Just yesterday morning I was sitting in a neighborhood diner talking with another guy at the counter. He says, How about that Bernie Sanders—I think I like him. I turned my attention back to my eggs wondering how the hell any American citizen could be serious about voting for a confessed and dyed-in-the-wool socialist like Bernie Sanders. This guy was certainly old enough to understand where socialism predictably leads, but Bernie just sounds like less of a crook to him right now because he is saying what some folks want to hear, regardless of the consequences.
If you remember, Senator Sanders’ announced his candidacy by hawking his plan to give every young person in America a free four-year college education courtesy of the federal government. Well, I will admit that there is nothing like freebies to get the attention of the public, and what better way to ingratiate yourself in the households of America than by offering a free education for all the kids? Wow, honey, we better vote for ol’ Bernie! Of course, free tuition today has no consequences tomorrow. Yeah. Right.
Senator Sanders has not discussed how he intends to pay for all that education but you can count on one thing—it will not be cheap. If you think higher education is expensive now, wait until the federal government gets into the middle of paying for it, and all of these for-profit schools see the chance to fleece the government a bit more than they already fleece the consumer. At the same time, if government funds go into the education process, then government will feel compelled to dictate what our children learn. That influence is already there in the elementary and high school level—now on to higher education! This, despite the fact that Social Security and Medicare are unfunded and we have a national debt approaching $18 trillion. Of course Senator Sanders’ answer is no doubt to tax the rich more than they already are. As a socialist what he really means is that the producers will provide an education for the non-producers—wealth has little to do with it.
In the past two weeks, Senator Sanders also called for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, saying it is morally justifiable to do so to save the shrinking middle class of America. Unfortunately, his socialist logic is broken. For one thing, only 2% of the population makes the minimum wage, so how will a hike to $15 an hour save the middle class? In fact, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will put a majority of businesses in the retail sector in jeopardy. They do not have the margin to absorb the additional cost and still generate a profit. Therefore, those costs will be passed on to the consumer via increased product prices. This will cause a downturn in customer volume which will ultimately drive the business into bankruptcy and cost the existing employees and the owner their jobs. In addition, many corporate wage and salary structures are set relative to the minimum wage level as are union contracts. In the end, something that supposedly will help 2% of the population will also generate a giant negative ripple effect throughout the entire economy causing inflation that negates the buying power of a higher wage.
Another unintended consequence for the people at the lower end of the wage scale is that their new earnings may push them into an income level that requires them to contribute a greater amount of FICA and Medicare tax, resulting in a net take home pay that is, for all intents and purposes, lower than before. In short, the federal government stands to gain more than the employee in this situation. Ultimately Sanders’ idea is nothing less than wealth redistribution masquerading as compassion for the little guy —all designed to increase his voter base.
First and foremost, Sanders is a self-avowed and unapologetic socialist; all of his ideas come from that playbook. This is the thinking that got us into the mess we are in today and it only gets worse. More and more, the solution to everything is for those who work and earn to pay the way for those not willing to contribute to society. There exists a growing class of people who are not inspired to work even though they are certainly physically capable of it. In some circles, these leeches were once called freeloaders, but today those who are politically correct wish to paint them as victims.
Our Congress is full of hypocrites who are using their elected offices to steal on the public dole and Sanders is only one of the many. Recent financial filings by Congressional members show that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is among the wealthiest one-tenth of Americans, yet she consistently demands equality and fairness for everyone else. She does this while serving in Congress and making sure no legislation gets through that would place any regulatory burden or taxation on her American-Samoa based tuna-packing operations. When she’s done in Washington, she will leave with a generous retirement package which she and others like her have voted for themselves along with special medical benefits and lifetime privileges. Oh yeah, she and Bernie Sanders are very worried about the little people who do not pay attention to such things—they are real fighters!
Hypocrisy and socialism are alive and well in America today and they move forward hand in hand because of public ignorance. Many politicians see it as a way to promote big government and more power over the people while they line their greedy pockets. Socialism and liberalism have been recast as progressivism, and too many Americans think that since it’s progressive, it must be good. America’s future is doomed by that ignorance and the people who play off of it like Sanders and Pelosi. Socialism is a failed experiment everywhere it has taken root, and those who would lure you down that path have only one interest and that is to get you past that watering hole and onto the hard road toward communism. There are no free lunches without consequences.
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