With the news today that Michael Bloomberg will likely join the already crowded presidential primary field, you might be experiencing billionaire fatigue.
You might be asking: Will one of these guys kindly not run for president?
Will one of them take the millions of dollars that they’re wasting “making their case” to voters for what is highly likely to be an ultimately losing effort, and instead invest in down-ballot races? Do they know what the DLCC or Run For Something could do with just one million dollars, let alone the $47 million that Tom Steyer has pumped into his single-digit polling presidential campaign — in just three months?
First, it was, Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame; those of us in Seattle were already done with him, and soon the rest of the nation was too. Then it was Tom Steyer deciding that he was the messenger for the oncoming doom of climate change instead of elevating someone with actual governing experience like Jay Inslee, and instead of spending that, again, $47 million on capturing the US Senate so that a Green New Deal could be enacted. Now, it’s Michael Bloomberg.
At least Bloomberg has actual governing experience as the former Mayor of New York. Hell, I personally like a lot of his urbanist policies. But do we really need another billionaire in this race?
Seemingly, every billionaire has seen Donald Trump’s election and gone — hey, I could do that! And guess what, they probably could; “executive time” isn’t that hard.
The problem is, they’re not stopping to ask if they should.
In a hilarious misallocation of their resources, these rich white men are spending money on quixotic campaigns that could have been better spent on political campaigns that form the backbone of real policymaking — congressional, senate, gubernatorial, state legislative, and yes city council. Unless, of course, their main concern is losing the power that their capital commands. If the reason they’re running is that they’re scared of the very real possibility that Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders will win the Democratic nomination — then their decision starts to make a lot of sense.
Billionaires are scared.
They see the rising political tide on the left and are terrified that they’ll lose their ability to decide how they spend all of their many billions. They’re of the opinion that, as Michael Bloomberg said, raising taxes on the wealthy is “about as dumb a policy as I can think of.”
They’re scared because Elizabeth Warren wants Medicare For All by taxing the wealthy. They’re scared because Bernie Sanders and AOC’s Green New Deal will mean new taxes on the wealthy. They’re scared of losing some of their many billions of dollars — more money than anyone knows what to do with, more money than any one person can spend in a single lifetime. They’re scared that the country is waking up to how they’ve lived so large for so long.
They’re scared because as another billionaire Nick Hanauer says — “the pitchforks are coming”.
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