Theodore Roosevelt offered Americans a "Square Deal." His fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, gave us "The New Deal." Modern Democrats, who have lost election after election, are now offering the country "A Better Deal."
Speaking in Berryville, Virginia, a small town that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump and is represented by a Republican in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, "Too many Americans don't know what we stand for."
Actually, they do know and that's why Democrats don't have the White House, why they lost their congressional majority and the reason they are in the minority in most state legislatures and governorships.
Standing on a platform with other aging, hard-left Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the "Better Deal" sounded like warmed over hash.
Here's how The New York Times described it: "The policies combine left-leaning doctrine old and new -- a $15-an-hour minimum wage, a crusade against monopolies, and efforts to lower prescription drug costs -- elevating issues Democrats expect to animate next year's midterm elections and supplying an answer to critics who accuse them of offering nothing but obstruction."
It would be nice if one of those monopolies targeted by Democrats were the public schools and the increasingly popular school choice option, which The Wall Street Journal recently noted is working to improve grades of especially poor and minority children.
Don't look for that to happen, as Democrats aren't about to give up campaign donations from the teachers unions.
Wasn't the expansion of the Medicare program under President George W. Bush to include prescription drug payments supposed to have reduced costs? Not so. When the government gets involved in almost anything -- from college tuition, to drugs -- costs go up, not down.
As for the $15-an-hour minimum wage suggestion, we have heard this argument from Democrats in previous calls for its increase. A recent Harvard Business School study of restaurants in San Francisco found that every one-dollar increase in the minimum wage led to a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of a restaurant closing.
A University of Washington study on the minimum wage law's impact on restaurant workers in Seattle found that while hikes accounted for higher wages, the number of hours low-wage earners were allowed to work declined, producing a net loss in earnings. In other words, the restaurant workers earned more before the government mandated a higher minimum wage. Doesn't anyone in government understand basic economics, not to mention human nature?
Nowhere in the unveiling of their "Better Deal" is there any suggestion by Democrats that low-income Americans can, or should, work for the day when they are independent of government. As the party of government, Democrats have addicted millions of people to the notion that they are owed, or "entitled," to other people's money. Theirs is a party of envy, greed and entitlement, pitting the successful -- and envy of them -- against the less successful with little expectation that those at the bottom of the wage scale can, or should, rise from their current circumstances to embrace a better life.
The Times story called the Democrats' announcement "the battle cry of a party in the wilderness." Question: If a Democrat speaks in the wilderness, will anyone hear?
This latest effort to fool voters into believing Democrats have something new to say, or better policies to try, isn't a better deal, it's a raw deal.
Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.