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Our next president?

What a sad commentary that a man who espouses a government that confiscates your life and your property is gaining traction.

  • By
  • | 11:28 a.m. October 8, 2015
  • Sarasota
  • Opinion
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Talk about a rallying cry for the masses. This is what Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist Democrat running for president, says in his preamble to his stance on the issues:

“The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all?”

Of course the masses will roar with thunder: “Yes! Yes! The progressive agenda! Free health care for all! Down with the rich!”

This is depressing … and downright scary. Sanders continues to gain traction. In NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders leads Hillary Clinton. He leads Donald Trump in Iowa, and he leads Trump and Carly Fiorina and is tied with Jeb Bush in New Hampshire.

To a large degree, Sanders’ popularity is not surprising. His agenda plays to the ignorant. Look at what he’s saying:

“The reality is that for the past 40 years, Wall Street and the billionaire class has rigged the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people of this country.” (Congress has helped a lot, too.) 

“You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America, if you refuse to accept your responsibilities as Americans.”

You go, Bernie. Go after those greedy, successful people who have the nerve to think the property and money they earned legally is theirs. Make them pay up for being smart. Take it away from them, Bernie.

Take a big taste of the Sanders agenda:

  • “Invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure.”
  • Oppose free-trade agreements because “they shift jobs overseas.” 
  • “Provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ 1 million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 and provide job training to hundreds of thousands of others.”
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • Free tuition for all at public colleges and universities throughout America.
  • Raise the cap on Social Security income taxes so that anyone who earns more than $250,000 a year continues to pay the Social Security tax. It currently stops after $118,500.
  • Expand and increase Social Security benefits for all by $65 a month and increase the cost-of-living adjustments.
  • Make health care a right for all.
  • Create a single-payer, nationalized health care system.
  • Require employers to pay at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and seven paid sick days.
  • Universal, government-provided child care and prekindergarten for all.
  • Demand that “the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes.” Enact a progressive estate tax on Americans whose estates exceed $3.5 million in value.

The only thing he left out: free Obamaphones for all.

And how to pay for all he demands? Or how will Americans pay for the higher costs of goods that his policies most surely would bring?

That is what is really, really scary: Apparently, neither Sanders nor his followers have a clue about thinking through consequences of Sanders’ agenda. From where do they think all this money for all this health care and college will come? Or, what do they think will happen when taxes go up and up, and minimum wage levels go up and up? Prosperity for all — except the rich?

To be sure, it’s a sad commentary on Americans, starting with the Greatest Generation on down, on how we have let public schools and universities become an uncontrolled, incurable virus of socialistic, collectivist  brainwashing. 

Why is Sanders gaining so much traction? Because the masses — and the pope — don’t understand capitalism and individualism. They don’t know or realize that entrepreneurial capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty and is fairer than any other “ism” in world history. Nor can they see that individualism, as the Founders envisioned, is the idea that your life belongs to you, that you have the inalienable right to live it as you see fit, to keep the product of your effort and pursue your own values.

The masses cheering for Sanders do not see that in his world their lives and property belong not to them, but to the collective. They must sacrifice it all for the group. The only rights they will have in Sanders’ world are those that the government permits them to enjoy.

They cannot see the unseen. They can only see the “seen” — the false promises of government-provided prosperity and happiness for all.

Perhaps a simpler way to address Bernie Sanders’ campaign theme of class warfare and toppling of America’s successful individuals is this analogy from Dan Watkins, a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute:

“Imagine two people are thrown into a lake: a kid who can’t swim and Michael Phelps. What would you make of someone who said, ‘There is something profoundly wrong when we’ve seen a child drown while an Olympic gold medalist easily swims to the shore?’ Take Phelps out of the picture, and the kid is still drowning. The only reason to mention Phelps is if your goal is not to help the kid, but to smear the athlete.

“So it is for the inequality alarmists. They don’t want to guide everyone to dry land. They want to drown the best swimmers.”

Bernie Sanders for president? And you think it’s bad now.


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