You are probably not paying much attention to the U.S. Senate races that are not close, so you may not even know that New York's odious senior Senator, Charles "Chuck" Schumer, is up for re-election. The RealClearPolitics poll average has Schumer up by some 23 points over his Republican rival, Wendy Long. There's not much chance of getting rid of this guy in the current cycle. But it's actually much worse than that. With Harry Reid retiring, Schumer is next in line to be the leader of the Democrats in the Senate -- either Minority Leader or, God forbid, Majority Leader, depending on the outcomes of the various close races.
In one of the earliest posts on this blog, in December 2012, I declared Schumer to be "the worst United States Senator." In the four years since then, he has only gotten still worse. Nobody has ever noticed the guy having an actual political philosophy. He is entirely about using federal taxpayer money to buy votes and entrench the power of the left-wing interest groups that support himself and the Democratic Party.
Schumer is said to have a campaign "war chest" of some $20 million -- largely extracted as protection money from the local financial industry -- but he doesn't trouble himself to use much of the money on his own safe race. I have seen almost no advertising for him in this cycle. However, I did see one ad, which indeed exemplified Schumer's approach to politics. The theme of the ad was that we should re-elect Schumer because he had gotten lots of money for New York for recovery efforts in the aftermath of non-hurricane Sandy in 2012. The ad showed several scenes of Schumer touring devastated sites and hugging constituents.
Now, let's analyze that a little. As I pointed out in this post in 2013, blank-check federal relief from ocean storms is a bad idea for the country, but it's a particularly terrible idea for New Yorkers. Why? Because historically New York is not very subject to tropical storm strikes, and gets hit by only about one serious tropical storm for every twenty or so that hit Florida, the Gulf coast and the Carolinas. That means that, over time, New Yorkers will pay out around twenty dollars in federal taxes for hurricane relief for every dollar they may receive in hurricane relief handouts. There is no possible way that New York can come out ahead in this game. But hey, the fundamental qualification for being a "progressive" is inability to do basic arithmetic. Schumer is the master of using that failing of his voters to entrench the power of himself and his crowd.
And of course, hurricane relief is just one example among many of the same phenomenon. Even after many decades of having its once-dominant economic position eroded by high taxes and a poor business climate, New York remains one of the wealthier states. Obviously then, a federal machine that massively redistributes away from the wealthier states is to the disadvantage of New York. Our one-time senior Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, produced annual reports tallying the net negative suffered by New York each year in this game. Moynihan was replaced by Hillary Clinton in 2001, whereupon Schumer became the senior Senator. The reports were discontinued, and I've barely heard the subject mentioned since. Schumer is of course a leader in regular efforts of Democrats in Congress to increase income tax rates on high earners.
You won't find out much if anything about what Schumer stands for by going to his campaign website. But his official Senate website is entirely about just what you would expect: handing out the free federal money to buy votes. In just the last few days we have: $47 million in new federal money for "Sandy-related" repairs in the Rockaways! (i.e., bailing out oceanfront homeowners; aren't we done with that yet, more than four years after the storm?). $2.3 million of new Department of Agriculture funds for New York farmers! $325 million of new federal funds for home energy assistance! There's a new one of these almost every day. If Schumer has ever considered that somebody has to pay for this, or if he has ever thought about trade-offs or limits on the federal fisc, I've never seen it.
To find out more of what Schumer stands for, you'll have to go to an independent site, like ontheissues.org. Admittedly there are enough issues here that even I could find a few things where I agree with him. But you can be sure that he is on the wrong side of anything big. Clearly, he is a leader, if not the main leader, of Democratic efforts to repeal the First Amendment to the disadvantage of conservative groups. He says he wants "money out of politics," even as he is one of the most prodigious fundraisers by reason of his strategic position where he can hobble the financial industry (or selected members of it) if they don't pay him off. He is a big gun controller, and would gladly see the Second Amendment repealed or limited out of existence by the Supreme Court. He is in favor of any and all additions to federal spending, and will do everything he can to be sure that the money goes to Democratic party lobby groups. He couldn't care less whether $700 billion of annual federal anti-poverty spending actually gets anyone out of poverty, so long as the spending creates big budgets and lots of jobs for the Democrat lobby groups. He has totally bought into the global warming scam, and supports all proposals to subsidize uneconomic energy and to hobble cheaper fossil fuels. (We're impoverishing the American people? So what, if my friends and I can stay in power!) He supports more and yet more federal money for the black hole of healthcare at every opportunity. His record on free trade is not completely negative -- but then, the idea that a Senator from New York would not be completely pro-free trade really boggles the mind.
Well, America, you are about to be seeing a lot more of this guy. If you think Hillary Clinton is annoying and grating to watch, wait until you get a good dose of Schumer. All I can say is, if you are in one of those states with a close race, and you think you might vote for the Democrat, remember that one more Democrat in the Senate could very likely be the difference in making Schumer Majority Leader. The next few years could be really, really painful.