Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, currently charging hard against Hillary Clinton in their third straight match-up in Nevada, has raised his national profile by roughly one bazillion percent since kicking off his presidential bid last year. In the process he’s become known for many things, not least of which is his fight against big money. This includes big money in politics, big money on Wall Street, big money in the pharmaceutical industry and, most of all, the big money in the pockets of all those rich people who simply don’t pay enough in taxes. Sanders really seems to have it in for money and you have to wonder where the grudge comes from.
In an editorial at Investors Business Daily, we get a glimpse of one possible source of Bernie’s unrelenting war on dollars: he’s never really had many of them. Not that there’s anything wrong with coming from modest beginnings… in fact, many voters find the idea of an American success story to be very appealing. But that’s the problem when you look at Sanders’ story a bit more closely: he never really achieved that success. As the IBD editorial describes it in the sub-header, Bernie is, “an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything.”
One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there.
Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”
Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.
Looking at the senator’s biography without all of the cheering crowds obscuring the details, Sanders was essentially a failure for all of his early adult life. You don’t expect people working primarily on charitable or activist work to be joining the ranks of billionaires, but Sanders didn’t even keep his own markers covered. As IBD notes, he never really earned a steady paycheck until he was in his forties and even then it was from the government when he was finally elected mayor. Before that he ran up debts, failed to pay his own utility bills and was known for being perpetually broke.
This is the guy who now wants to oversee the management of all of our collective money in the federal government? This is the guy insisting he will raise everyone’s taxes because we’re not paying our fair share? To this very day, Sanders has still not managed to scrape together much in the way of savings or assets to take care of himself.
He finally wormed his way into the Senate in 2006, where he still ranks as one of the poorest members of Congress. Save for a municipal pension, Sanders lists no assets in his name. All the assets provided in his financial disclosure form are his second wife’s. He does, however, have as much as $65,000 in credit-card debt.
Sure, Sanders may not be a hypocrite, but this is nothing to brag about. His worthless background contrasts sharply with the successful careers of other “outsiders” in the race for the White House, including a billionaire developer, a world-renowned neurosurgeon and a Fortune 500 CEO.
No wonder Sanders would like to land a job as president. His first year’s pay alone will likely eclipse all of the salary he’s earned to date over 74 years. The retirement plan would probably seem beyond the dreams of avarice to someone of his “accomplishments” thus far. To be clear, I’m not saying that having joined the billionaire boys’ club is a requirement to occupy the Oval Office, but don’t we want somebody who has at least achieved something on their own and demonstrated that they can pay their own bills before they tell us about all they’ll achieve on our behalf on the world stage?
Exit question: win or lose, when Bernie finally trudges off the stage he’s going to be offered massive book deals and speaking engagements. Do you think he’ll be hypocritical enough to cash in and take them after all the talking he’s been doing, or will he slink back to his dirt floor “maple sugar shack” and print up some more protest posters?