It’s easy to dismiss Bernie Sanders’ grandiose pie-in-the-sky socialist ideas, but now that too many people are actually voting for him, let’s take a look at just how high in the sky his pie is flying (take that, Cole Porter!)
Bernie has been notably vague about how much his socialist transformation of America would cost or how it would be paid for, but like all purveyors of questionable, overpriced goods, he assures the suckers that they will pay for themselves in the long run. Greg Re at Fox News reports that Sanders released a “fact sheet” (quotation marks intentional) Monday night on the financials, and both the costs and his plans for paying them make the mind reel. It’s a ruinous cocktail of massive spending and government expansion into every corner of your life, paid for by a mountain of new taxes, mandates, lawsuits, deep cuts in defense, and wishful thinking.
For instance, he claims that the “Green New Deal,” which has been estimated to cost more than $90 trillion over ten years, would actually save $70.4 trillion over 80 years by averting climate catastrophe. No figures are given to back that up, but as Re notes, “the Trump administration's National Climate Assessment found that it was possible climate change could reduce the size of the U.S. economy by 10 percent by the end of the century, assuming no substantial changes in technology (including carbon-reducing innovations) or policy occur in the meantime.”
Aside from stressing the word “possible,” I’ll note that the end of the century is 80 years from now. Do you think there will be no policy changes or substantial changes in technology by then without massive government intervention (incidentally, in socialist nations, that always stymies technological advancement.) Think back to 80 years ago. How many changes in technology have there been since 1940? Today's young people laugh at the technology they see in reruns of "Friends"! And how many of the tech advances since 1940 have been led by the government? Sure, we learned a lot from the space program, but it was the private sector using that data that gave us home computers, smart phones, etc. It was only five months ago that the government finally updated the computers controlling our nuclear weapons systems so they no longer use floppy discs.
Elsewhere, Bernie seems to think there’s an endless supply of super-rich people just waiting around like cows to be milked by the government. Like a communist Old McDonald, he plans to have a wealth tax here and a wealth tax there, oblivious to the fact that people don’t get rich by letting the government take all their money. They will simply shelter it or send it overseas, which will pull it out of productive investments and kill US job creation, reducing federal revenue. But never fear: he’ll stop people from doing what they want with their own money by expanding and empowering the IRS and having a lot more audits (does that make you feel more secure?)
Some other “revenue enhancements” include suing and taxing the daylights out of oil companies (goodbye, affordable gasoline!)…a range of taxes on everybody to pay for “Medicare For All” (but don’t worry, he says this will replace what you currently pay for insurance – but it will also replace the choices you currently have with a one-size-fits-all government health care program)…and a “modest” tax on Wall Street stock and bond transactions that would not only hit everyone with retirement accounts, it also adds up to five times the average online brokerage fee. Ironically, the federal government won’t let brokers charge that much because they’d consider it to be ripping off consumers. But socialists always believe that when the government rips you off, it’s for your own good.
PS – This article also mentions some more blowback on Bernie’s praising of Fidel Castro for implementing a literacy program. Critics say that literacy was already rising in Cuba before Castro’s revolution, and the program he instituted was largely to indoctrinate Cubans by making them read communist propaganda. I wonder if Bernie’s response to that will be “So what’s wrong with reading nothing but communist propaganda?!”
And here’s a little more about what really happened to education in Cuba under the benevolent Castro regime…