In a Washington Post op-ed, Catherine Rampell writes that there's a decent chance a "proven socialist" will be in the White House after the 2020 election. No, not Bernie Sanders. "I'm referring to the one who already occupies the White House," writes Rampell. Yes, she makes the case that President Trump's policies qualify him for the label. Trump "has actually implemented anti-market, Soviet-style, centrally planned policies, and he has used the power of the state to punish political enemies," she writes. "He has merely chosen different beneficiaries (and victims) of his Big Government bigfooting." Rampell provides examples, including Trump's use of "government fiat" to prop up pet industries such as coal, as well as hitting major trading partners with tariffs to protect the steel industry and others.
As another example of his "central planning," she cites his multiple bailouts of farmers hurt by trade fights. When President Obama dared bail out the auto industry a decade ago, critics on the right accused him of setting us on "the road toward socialism," writes Rampell. "Today, these same Republicans seem curiously unperturbed." She cites other examples to buttress her case that Trump is running a "command-and-control-style economy" and concludes with this: "If you're a Never Trumper worried that Sanders will take this country down the road to serfdom, beware: President Trump has already paved the path." (Read the full column.)