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Our Opinion: The wrath of con artists

Con artists succeed primarily by convincing their victims that riches can be had with little or no investment or risk. So do some politicians.

Contenders for the Democratic Party nomination for president next year seem to be engaged in a race to determine which one can offer the most “free” goodies to the American people.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, this week attempted to regain some of the steam that has leaked out of her campaign during recent weeks by adding to the list of giveaways. Elect her, Warren claims, and she will wipe away nearly all the student loan debt now on the books. Everyone with household income under $100,000 a year would qualify for the relief.

Warren already has promised to eliminate tuition and fees for students at two- and four-year public colleges and universities. Others have jumped on that bandwagon. They include Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; and Kamala Harris, D-California. Apparently, Warren thinks she needs to engage in some one-upmanship.

Telling nearly every American making monthly student loan payments to tear up their coupon books would be wildly popular. It would benefit an estimated 42 million Americans. And Warren insists it is doable. It would cost the federal government only about $640 billion, she claims.

No. The actual cost would be closer to $1.5 trillion. So, either Warren thinks states can absorb some of the cost or she is not being candid. She also says — where have we heard this before? — that only a tiny minority of Americans will have to pay for her pledge. The cost will be “more than covered by my Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” she explained.

Among them, Warren and other Democrat candidates for president have come up with promises that would cost tens of trillions of dollars during the next few years. Even if the money were in their bank accounts — and it isn’t — taxes high enough to cover all the giveaways would wreck the U.S. economy. The proposed “new green deal” would complete the devastation.

Warren and the others promising us the moon and stars are operating as classic con artists. They must take Americans for suckers.

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