Democrats Never Learn: There's No Nobility in Taking Other People's Money | Opinion

Before the 2020 Democratic primary debates, we had never seen an American group of candidates so passionately compete to see who could take other people's money and spend it for them. Where Democrats once had enough self-awareness to be ashamed of taking so much from the American people, just the opposite appears to now be true. Not only do they propose deficit-raising, trillion-dollar programs, but they get offended when asked how they plan to pay for them. Democrats call for entitlements to taxpayer dollars but forget the government has no entitlement to taxpayer dollars.

It is a fundamental truth of the universe that energy and power can neither be created nor destroyed. They can only move from one form to another. In America, as everyplace else in the universe, there is a finite amount of power and only three places at which it can be held: the government, the corporation and the individual. There is little consensus among political parties where the greatest amount of power should be allocated. After all, once in power, people justify that power.

Many pre-Trump Republicans hold that power should be concentrated primarily with corporations. The government acts in service to the corporation to facilitate growth and market share, which then helps the individual. Clinton-style progressivism is basically the same. Sure, they'll quibble on tax rates and social issues, but, shockingly, bureaucratic elites beholden to corporations believe that the bureaucracy should be beholden to corporations. This is a key factor among never Trumpers.

Traditionally, liberals believe that power should reside with the government, not the people.

Some are well-intentioned in this belief. They wish for a just world and believe it can only be achieved with strong government, yet they forget that the more government defines and imposes justice, the less free the individual is. But what of the individual? Who fights for his or her power?

Only in Reagan-style conservatism was power returned to the people. This is what the never Trumpers, Clintons and progressives always failed to understand. Ronald Reagan's tax cuts weren't simply about dollars and cents. They were about redressing an imbalance of power between the people and the state. Reagan always called himself a "citizen politician," and he really believed in the concept.

Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders
Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders participate in the Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta on November 20. Alex Wong/Getty

For decades, people had willingly given so much power to government that legislators believed they were entitled to the people's money. They believed the state could run up the tab as much as it desired, and, no matter what, it was the American people who would foot the bill. No matter how often or how spectacularly lawmakers' plans failed, the American taxpayer would not only bail them out—but thank legislators for the pleasure. As Reagan put it, "The more the plans failed, the more the planners planned." Reagan's tax cut did more than return money to the people, it returned power—a power that neither government nor corporation had a right to usurp.

Trump's tax cuts were a first step, and now the American people need more. A broad, middle-class tax cut is the only way to curb the Democrats' latest attempt at a power grab. They need to be reminded that there is no nobility in taking money away from others and spending it as the politicians desire. Elected officials are obligated to ensure that the dollars we choose to grant them are to be spent responsibly and effectively. As Adam Smith wrote: "Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the state."

Simply put: Your fair share isn't in other peoples' wallets.

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich is the chairman of Gingrich 360, the host of the Newt's World podcast and author of the New York Times best-sellers Understanding Trump and Trump's America. To read, hear and watch more of his commentary, go to

Craig Shirley is a biographer for President Ronald Reagan and a presidential historian.

The views expressed in this article are the writers' own.