policies that produced famine, mass exodus and soaring inflation in Venezuela.
Even worse, in recent weeks, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard have mischaracterized the protests against Maduro and condemned President Donald Trump’s widely supported moves to help end Maduro’s dictatorship.
Additionally, many congressional Democrats support Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, proposals that would nationalize the health insurance industry, guarantee everyone who wants it a job and massively raise taxes, increasing government intervention in the economy like few countries except Cuba and Venezuela have seen before. Proponents think that they can give all Americans quality health care, housing and everything for free and that somehow, politicians can do a better job at running a business than the business owners themselves.
These proposals would skyrocket the budget deficit and national debt, which just reached a record $22 trillion. If that is not enough, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed paying for the proposal by asking the Federal Reserve to print money. This is exactly what produced Venezuela’s nightmare.
Even so, liberal economist Paul Krugman recently argued in a column that “whenever you see someone invoking Venezuela as a reason not to consider progressive policy ideas, you know right away that the person in question is uninformed, dishonest, or both.”
I can assure Mr. Krugman that I’m neither uninformed nor dishonest. Of course, it’s true that neither Medicare for All nor a wealth tax alone would turn the United States into Venezuela overnight. No single radical proposal would do that. However, if all or most of these measures are implemented, they could have the same catastrophic consequences for the American people that they had for Venezuela.
In his recent State of the Union address, President Trump said: “America will never be a socialist country.” I sincerely hope that the president is right, and that every American can resist the lure of false promises — so this great country can always shine above the dark cloud of socialism, and avoid Venezuela’s fate.