Say, do you remember that time when Vermont was going to use Obamacare as a jumping off point and build their own single payer health care system? Yeah, Bernie Sanders was all over that one at the time, promoting a socialist vision of the future which would finally see everyone taken care of equally. How did that work out again? (Washington Post, from 2014)
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has abandoned a years-long push for a universal health-care system in the state after budget analysts said the program would require what he called “enormous” new taxes…
But Michael Costa, Shumlin’s deputy director of health care reform, concluded the plan would have required an 11.5 percent payroll tax on all Vermont businesses and an income tax hike of up to 9.5 percent. Those taxes wouldn’t have covered transition costs to the new system, which would have amounted to at least $500 million.
The reason I asked at the top whether or not you remembered it is because Bernie Sanders sure doesn’t seem to. In fact, as this editorial from the Washington Examiner points out, he doesn’t really even want to talk about it at all.
When Andrea Mitchell asked the question, Sanders gave just the sort of weak answer you’d expect.
“Let me just say that you might want to ask the governor of the state of Vermont why he could not do it,” Sanders said. “I’m not the governor. I’m the senator from the state of Vermont.”
You might want to ask the governor? Would that be the Democrat governor you walked hand in hand with as you promoted this scheme? The fact that it failed has little or nothing to do with either Sanders or his governor, but with the reality that the entire plan was a pie in the sky, socialist dream which would have bankrupted the state in a single year and sent the taxpayers into open revolt.
The incident is worth bringing up today because, as the editorial board goes on to correctly point out, most of the proposals coming out of the Sanders campaign headquarters are cut from the same cloth. They are promises of the moon without enough fuel to even make it into orbit.
This all serves to illustrate the pie-in-the-sky nature of Sanders’ agenda. In addition to a $14 trillion healthcare plan, Sanders wants free college for all. He wants to add significantly to the subsidies for seniors’ prescription drugs. He wants to expand subsidies for solar and wind energy while ending all fossil fuel leases on federal lands. He wants to raise the minimum wage to $15. He wants to subsidize small farmers still further.
The problem is, it will be impossible for a President Sanders to keep such promises without running out of other people’s money to spend and promise. As his questioners pointed out on Sunday, Sanders’ agenda includes substantial tax increases on the middle class. Taken together, his plans that increase taxes by nearly $20 trillion over a decade.
This is socialism in a nutshell and kudos to the Washington Times editorial board for pointing it out so succinctly. Sanders has grand dreams for the nation, just as many socialist leaders no doubt did at the beginning of the revolutions in various other countries. But fulfilling them relies entirely on spending other people’s money at a massive clip with no provision for making up the shortfall. That $20T in taxes figure is probably a bit on the generous side from what I’ve been reading. It could, in reality, be far, far worse. And in all of the campaign speeches and debate performances, I’ve yet to hear Sanders seriously address the issue of the national debt. Sure, that may be because the moderators at Democrat debates don’t care to discuss such messy things, but when you’re pushing plans involving that amount of cash it seems as if you’d feel obligated to mention how you were going to pay for it, no?
For anyone seriously considering Bernie Sanders as a viable candidate these days, do try to keep this in mind. These are the empty promises one normally hears from the crackpot dictators of failing socialist states. It’s a shell game that the suckers always lose and the suckers are the citizens. Don’t be fooled again.