Cardi B Is Right!

Photo: Chris Pizzello (AP)

Rapper, pop star, and FDR superfan Cardi B was a vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election and Cynthia Nixon in 2018. On Tuesday, she articulated a view of social democracy as a force for good that is rarely heard, if ever, from national politicians.

First Cardi took a trip down memory lane:

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Then someone replied to Cardi on Twitter, pointing out that in the past, she’s complained about taxes. Conservatives, including everyone’s favorite right-wing debate club child, have jumped on these complaints as evidence that Cardi is actually fiscally conservative, but it’s clear in her response that Cardi’s beef is more with the fact that our taxes go to useless bullshit with little in the way of material benefits for the average person:

She’s right: even though we pay comparatively little in taxes compared to other OECD countries, we still pay a lot in them, and see little in the way of benefits. Our infrastructure is crumbling, student loan borrowers are $1.6 trillion in debt, and tens of millions of people still don’t have healthcare. What is our money going to, anyway?

This is such a simple concept. And with the exception of Bernie Sanders’ speech about democratic socialism, you almost never hear Democrats make the argument that it’s not taxation and “big government” that’s something to be avoided, but the way neoliberalism approaches taxation—to fund neverending wars and surveillance and huge incentives for Amazon and the bare minimum of public services, if even that—that’s fundamentally wrong.

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For conservatives, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: they run the government into the ground, and then point to their fine work as evidence about how government doesn’t work. Liberals and the left need to find a way to counter this, because to cede this ground is to completely give up on an expanded safety net, and the role of government in making people’s lives better.

In conclusion: Cardi B 2024.

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