Bernie Sanders

Bernie's Bad Ideas

10 things to hate about Sanders' economic policy

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Joanna Andreasson, photo by Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

There is much to cheer about the unlikely success of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. Starting with the fact that it has come at the direct expense of a joyless power politician, Hillary Clinton, who has bad policy ideas, worse constitutional instincts, and an above-it-all contempt for personal honesty and accountability. By the admittedly low standards of the 2016 race (and national politics in general), Sanders is decent, likable, and authentic.

Some of Sanders' policies, too, are among the best of those major-party candidates still in the hunt. He is the only one in the field who would repeal federal marijuana laws, junk the PATRIOT Act, and shut down the National Security Agency's domestic spying program. He was the only one to meaningfully come out against the Iraq War in real time (pending the discovery of as-yet-elusive evidence to back up Donald Trump's claims that he too was an early and prescient critic), and he's the most skeptical about both America's global policing and its wasteful military budget. Unlike Trump and Clinton (and waiting-in-the-wings independent Michael Bloomberg), Sanders was against the 2005 Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision enshrining the practice of private-to-private eminent domain transfers. He has been a forceful if not totally consistent critic of government bailouts and corporate welfare.

In the interregnum between Sanders' convincing victory in the New Hampshire primary and his subsequent shellacking in South Carolina, a number of libertarian-leaning writers mused about whether, given much of the above, there was a libertarian "case" for Bernie Sanders. "With a Republican-controlled Congress—or one remotely close to its current makeup," Andrew Kirell wrote in a widely circulated column at The Daily Beast, "President Sanders would have a tough time getting his most radical economic policies passed, leaving him to fight for the civil liberties causes that matter to liberals and libertarians alike."

This article is not intended to answer the question about the candidate's libertarian bona fides one way or another. Rather, it is to point out, amid the distracting hullabaloo of a historically weird presidential campaign, that Bernie Sanders has at least 10 awful policy ideas that would materially damage the country if enacted.

At press time, the betting markets were not bullish on a Sanders presidency—the odds were just 2 percent according to the betting/polls aggregator PredictWise on March 1. But if Hillary Clinton's legal troubles with her private email server snowball to untenable proportions, it's not hard to imagine Sanders going toe-to-toe with the highly divisive Donald Trump and eking out a victory. In national head-to-head polls, the democratic socialist has topped the populist billionaire 17 out of 24 times through the end of February, including five out of six in 2016 (by an average of 8 percentage points).

Such a win may not usher in the "revolution" that Bernie calls for in every stump speech, but it would mean that a sizable chunk of the electorate was energized not just by the candidate's admirable comportment and sporadic civil libertarianism, but most of all by what has formed the core of his appeal: decidedly redistributivist and centralizing economic ideas. With any kind of coattails, some of those ideas could be translated into legislation on both the federal and local levels. And as the new boss of 4 million employees, a President Sanders would have wide latitude to convert his mandate into concrete regulatory actions, even if Congress is not quite ready to spend an additional $1.4 trillion on health care each year.

The following is not a ranking, and sadly is not definitive.

1. $15 Minimum Wage
In every campaign speech, Bernie Sanders vows to jack the federal minimum wage up to $15 an hour. This would double the prevailing minimum in about half of the 50 states.

So the same one-size-fits-all wage floor would apply to booming Columbus, Ohio, and perpetually struggling Los Angeles, despite the screaming disparity in local prices. Columbus (unemployment rate: 4.6 percent) is the fourth most affordable city in the nation, according to the Money Crashers website, with a median home price of $105,000 and median rent of $825 a month. Los Angeles (unemployment 6.8 percent) is the seventh most expensive city (according to the Expatistan cost of living index), with a median home price of $563,000 and rent of $2,655. California's minimum wage is $10, and the city of Los Angeles last year passed a gradual hike to $15 by 2020; Ohio's minimum wage is $8.25.

Sanders would be pushing the federal government into territory no state has yet dared to tread. Seattle, which became the first big American city to pass a $15 minimum wage ordinance in 2014, has seen since the beginning of its implementation in April 2015 the worst nine-month period of job losses since the financial crisis. Besides the economic and employment effects, drastic minimum wage hikes also boost the cost of government—in New York, which is considering the nation's first statewide $15 requirement, estimates put the additional cost for workers just at local governments and state-funded nonprofits at $1 billion per year.

Even Sanders admits that mandating higher wages will drive up prices for Americans ("Look, the truth is, yes, you may end up paying a few cents more for a hamburger at McDonald's," he said during a February town hall forum). But what the candidate consistently fails to grapple with is the argument set forth by Princeton economist Alan B. Krueger—who isn't some ax-grinding libertarian, but rather the former chairman of President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, and the most influential academic proponent of raising the minimum wage, just not that high that fast.

"$15 an hour is beyond international experience, and could well be counterproductive," Krueger wrote in The New York Times last October. "Although some high-wage cities and states could probably absorb a $15-an-hour minimum wage with little or no job loss, it is far from clear that the same could be said for every state, city and town in the United States.…The push for a nationwide $15 minimum wage strikes me as a risk not worth taking."

2. Free College Tuition
Bernie Sanders hates rich people so much, reason's Robby Soave has noted, that he wants to send their kids to college for free.

The Sanders higher education plan goes like this: free tuition to every public university in the country, paid for by a tax on Wall Street. So Virginia's College of William and Mary, currently ranked sixth in U.S. News & World Report's list of top public universities (and ranked second for in-state tuition at $17,656), would cost the same as my semi–alma mater Long Beach City College, which currently clocks in at $1,104.

Why is evening that score advisable, let alone necessary on the federal level? Because, as Sanders wrote in The Washington Post last October, "We live in a highly competitive, global economy, and if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated workforce in the world." Besides: "In Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Mexico, public colleges and universities remain tuition-free. They're free throughout Germany, too."

But by Sanders' own stated goals, he's trying to apply an expensive fix to something that isn't quite broken. The United States has a higher rate of college enrollment than every country Sanders listed except tiny Finland. The graduation rate, too, is higher than all except Norway and Ireland. The U.S. is home to roughly 20 percent of the world's international college students, according to the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, attracting one million foreigners to its higher ed institutions, compared to just 300,000 Americans studying abroad. In many countries where tuition is at or near zero, there is little incentive to build new universities, and competition for the scarce number of slots is brutal.

America may have some of the most ridiculously expensive undergraduate experiences—10 universities charge more than $50,000 a year, according to U.S. News—but it also boasts an extensive system of state schools, low-cost private options, and online courses. And the sticker shock that Sanders is responding to is largely a result of the federal government trying to make post-secondary education cheaper: As the New York Federal Reserve found in a study last year, higher ed institutions that were "more exposed to changes in the subsidized federal loan program increased their tuition disproportionately around these policy changes, with a sizable pass-through effect on tuition of about 65 percent." In other words, when the federal government tries to make college cheaper, it often ends up paradoxically boosting prices.

3. Universal Pre-K
For more than a decade, government preschool has been a dream of liberal reformers, from Rob Reiner to Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio to Bernie Sanders. It's a can't-miss pitch to any bleeding heart: Help the most vulnerable kids! But study after study has shown universal pre-K just doesn't work.

"Researchers at Vanderbilt University have spent the past six years comparing cohorts of Tennessee pre-K students with their peers who applied to the statewide pre-K program but were lotteried out," former Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, a supporter of the program during his 2011–2015 tenure, pointed out in The Washington Post this February. "The results are not stellar. The pre-K students entered kindergarten with a decided advantage over the comparison group, but that advantage diminished over time. By the time the children reached third grade, the pre-K attendees actually underperformed the comparison group."

Similar results have been observed in Oklahoma, which has had universal preschool since 1998 without any observable gains in performance. The beloved federal program Head Start has also stubbornly failed to demonstrate positive impacts on enrolled kids. It's almost as if government has a questionable track record in delivering quality public school education. As Huffman writes, "Why would we think we can build a 'high-quality' program for all the nation's 4-year-olds when decades of effort have failed to produce universal high-quality in any other grades?"

There are other objections to universal pre-K: It would disrupt or destroy the existing private preschool market, be used to forcibly unionize teachers of tots, and subsidize the education choices of well-off parents. And like all federal education initiatives, it would likely cost more money than projected, especially over time. But even setting aside all of that, the unhappy fact remains: Mandated pre-K just does not work.

4. Medicare for All
According to the Sanders campaign's own numbers, which are designed to look as rosy as possible, expanding Medicare to cover every human being in America would require an additional $1.38 trillion in federal spending every year. That's about one-third of Washington's current annual outlays. Or more than twice what we currently spend on the military. Or 8 percent of total gross domestic product.

And yet it's still not believable. "The numbers don't remotely add up," University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee, another former chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, told The New York Times in February.

Left-leaning Emory University health care economist Kenneth E. Thorpe calculated that the real price tag of Berniecare would be more than double campaign estimates, leading to an overall growth of government of at least 40 percent, maybe higher. On top of that, Thorpe estimated that the Obamacare overhaul would lead to 71 percent of American households paying more for health care, contrary to Sanders' insistence that the average worker would see a net gain in her bottom line.

And as syndicated columnist Steve Chapman has pointed out, Sanders' plan "is to Medicare what a Tesla is to a Toyota," since Bernie wants to add new goodies like long-term care and dentistry, while removing restraints like deductibles and copays.

The amount of taxation and debt required to pay for such a scheme boggles the imagination. And judging by the track record of the Veterans Health Administration, there is no reason to believe that government-run health care will produce better outcomes for patients than what they have access to now.

5. Protecting Veterans from Privatization
One of the most bizarre non sequiturs in a campaign season chock full of them was a question from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow at the February 4 Democratic presidential debate in Durham, New Hampshire, about the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.). Startlingly, the query wasn't about how to reform the appalling waiting times for veterans' health care, or a culture of incompetence and corruption that has included widespread falsification of records and the punishment of internal whistleblowers. No, it was this: "If either one of you is nominated as the Democratic Party's nominee, you will likely face a Republican opponent in the general election who wants to privatize or even abolish big parts of the V.A. It's a newly popular idea in conservative politics. How will you win the argument on that issue given the problems that have been exposed at the V.A. in the last few years? What's your argument that the V.A. should still exist and should not be privatized?"

Sanders was lucky the question wasn't about his actual track record as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. As The New York Times reported in February, "a review of his record in the job…shows that in a moment of crisis, his deep-seated faith in the fundamental goodness of government blinded him, at least at first, to a dangerous breakdown in the one corner of it he was supposed to police." Ouch.

What was Sanders doing in May 2014 instead of holding oversight hearings and sounding the alarm bell over a national disgrace? Complaining to The Nation magazine about "a concerted effort to undermine the V.A.," led by "the Koch brothers and others," who "want to radically change the nature of society, and either make major cuts in all of these institutions, or maybe do away with them entirely."

At the debate, Sanders welcomed Maddow's question by claiming falsely that a Koch-affiliated veterans group wants to "privatize" the V.A., vowing to prevent that from happening, and then making the vague gesture that "We've got to strengthen the V.A." Meanwhile, veterans across the country continue face long wait times and fake appointment dates.

(David Koch is a trustee of Reason Foundation, which publishes reason magazine.)

6. 'Equal Pay for Equal Work'
On his campaign website, Sanders declares that "it is a national disgrace that women only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns." Actually, it is a national disgrace that politicians keep abusing this long-discredited statistic.

As Elizabeth Nolan Brown has pointed out at reason.com, "this is based on data that fail to account for women's work histories and life choices. It aggregates the earnings of women in all positions and compares this average against the earnings of all men." Or in the words of Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, "By all accounts, there is a wage gap, but it has declined over the decades—and depending on how the data are viewed, in some cases it barely exists."

To combat this debatable problem, Sanders backs the serially unpassed Paycheck Fairness Act, which would require employers to submit all payroll information to the federal government for a gender-based review, even though gender discrimination is already illegal and the Equal Pay Act has been on the books since 1963. The proposed law would surely be a boon to accountancy firms, lawyers, and bureaucrats at the federal Equal Pay Agency, while hiking up the compliance costs of merely having an employee. As with the minimum wage increase, enacting yet another equal pay law would make employing people more expensive under a Sanders regime. When an activity becomes more expensive, entities tend to engage in less of it.

7. Expanding Social Security
As recently as 2012, the notion of reforming entitlements in the face of dire long-term deficit forecasts was still a mainstream Democratic Party sentiment. "We've got to deal with this big long-term debt problem," Bill Clinton warned in his Democratic National Convention speech that year, "or it will deal with us." The whole reason the nation enjoyed sequestration cuts in the growth of federal spending from 2013 to 2015 is that President Barack Obama was seeking a grand bargain to rein in entitlement promises and put the nation's finances somewhere near a sane position.

Bernienomics, and its effect on Hillary Clinton's already left-of-Bill economic commitments, has helped obliterate the memory of Democrats' rhetorical feints toward fiscal responsibility. Instead of pruning back the entitlement state, Sanders wants to dose it with fertilizer.

"As president, Sen. Sanders will fight to expand Social Security benefits by an average of $65 a month; increase cost-of-living-adjustments to keep up with rising medical and prescription drug costs; and expand the minimum Social Security benefit," his website vows.

Social Security already pays out around $900 billion per year. Its legally separate disability insurance trust fund, which disburses $140 billion, is scheduled to run out of money as soon as this year, after which only payroll taxes can be used to fulfill its obligations; and that pot of money is only four-fifths as large as current payouts to the 11 million disability recipients. The same fate is projected to befall the main Social Security trust fund by 2034. And both programs are actuarially sound compared to Medicare and Medicaid.

To promise more retirement money, in the midst of all the other handouts Sanders is offering, is to essentially assert that there's no real limit on what a federal government can spend. It's no wonder that, when asked at the February 11 Democratic debate in Milwaukee, "How much larger would government be in the lives of Americans under a Sanders presidency?" and whether there would be "any limit on the size of the role of government," the progressive said only, "Of course there will be a limit," and spent the rest of his time talking about the federal government's lapsed responsibilities.

8. Investing in Green Jobs
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama and the rest of the party's bigwigs repeatedly boasted that by investing in renewable energy sources, the new administration would create "5 million green jobs." Six years later, anxious progressives were asking in The Nation, "Where Have All the Green Jobs Gone?" Sanders must have let his subscription lapse.

To scroll through his campaign's "Invest in Clean, Sustainable Energy" page is to be reminded of all the Obama administration promises that failed to materialize. Yet Sanders doesn't derive any lesson from them, other than to sink more money into the project.

So it is that six years after the administration, absurdly, promised a "Recovery Through Retrofit" that would soon "pay for itself," and four years after the promised home weatherization-fueled economic boom produced such Daily Beast headlines as "Obama's Green Energy Flop," Sanders is back at it: "Energy Efficiency is a 'low-hanging fruit' because the investments made in energy efficiency are so effective in reducing carbon pollution emissions, and the return on investment is so quick," his campaign website claims. "For every dollar invested in energy efficiency, families and businesses can enjoy up to $4 in energy savings, and for every billion dollars invested in energy efficiency upgrades we can create up to 7,000–8,000 new jobs."

Bernie Sanders is one of the most insistent national voices against corporate welfare. "At a time when we have a more than $15 trillion national debt," he wrote at Politico in 2012, "U.S. taxpayers are set to give away roughly $110 billion to the oil, gas and coal industries over the next decade. We cannot afford it."

The country's debt level now stands at $19 trillion and climbing fast, and yet Sanders thinks we can afford "massive and sustained investment in clean energy technology development and implementation," plus "billions of dollars" for "communities most affected by a transition to a clean energy future."

9. Opposing International Trade
There are respectable arguments for opposing international trade agreements. Regrettably, Bernie Sanders doesn't use them.

Instead of going after the way America uses its heft to craft deals that protect domestic corporate welfare while blocking access to developing countries that could benefit from selling goods to the United States, Sanders peddles the fiction that international trade makes poor people poorer.

As he put it when describing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the latest notch in his 100 percent voting record against trade agreements, "It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system."

The last quarter-century has seen the most dramatic economic improvement in human history, with more than a billion people being lifted out of extreme poverty. "Most of the credit," The Economist magazine argued in 2013, "must go to capitalism and free trade, for they enable economies to grow—and it was growth, principally, that has eased destitution."

It's not just classical liberals making this argument. The United Nations, hardly a talking shop for what progressives deride as "neoliberalism," gave credit in its 2015 Millennium Development Goals Report to "an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system," argued that it will be "crucial" going forward "to strengthen the integration of developing countries into the multilateral trade system," and even pointed out that increased trade helped achieve a goal Sanders and other American lefties have long treasured: reducing the debt burdens in poorer countries.

Not only does Sanders wave away all those easily observable gains from trade, he adds a punitive nationalism to the mix: "We need to end the race to the bottom and develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad."

10. Reversing Citizens United

The 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission made it legal to broadcast documentaries and other media critical of federal candidates shortly before elections. Bernie Sanders, like Hillary Clinton, wants to make reversing that decision a litmus test for any prospective Supreme Court nominee. "Any Supreme Court candidate of mine will make overturning Citizens United one of their first decisions," Sanders tweeted in January, exhibiting a curious conception about how judicial review works.

In 2011, Sanders, for the first time in his career, introduced a constitutional amendment on the Senate floor. Which freedom was he proposing to expand (that being the main purpose of the Bill of Rights)? None: He was seeking to rescind the freedom of people who pool their resources together as a for-profit corporation to express an opinion about anyone running for federal office just before an election. This amendment to reverse Citizens United (though thankfully not for nonprofits like the Reason Foundation!) predictably got nowhere, but it remains a central plank in the 2016 Sanders campaign.

Sanders, like many campaign finance reform enthusiasts, dismisses the free-speech objection as a smokescreen thrown up by billionaires who want to corrupt American politics. Beyond pooh-poohing the central role that government censorship played in the very case he seeks to eradicate, Sanders has elevated its impact to truly mythical proportions, positing that campaign finance corruption is the reason America hasn't adopted virtually every policy on this list.

"The real issue," he said at the January 17 debate in Charleston, South Carolina, "is that Congress is owned by big money and refuses to do what the American people want them to do. The real issue is that in area after area, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, the American people want it. Rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, creating 13 million jobs, the American people want it. The pay equity for women, the American people want it. Demanding that the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes. The American people want it.…The point is, we have to make Congress respond to the needs of the people, not big money."

There is no room, in the Sanders worldview, for opposition to his democratic socialism emanating principally from people who simply disagree.

On February 17, four economists who disagree with Bernie Sanders issued a scathing joint statement that marked an important gut check for American progressivism. Not because the economists were free market zealots, but because each of them had been chair of a Democratic president's Council of Economic Advisers.

"We are concerned," wrote Alan Krueger, Austan Goolsbee, Christina Romer, and Laura D'Andrea Tyson, "to see the Sanders campaign citing extreme claims by Gerald Friedman"—an economist who forecast 5.3 percent annual economic growth under a President Sanders—"that cannot be supported by the economic evidence. Friedman asserts that your plan will have huge beneficial impacts on growth rates, income and employment that exceed even the most grandiose predictions by Republicans about the impact of their tax cut proposals.

"As much as we wish it were so," the economists concluded, "no credible economic research supports economic impacts of these magnitudes.…These claims undermine the credibility of the progressive economic agenda."

A decade ago, left-of-center commentators prided themselves for being members of the "reality-based community," in reference to an old Karl Rove quote that dismissed adherents of such to be naive. Now, after seven years of economic realities smacking Democratic promises in the face, Bernie Sanders has arrived to say that the problem with all the spending, the centralizing, and the stimulusing, is that it did not go nearly far enough.

It would be more comforting to those who share Sanders' broad critiques about U.S. foreign policy and domestic criminal justice if those were the issues most animating his infectiously enthusiastic fan base. But outside of a memorable February debate exchange over Henry Kissinger, they are not. Those most ardently Feeling the Bern so far this campaign season are the ones embracing his economic ideas. And sadly, many of those ideas are terrible.

NEXT: Obama's Mercy Still Pales Next to Richard Nixon's

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  1. “Sanders is comparatively decent and authentic,…”

    He is a commie Matt. People drawn to socialism are of two types: ignoramuses or cynical power mongers. I don’t need more reason than that. Because of the theft and coercion baked into his brand of socialism the decency and authenticity would evaporate very quickly were he to hold the reins of power. Whether he knows it or not he wants to take us down a road that leads to poverty, misery, gulags and firing squads.

    I know, his supporters think they can get it right this time. It will be real socialism this time. Sure they will, and I have a bridge for sale.

    1. I don’t even give him the benefit of good intentions. He seems driven by envy and outrage.

      Long before he campaigned against corporate greed and an economy for the rich, a young Bernie Sanders learned his own painful lesson about big business. It came in the fall of 1957 when his neighborhood baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, moved to Los Angeles.

      Sanders had just turned 16 and friends say he was devastated after Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley announced the transfer. The Dodgers had been an essential part of his childhood in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn where he could walk to their ballpark, Ebbets Field, and buy a ticket for 60 cents. Even today he can name the Dodgers 1950s infield of Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese and Billy Cox. Then they were gone, whisked away to California.

      The shock of their departure seems to have informed the Democratic presidential candidate’s early view of the world, so much so that some of his closest friends and confidants wonder if the incident helped inspire his political ideology today.

      1. Monique Junot: So you won’t tell anyone?

        Lane Myer: What, that you’re a Dodgers fan?

        1. +2 Dollars

      2. So he’s a retard. I can totally understand not knowing this when you’re 16 but hasn’t he ever read a book about the O’Malley and the move to LA?

        O’Malley wanted to build the world’s first domed baseball park in Flatbush but Robert Moses, the King of Urban Planning and one of the most powerful men in New York history, autocratically nixed it because he wanted them to play in Flushing Meadows.

        O’Malley told them to fuck off and the rest is history. But Bernie probably isn’t angry about zoning laws and petty bureaucrats.

      3. I”m not sure it’s even envy, I would call it disgust. I think he sees people spending their own money on anything luxurious as outrageous because he doesn’t need it – and neither should you.

        He’s like that uncle that lives back in the woods who makes all of his own stuff, and thinks your insane because you spent $8 on that T-Shirt. The difference is that in Vermont that guy is likable, and now he’s hung around long enough that enough people believe in that they, or the have-not’s, should get that stuff for free.

        And You, We, or Everyone should pay for it.

      4. I”m not sure it’s even envy, I would call it disgust. I think he sees people spending their own money on anything luxurious as outrageous because he doesn’t need it – and neither should you.

        He’s like that uncle that lives back in the woods who makes all of his own stuff, and thinks your insane because you spent $8 on that T-Shirt. The difference is that in Vermont that guy is likable, and now he’s hung around long enough that enough people believe in that they, or the have-not’s, should get that stuff for free.

        And You, We, or Everyone should pay for it.

  2. There are major differences between the different socialisms. We call them the three camps: Internment, Concentration, and Labor.
    Which one do you think Bernie is?

    1. You forgot re-education.

  3. Hold on. This article is critical of a Democrat. What is everyone going to whine about now?!?

    1. The hideous tie that Welch was probably thinking about wearing while he was writing it.

    2. I like to whine about the deficient amount of Stephanie Slade articles.

    3. We are going to whine about you.

      1. I’m so sick of whining about Episiarch. Why can’t we whine about something else? Would that be so wrong? I literally can’t even with this Episiarch anymore. It’s awful. I can’t take it.

        1. Always with the drug schools and the Johnny Hitler’s. Enough is enough.

          1. “They say he hates books and juice.”

        2. (wipes tear)

          That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me, X.

          (sniffle)

          1. I want to be Speaker for the Dead upon your inevitable coke-and-ketamine-fueled autoerotic asphyxiation-related demise. Cool?

    4. “Each other”? its the favorite second-choice.

      1. Ugh, you would say that.

    5. This article is critical of a Democrat.

      After the first 4 paragraphs of fawning adulation, paeans to his civil libertarianism and suggestions that he might be the most libertarian candidate for president. Just like all 8 Trump articles today. Let it never be said that Reason has any type of partisan preference.

  4. “it is a national disgrace that women only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.”

    Obviously the solution is to slash every man’s salary by 21%.

    1. Raise taxes on men! Spend the money on women stuff!

      1. “luckily” our Kalifornia duma is trying to fix the problem by eliminating taxes on tampons.

        http://www.newsweek.com/califo…..cts-412014

        https://reason.com/blog/2016/01/27/tax-free-tampons

      2. Or maybe a purse subsidy.

  5. Couldn’t be bothered to get a comment from Julia Stiles, Matt? You getting lazy on us?

    1. He’s saving the last dance for you, NutraSweet.

      1. Matt doesn’t get involved in the business of strangers.

        1. It’s a guy thing, Serious.

    2. Heath Ledger was in that and he died. John Ritter was in 8 Simple Rules and he died. If my calculations are correct, it’s a bad idea to star in something that has a number in the title.

      1. Agree. Marcello Mastroianni starred in Fellini’s 8 ? and Toshiro Mifune was in Kurasawa’s 7 Samurai. Look where those two are now ? dead!

  6. I don’t get this “he is likable and authentic” stuff.

    He is angry and jealous. He is either lying to you about how to pay for his goodies or he is an idiot.

    1. It’s relative to Hillary!
      Think how terrible she (Hillary!) has to be to get 20 year old girls to gush about a rotting old man?

    2. Angry and jealous people like other angry and jealous people.

      1. God, THIS! I have an acquaintance who, while neither stupid nor incompetent (he can, at least, manage a position as a shift supervisor at Starbucks) has the anger of a man who just believes that some way, somehow, someone cheated him out of the life he deserved. It’s an atrocity that he doesn’t make a “living wage”, even though his pay is spitting distance from the much vaunted $15/hour, and he has no dependents.

        Of course, then again, he also stated that he believes that just because a coworker of ours has a PhD, she should be given management of her own Starbucks store. His words: “I mean, they should just give it to her! She has a fucking DOCTORATE! Fucking greedy bastards!”

        Her field? Entomology. Maybe he is stupid.

        1. what is a PhD really? It is someone who was able to afford to stay in school forever and write a paper. It doesn’t mean their study or paper was useful for anything at all then or in the future.

          This is similar to some girl who once told me that “obviously Democrats are smarter since most Professors are Democrats”. Yeah, right, or they couldn’t or were too afraid to get a real job in the real world and stayed cloistered in their protected little campus – and create safe spaces.

          1. Personally I view an academic doctorate as a mark of shame.

            1. Me too. But I’m doing a PhD in chemistry. I’m just biding my time and watching the world burn.

    3. He’s likable and authentic to people who agree with him, of course. Even Trump can probably claim that distinction.

      1. I was thinking people like welch

  7. Bernie should be in jail for fraud. Saving we can save 324B a year on drugs when we spent 305B in 2014 is flat out fraud.

    1. Multiplier, or something.

  8. This is the same Bernie that has expressed love and admiration for murderous communist dictatorships right? How can anyone argue such a person is in any way decent or honorable? Would you ever make the same statement about someone who found the KKK and related movements “profound”?

    Bernie is a repugnant human being. His sincerity about his own totalitarian zealotry doesn’t magically fix that.

  9. I’m still pondering what to make of this in an AP story out of Penna. concerning voters switching parties:
    “Some like Jason Arnold of Harrisburg, reported becoming a Democrat to vote for Sanders. ‘Bernie was the only one who was dealing with the income issue,’ said Arnold, who had been registered as a Libertarian.”

    1. Sanders is good at identifying a lot of the problems. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t go past that point and look at his solutions to those problems.

      1. NEED MOAR!

        1. NOT ‘NUFF!

      2. It takes the ability to reason beyond what is required to complete the third grade, and as we know most of his supporters were Head Start participants.

    2. ‘Bernie was the only one who was dealing with the income issue,’

      Well, actually he is.
      Trump is running on, “Put me on the throne and America will be great again.”
      Cruz is running on, “Put me in the White House and America will have Family Values again.”
      Hilary is running on, “Get rid of Trump and Cruz and my server will be secure again.”

      Bernie’s solutions suck, but at least he’s running on real issues.

        1. Gulags for all!

    3. ‘Bernie was the only one who was dealing with the income issue…’
      Hahaha, the ‘income issue?’ Yeah, there’s way too much income out there, we gotta get rid of some of it; don’t want some of those people getting two much of that income. Maybe people who are so incapable of articulating a thought shouldn’t have a right to have opinions.

  10. These are the ten things that, along with the bird, are the closest thing Sanders has to a chance. It’s like Welch – and by extension Reason magazine – is in the tank for Hillary. Quick, someone do a study of the Hillary to Trump ratio of articles recently. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    1. Goddammit, Eugene, it’s too early to drink.

      1. Wait…what?! IS IT REALLY, X? IS IT REALLY?

  11. Thank God Reason gives Grampa Gulag a little abuse once in a while. One would think the socialist candidate would be drawing a helluva lot more ire around here.

    1. Criticizing Sanders on Economics doesn’t get the hits that a cray-cray article about Trump pulls.

  12. You forgot to add on his 200 billion a year for crumbling infrastructure.

    1. Don’t worry, none of that money will ever be spent on infrastructure because the Greens ensure that this country builds absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.

      So the money will just end up being given to lawyers, NEPA bureaucrats and to green groups. None of it will actually be spent on anything useful.

      1. Like prop 39 in cali I think it was

      2. You left off environmental impact report writers.

    2. One would think building infrastructure that crumbles would be cheaper, but I guess that union labor is costly.

  13. Sequestration happened because democrats wanted to reform entitlements?! Citation fucking needed. And if you think holding out a chained CPI for 5 seconds and then yanking it back when you didn’t get your last minute doubling of tax increases is it, try again.

    1. Well, you don’t want the Rethuglikkans to get credit for doing it, do you? We must remember, the only think they do is eat puppies and fuck babies. Or was it the other way around?

    2. sequestration was obama’s idea.

      1. Even if it was expected to be rejected, I give him props for it.

        Two blind squirrels found a nut.

      2. Even if it was expected to be rejected, I give him props for it.

        Two blind squirrels found a nut.

  14. There is much to cheer about the unlikely success of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.

    Bernie Sanders is a vicious old bum who believes in one of the most evil ideology in history and an ideology that is counter to everything reason is supposed to stand for. And Matt Welch finds “much to cheer” in such a man being a serious threat to win the Democratic nomination and by extension the Presidency.

    Yeah, Reason hates Hillary and with good reason. Last I looked they didn’t like the GOP much either, and also with good reason. Yet, when a real estate developer and reality TV star with confused but generally center left views sticks it to the GOP, reason shits its pants and publishes like ten posts a day about the dark night of fascism falling on America.

    Meanwhile a no shit national socialist who spent his youth working for the Soviet Union rises in the Democratic party and reason finds “much to cheer”.

    Would anyone like to square those two positions and reactions with any kind of commitment to liberty? I would be curious to hear how that could be done because I don’t see it.

    1. Welch did that in the article.

      1. No he really didn’t. If there is much to cheer about Sanders, there is even more to cheer about Trump, since he is clearly less dangerous and doing the same thing to the GOP that Sanders is doing to Hillary. Yet, reason doesn’t find much cheer in that.

        1. Yeah he did. He basically argued that Bernie can’t get his crazy through congress which will force him to focus on the handful of sane things he wants that are liberty friendly. I find that speculative but its not as if a case wasn’t made. Personally I think Bernie is dangerous, crazy, and evil but that doesn’t mean Matt is wrong about how it would play out.

          1. If Sanders were to win, he’d have coattails. Thus this argument is dumb.

            If Sanders win, the Senate and probably the House flip.

            There’s no more Republican firewall to crazy then.

            Maybe we should hurry up and have this happen. You only get more liberty after a strong does of state planning. Literally, people need to stand in line for toilet paper before they figure out that capitalism delivers the goods.

            1. A Sanders presidency will need to be overthrown. Though I expect most of the people here will just bitch, wring their hands, and shit their pants.

        2. If there is much to cheer about Sanders, there is even more to cheer about Trump, since he is clearly less dangerous and doing the same thing to the GOP that Sanders is doing to Hillary

          Welch cited specific Sanders policies that he and many other libertarians could support. Trump is pretty thin on those. That is the difference.

          1. Well, to be fair, Trump is pretty thin on specifics in general.

            1. I’d call it being unprincipled, but point taken. Either way, that’s why people focus extra hard on his tone and rhetoric.

            2. And, on the few things he even come’s close to specifics on, he sound a lot like the worse half of Bernie without the few things the Berninator is actually right about.

              John doesn’t understand these things though, because he is a dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporter. Ergo the argument ‘make America great again’ holds a whole lot of water in his book. It’s actually within the realm of possibility, to me, that if Bernie said the same thing John might consider switching to Democrat or Socialist.

              1. Nah. John is a Trump supporter for one reason only: because it pisses off the left. It’s pure team.

                1. I’ve heard nothing out of John that supports your claim. Are you one of the nut jobs around here that takes anything other than complete, rabid condemnation of Trump, as being a Trump support?

        3. He is the only one in the field who would repeal federal marijuana laws, junk the PATRIOT Act, and shut down the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program. He was the only one to meaningfully come out against the Iraq War in real time (pending the discovery of as-yet-elusive evidence to back up Donald Trump’s claims that he too was an early and prescient critic), and he’s the most skeptical about both America’s global policing and its wasteful military budget.

          Those are all policies that most libertarians support. Then he went into detail on 10 of Bernie’s more awful economic policies:

          This article is not intended to answer the question about the candidate’s libertarian bona fides one way or another. Rather, it is to point out, amid the distracting hullabaloo of a historically weird presidential campaign, that Bernie Sanders has at least 10 awful policy ideas that would materially damage the country if enacted.

          Try reading the ENTIRE fucking article next time. I know, I know: it’s pretty long, and reading is for fagz but try it sometime, just once. Maybe then you wouldn’t make an ass of yourself in the comments.

          1. John’s not a Libertarian in any measurable way, so it’s difficult to imagine he’ll come off as anything other than an ass here.

          2. He is a fucking socialist. And Trump is just as skeptical about foreign intervention.

            1. And just as interested in reinstituting insanely high tariffs too! If you want to go down the rabbit hole of how alike Trump and Sanders are, John, you should be prepared to eat Crow.

            2. Well, one of his personalities is just as skeptical. The other ones, not so much.

          3. This…

      2. John only ever reads the first couple of paragraphs, sees something to get his panties in a wad over, and then rushes to the comments section to get his 2 minutes hate on.

        1. That describe most of you here.

    2. Thanks for finishing my joke for me, John. I couldn’t even make this up.

      1. Try harder next time.

    3. “Would anyone like to square those two positions and reactions with any kind of commitment to liberty? I would be curious to hear how that could be done because I don’t see it.”

      Sure, John… Maybe because in the last 20 years or so he’s been the most consistent advocate of reducing military spending, decreasing the effect of the drug war, and expanding civil liberties for homosexuals. Oh, and john, he voted against all those wars that right-wingers like you love to send others to fight.

      1. No, he simply wants to change the target of the drug war to GMO and CO2. I’m sure he’s supportibe of a sugar tax too.

        1. Socialist logic: Stop the war on drugs; start the war on food!

          No, it is funny though; with GMOs scientists have given us the solution to world hunger, and socialists, apparently upset that it didn’t involve collectivizing land, now wage bloody war on it.

          1. I think it’s dirtier than that. They expected that there was no solution beyond killing millions of people in the name of ‘green’ and ‘sustainability’. Now that there is an answer, they’re horrified that all of those people will not only continue to live but that they will also breed even more humans! After all, in their view there are already several billion too many of us.

            Oh, the humanity!

      2. Sure, John… Maybe because in the last 20 years or so he’s been the most consistent advocate of reducing military spending, decreasing the effect of the drug war, and expanding civil liberties for homosexuals. Oh, and john, he voted against all those wars that right-wingers like you love to send others to fight.

        How much money from the Koch Brothers did he take to vote their way?

      3. he’s been the most consistent advocate of reducing military spending

        I call bullshit. He likes increased military spending when it’s in Vermont.

        “Bernie Sanders Loves This $1 Trillion War Machine”

        1. But, but… see… it’s different when he does it. He cares!

    4. Meanwhile a no shit national socialist who spent his youth working for the Soviet Union rises in the Democratic party and reason finds “much to cheer”.

      The first thing to cheer that Matt mentioned was indeed that Sanders is a thorn in the side of Hillary. As for actual policy to cheer, Matt mentioned federal marijuana laws, the Patriot Act, the NSA’s domestic spying program, being against the Iraq War from the beginning, being the most skeptical about global policing and wasteful military spending, being against Kelo V. New London, and criticizing government bailouts and corporate welfare.

  15. $65,000 in credit card debt despite currently pulling in $174,000/year in salary and making over $1 million in pre-tax income since he first entered congress.

    Let him push for civil liberties from Congress. That’s already more power than he has shown himself capable of handling.

    1. Don’t forget his $40K a year in Social Security and pension benefits from the state of Vermont AND that he somehow managed to come up with over $60K in itemized deductions on his taxes. If he thinks the fed gov is underfunded, why is his claiming deductions equal to 30% of his gross income?

      1. Money for me not for thee.

      2. I can’t source this $60k claim – Link?

      3. He should commit to living on 20% of his gross income and give the rest to the government. To set an example.

    2. If that’s a sign on how he’s going to run the country, start looking to Argentina’s history for guidance.

  16. None of this matters as very little would make it into law. @BernieAndGridlock Get the good, minimize the bad a better option than getting the Bad or the Worst and then trying to make it good.

    1. And barrycare will let you keep your doctor.

    2. And the judges he appoints will be guardians of liberty!

    3. Why assume that Bernie would have gridlock?

      Looks at the numbers for GOP in the Senate and House now with Trump moving seats from lean GOP to lean Dem.

      Bernie getting elected would be part of a blue wave.

  17. “The results are not stellar. The pre-K students entered kindergarten with a decided advantage over the comparison group, but that advantage diminished over time. By the time the children reached third grade, the pre-K attendees actually underperformed the comparison group.”

    So you’re saying I can reasonably expect society to raise my children to at least a 3rd grade level? Sweet, I’m taking a vacation.

  18. Burgers would only be a few cents more? Yea i doubt that. Doubling payroll plus all his extra taxes will have a substantial effect on price. And this ignores the supply chain costs.

    1. Supply chain cost increases

    2. “I know Bernie’s numbers don’t work, but the things he wants are too important for us to be held back by numbers.”

      /Bernie supporter

      1. “He is forced to promise all these things to get elected. He’ll do something reasonable once he’s in office.”

        /actual Bernie supporter

      2. I’m sure some Chavistas made the same arguments.

      3. “Also, please do not take this to mean that I don’t fucking love science. I do.”

    3. americans will tolerate a lot, but they will not tolerate their hamburgers being too expensive.

  19. When he talks I feel the urge to make spitballs and imitate beavis and butthead…oh yeah, that’s because he reminds me of my crusty 6th grade social studies teacher.

    1. Crusty was your 6th grade social studies teacher? My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  20. I hope he’ll be the Democratic candidate, so that people can finally tear him apart in debates and hopefully kill off this stupidity for a generation.

    And if he wins, even better: he’ll veto everything Congress sends him, and Congress will snub every one of his policy initiatives.

    1. so that people can finally tear him apart in debates and hopefully kill off this stupidity for a generation.

      I don’t think that would be a sure thing. People really, really like the sound of free lunches.

    2. The only thing that will end stupidity is to remove progtards by the millions.

  21. “Now, after seven years of economic realities smacking Democratic promises in the face”

    Matt,

    What economic realities? The string of consistent job creation in the private sector, the reduction in the federal deficit by more than 60%, a stock market that has more than doubled, a decline in unemployment, the return of the housing market? What are you talking about? I know gold prices haven’t done well.

    1. Right, because unfunded liabilities have shrunk a great deal under Obama…The same could be said for the unemployment rate. We’ve retrained so many unskilled laborers under the Obama Administration. So many in fact, they just didn’t know what to do with themselves so they stopped looking for work altogether.

    2. Shorter AmSoc: “Capitalism is totally evil and I spend 90% of my time bitching about how terrible America is, unless it could reflect poorly on my guy than its great!”

    3. “The reduction of the federal deficit by more than 60%”

      I’m sorry, but I need to address this one specifically because it’s so fucking retarded. The deficit reached record highs under Obama, and the fact that his party was voted out of both houses of congress and now things are sort of better (I mean our debt is still going up by over a trillion a year, but that’s just that wingnut concept of math right?) so the idea that we’ll give him credit for fiscal responsibility is fucking absurd. Also, you support fucking Bernie Sanders but you’re concern-trolling about federal deficits, you dishonest little shit weasel.

      1. If he wasn’t a dishonest little shit weasel he wouldn’t be a socialist.

        1. Actually the reduction in the federal deficit from 2009 to 2016 was more like 70% so, yeah, I got it wrong. Sorry. It would help your case if what you right-wingers were predicting in 2009 actually lined up with reality instead of, you know, going the opposite way.

          1. Obama blew up the federal deficit in the first place. Even with that “70% reduction”, it is still worse than at any time during the Bush years. It is also much worse than Obama promised.

            Obama is an incompetent loser.

      2. “The deficit reached record highs under Obama”

        Yeah in 2009 when he was president for a couple of days.

        1. What was the federal debt the day O! took office?

          What is the federal debt now?

          1. C’mon, man… stop asking such hard questions! Give him some softballs. Like:

            Is Socialism good or bad?

            Do you like your candy sweet?

            How do rainbows make you feel?

          2. Or more to the point, what was the debt and deficit when Nancy Pelosi took over as speaker, then compare that to the 2011-current period. It’s the House that holds spending power (at least according to that pesky Constitution)

        2. “Yeah in 2009 when he was president for a couple of days.”

          A year isn’t a “couple of days”. It’s 365.

          The deficit was racked up the deficit on the last year of Bush’s reign. Under Obama the deficit continued to increase. The deficit has reduced every year past the first since the first year of Obama’s rule. The deficit has not reached the levels of Bush’s reign yet, however.

          But the PRESIDENT does not control the DEFICIT. The LEGISLATIVE mostly deals with that. It’s amazing, but we have a thing called the separation of powers in this country. The Democrats controlled the Senate since 2007. The Democrats controlled Congress from 2007-2011. The Republicans took Congress in 2011. They are also shit at reigning in spending, HOWEVER, the deficit STARTS to increase in 2007, under a Democratic Legislature. The decline, AFTER the increase, starts when the Democrats are in control, and continues when the Republicans and Democrats have split control, but has not yet reached the levels it was before the most recent rise.

          And reducing the deficit isn’t good, it’s merely less bad. Since the deficit is the measure of the degree by which we are going into debt. So I rate both parties as being bad at this. I also find you foolish for thinking that deficit reduction under Obama is a thing that can be attributed to Obama, but conversely I find the people you are arguing with equally foolish for thinking its rise can be attributed to him. It’s, ultimately, the legislature’s fault.

          1. The deficit has not reached the levels of Bush’s reign yet, however.

            Bullshit. The deficit is still larger than at any time during the Bush years:

            But the PRESIDENT does not control the DEFICIT. The LEGISLATIVE mostly deals with that. It’s amazing, but we have a thing called the separation of powers in this country

            Again, bullshit. The president submits a budget proposal, Congress approves it; once approved, the president is in no way obligated to spend it. Sure, it would be great if Congress limited spending, but the primary responsibility for spending and debt is with the president and the executive branch.

        3. Except that the 2009 budget included nearly a trillion dollars in what was supposed to be temporary, one-time emergency spending and bailouts, and Obama matched it for the next 2 years until he lost congress.

        4. It was Obama’s choice how much to spend or save during 2009. In addition, Bush basically gave Obama the choice on bailouts and rescue packages, and Obama made the choice to spend. Obama didn’t fix the deficit in 2010 either, and he kept advocating Keynesian stimuli and spending.

    4. a stock market that has more than doubled

      By setting the interest rate to near 0%, you are guaranteed for a stock market boom. You can’t make money in savings, so that money is going to chase whatever investments may make money, like stocks.

      Just keep your fingers crossed that the boom isn’t actually a bubble.

      1. Crossing fingers won’t help. It just… is.

    5. AmSoc, if the US economy is so great, why are Clinton and Sanders running on fixing the bad economy?

    6. I can’t speak for Welch, but I suspect he’s likely referring to the complete failure of Obama’s stimulus to end the recession (something even Paul Krugman admits, though he claims it’s because it wasn’t big enough, which it never is) and the fact that the economy recovered in the very midst of the largest spending cuts in recent years (something you seem to erroneously attribute to the president, rather than to the congress that forced it on him), demonstrating that austerity does not, in fact, impede growth, as all the lefty economists were predicting a double dip recession.

      So, yes, to reiterate, “Now, after seven years of economic realities smacking Democratic promises in the face.” About right.

      1. it should be noted that the sequester was obama’s idea. granted he never thought it would happen, and that’s not all the cost cutting during his time in office, but in that instance it was technically his idea.

    7. Sorry, I thought a high stock market was only a sign of the rich Wall $treet 1% fatcats getting richer.

      Or is that only when a Republican is in charge?

    8. “Consistent job creation”

      That is less than the population increase.

      And is therefore job loss.

      But then, if you weren’t retarded and incapable of basic arithmetic, you wouldn’t be a socialist.

    9. “Consistent job creation”

      That is less than the population increase.

      And is therefore job loss.

      But then, if you weren’t retarded and incapable of basic arithmetic, you wouldn’t be a socialist.

    10. “Consistent job creation”

      That is less than the population increase.

      And is therefore job loss.

      But then, if you weren’t retarded and incapable of basic arithmetic, you wouldn’t be a socialist.

    11. Uh, I thought the system was rigged and that the Bernie revolution needs to fix things? Which is it? Bill Clinton says the last 8 years are a disaster, Bernie says the system is rigged… uh, not… computing…

  22. “and an above-it-all contempt for personal honesty and accountability.”

    Spoken like someone who has never worked, met, investigated or even bothered to read anything other than right wing pieces about her.

    Read, from someone who has investigated her multiple times
    http://www.theguardian.com/com…..are_btn_tw

    1. Yeah guys, why bother reading the actual emails themselves, or knowing about the laws regarding these types of things (for us little people), the guardian said she was honest damn it!!

    2. HAHAHAHAHA!!!11!!!! *iinhales deeply* BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!11!!111!!!!!!!

    3. Read, from someone who has investigated her, too: http://time.com/4276988/jim-comey-hillary-clinton/

      Comey’s first brush with them came when Bill Clinton was president. Looking to get back into government after a stint in private practice, Comey signed on as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee. In 1996, after months of work, Comey came to some damning conclusions: Hillary Clinton was personally involved in mishandling documents and had ordered others to block investigators as they pursued their case. Worse, her behavior fit into a pattern of concealment: she and her husband had tried to hide their roles in two other matters under investigation by law enforcement. Taken together, the interference by White House officials, which included destruction of documents, amounted to “far more than just aggressive lawyering or political naivet?,” Comey and his fellow investigators concluded. It constituted “a highly improper pattern of deliberate misconduct.”

    4. The Guardian? Might as well cite the Onion.

    5. I loled

  23. There are other objections to universal pre-K: It would disrupt or destroy the existing private preschool market, be used to forcibly unionize teachers of tots, and subsidize the education choices of well-off parents.

    Those are all features, not bugs as far as Comrade Bern is concerned. Except maybe the last one, but that’s… hey, look over there, what could THAT be?!

    1. WA state has been systematically driving private daycares out of business since the 90’s. As our population has increased, the number of private daycare facilities has decreased by around 40% over the last twenty years. The progressive left is working steadily to create a childcare crisis so they can swoop in and ‘save’ everyone.

      Bernie will do much the same thing if elected president. But to a much greater degree, and with everything.

  24. Instead of pruning back the entitlement state, Sanders wants to dose it with fertilizer.

    I’m assuming that’s a clever euphemism for saying he’s spouting a bunch of bullshit. I see what you did there.

  25. I see a need for more uneducated government workers with the title ‘Federal Accountant’ in our not too distant future…

  26. “Sanders is comparatively decent and authentic,…”

    Remember Matt, little shits and parasites filled with envy wrapped in ‘greater good’ phooey lingo are attracted to leftist ideology.

    Screw him.

    1. Yeah, and along with them there are plenty of morons who make 30k/yr who vote for tax breaks for multi-millionaires because they think they’ll be billionaires. Someday.

      1. I know you’re grateful for those tax cuts, AmSoc.

      2. You disingenuous cunt, back here on earth it’s quite the opposite: the leftoid machine pushes the idea that they are going to raise taxes on businesses and rich people, but it’s actually anyone who works for a living who sees their taxes going up. Anyone with even a small degree of perception sees your tired game for what it is, and the more intelligent don’t fall for the tired class warfare crap anyway.

        1. What do you mean Lib? You need to make less, have more kids, and get more back in earned income credits every year. That’s how it works, it’s great.

          Don’t ever, and I mean EVER take a pay increase, there is no incentive to.

      3. Gah you are an insufferable little cunt

      4. YEAH, TAKE THAT STRAW!!

      5. There is stupid and then commie kid stupid, i’ll go with commie kid as the ultimate stupid….

        1. Remember, AmSoc is the same weasely piece of shit that bailed on his mortgage, and left everyone else to pick up the tab. So anything he says about fairness, or looking out for the little guy is just more progtard bullshit. He is just another treasonous hypocritical commie cunt piece of shit, and has zero credibility.

      6. Yeah, and along with them there are plenty of morons who make 30k/yr who vote for tax breaks for multi-millionaires because they think they’ll be billionaires. Someday.

        Those “morons” are a lot smarter than you, because there is a 50/50 chance that they will be multi-millionaires when they retire. Of course, you were likely too stupid to save for your retirement and missed the boat, which is why you now demand everybody else give you money now. I suggest re-reading the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper.

  27. Why do you idiots always take these monsters at their word?

    He is the only one in the field who would repeal federal marijuana laws,

    Why? Because he’s from a state full of hippies?

    junk the PATRIOT Act, and shut down the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program.

    Yes, because, as we all know, socialists are really big on respecting the privacy of the people they oppress–just ask the Stasi

    He was the only one to meaningfully come out against the Iraq War in real time

    He made a safe protest vote. I’ll applaud when he takes a stand and his vote matters.

    Unlike Trump and Clinton (and waiting-in-the-wings independent Michael Bloomberg), Sanders was against the 2005 Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision enshrining the practice of private-to-private eminent domain transfers.

    1. con’t

      He was against the fact that it helped capitalists. He was–and is– all in favor of the state seizing property for whatever reason it wants……..so long as it aids things Bernie supports.

      He has been a forceful if not totally consistent critic of government bailouts and corporate welfare.

      …so long as those bailouts are not in the best interests of Bernie and HIS cronies.

      And you KNOW all this–because you complain about it later, after the statist gets in and starts screwing everybody.

      Gods above, these people write books, give speeches, detailing the horrors they intend to perpetrate and you still find some way to ignore that. What is wrong with you?

    2. I’ll applaud when he takes a stand and his vote matters.
      Implying votes matter

      1. Congressional votes can definitely matter.

    3. junk the PATRIOT Act, and shut down the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program.

      Obama promised that too, liar that he turned out to be.

  28. Much like articles about Cruz, who cares? Sanders isn’t going to be the Democrat nominee short of a miracle, and Cruz isn’t going to be the Republican candidate barring another miracle.

    So, we’re hoping for a triple miracle for Gary Johnson?

    I do appreciate an article laying out the same points I was making almost two months ago, as there is a real case to be made, but it’s about as water tight as the Titanic.

  29. RE: Bernie’s Bad Ideas

    All of Comrade Bernie’s ideas are bad.
    But then so are Hitlery’s ideas and Trump’s.

    1. Hey, I fully support and agree with Hillary’s idea of not reproducing more than once, and Trump most recent policy decision regarding trophy wife selection was pretty good.

      1. I also approve of the daughters Trump has produced. Very much so.

  30. How are you a democratic socialist if you participate in a republic? You are a republican socialist, really. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  31. All this talk about income inequality. What about sexy time inequality. Some people are getting much hotter and frequent sexy time. It isn’t fair. We need government forced redistribution of sexy time. We need to force the good looking people to give up 50% of their sexy time to less attractive people. They need to be forced to put out. It just isn’t fair otherwise.

    1. What if I’m just average sexy? Will I still get some time with the hotter sexy people? Or will I be stuck with average sexy people? Could you please elaborate on your system for me. Consider me interested but not yet a follower.

      1. It will probably be a good strategy to let yourself go. Gain a little weight, wear ugly clothes, skip regular hygiene. If you have less, you will be required give less and you will get more. The most important thing to remember is that sexy time is a human right.

    2. I would like two Victoria Secret models redistributed my way.

  32. And as the new boss of 4 million employees, a President Sanders would have wide latitude to convert his mandate into concrete regulatory actions

    Real power is in the hands of the Supreme Court, the Federal Bureaucracy, and the Presidency.

    The Bureaucracy is the epitome of the Progressive Theocracy. The Supremes did most of their damage in the early 20th century, handing power to the Bureaucracy.

    The Presidency is the one remaining democratic lever into Power, and it remains a question whether it could actually roll back the Bureaucracy. But the Presidency certainly can help to *enable* the Bureaucracy.

  33. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.net-jobs25.com

    1. Who knew home-made pornography paid so well?

  34. “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists.”.
    ~~Friedrich Von Hayek

    1. my favorite retort of the campaign season is when sanders supporters tell me i can’t do simple math when i question his numbers. it’s precious.

  35. Bernie Sanders, while providing a certain level of cartoonish entertainment, is a doddering old socialist ninny, utterly unaware of the world around him, its sometimes harsh realities, and a complete embarrassment to our political system. That such an utterly ridiculous person could even think to aspire to a job as a supermarket checker, let alone president of our nation, is a profoundly disturbing commentary on our collective national intellect, judgment, and maturity.

    That any sentient person, in the year 2016, given the history of the world during the past century, could proudly call himself a socialist is to call himself, not only totally ill-educated and ignorant, but an idiot as well, and one who should be incarcerated for his own protection. But enough of this fulsome dwelling on Bernie’s good points……….

    1. Why not? God’s Own Prohibitionists want to own and regulate not only our wealth but all personal matters too. True enuf, Soviet Socialism is trash, but German National Socialism, is worse garbage. Enough bullying pregnant women, beating and shooting youth, kidnapping people hostage to lawyers (pupa stage for GOP politicians) over victimless bullshit–all for the sake of breeding Positive Christian Lebensborn to brainwash into Hitlerjugend for new Crusades?

      Last time mystical altruists tried to force people to choose between Stalin and Hiltlerism, George Orwell remarked that only those who were one or the other imagined there was a significant difference. There is not a dime’s worth of difference between nationalsocialism for Jesus (the GOP platform) and socialism for Bernie. I’ll stick with the LP, thanks.

  36. BUT DENMARK!!!!11!!

    /Berntard

  37. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.net-jobs25.com

    1. Do you pay $15/hour?

  38. Sorry, under what authority can the president repeal marijuana laws?

    1. Answer: the president can’t, the pres. is the executive branch, they must follow the law, not make it.
      Making law is the job of the Legislative: Congress.
      Laws are determined constitutional by the Judicial branch.
      This is basic Social Studies and should have been covered in the eighth grade.

      But Progressives think it more important how to put a condom on a banana, instead of reading, writing and arithmetic.

      1. And conservatives think the important thing is to force women to reproduce at gunpoint, nationalize other people’s property through asset forfeiture and the Marxist income tax, jail hippies and brown people over harmless enjoyment, and murder a mess of mohammedans so their relatives can blow us up.
        When the pro-choice looters take away all your government jobs, don’t come crying to me. Starting with Herbert Hoover, mystical prohibitionist bigotry has done more economic harm to These States than all the taxes and regulation the Gee-Oh-Pee has helped them enact since, in both Houses of Congress.
        Mystical conservatism is the egg the Libertarian Party will have to splatter out of the 2-party nest if we are to have the individual rights a sound economy requires. But I promise to miss you just as much as the Red Republicans missed the Whigs last time the music stopped. Sayonara, suckers!

    2. if memory serves, under the controlled substances act, if the attorney general or hhs secretary sign off on the idea, which amounts to obama telling them to do it really, then you don’t need congress to reclassify marijuana. i’m sure that’s what was meant.

      1. Re-scheduling it.

  39. Good article, but something’s niggling at me. The US spends about 16% of GNP on healthcare, compared to 8-10% in Europe, where you get to choose/keep your doctor, they live longer and healthier than the US, no-one faces unforeseen $100k or $500k medical bills that bankrupt them, they can buy private cover if they want, and most polls show these systems are hugely popular, not just with a few, but with half, 3/4 or even 80% of the voters. OK, these are ‘socialist’, but if it works??

    1. They aren’t living longer due to single-payer. I would like the life expectancy controlled for fatal car accidents/murders? What about cancer survivor rates? How many are being bankrupted?

      In the united states if it were to go single payer, where are all these savings going to come from??????

    2. vermont scrapped it due to the cost. there were no savings to be had

    3. vermont scrapped it due to the cost. there were no savings to be had

      1. it was so bad you had to tell us twice.

    4. 66% taxes plus a VAT.
      Free doesn’t mean what you think it does.
      You just pay for it through another vehicle.

      Add to that, the US enjoys the best medical care in the world. Bar none.
      You get what you pay for.

      1. I only know the England rates, which are: first $15k – no tax, then 20% to about $60k, then 40% above. Top rate is 45% on income over $225k. VAT exists but not on everything. Nobody thinks Healthcare is free, what they like is that it’s “free at the point of use”. You get sick, you get fixed, no paperwork. Makes it much cheaper in aggregate than where doctors and pill cos are selling product. And they all seem to like it a lot. Suspect every rich country thinks its own healthcare is best. Mainly a trust thing, and not really knowing much about the others.

        1. Yea that is a terrible deal. How is that making things affordable when half my income is going to the government so they can make choices for me?

  40. Jus sayin. Europeans manage it. Maybe Vermont is incompetent? 6-8% of GDP is a lot to waste for not having the label ‘socialist’. Just peal off the label? Call it ‘efficient’, ‘effective’, ‘cheap’, ‘popular’, ‘worry-free’, or whatever

    1. The united states is top 3 in public health spending per capita with just medicare, medicaid, VA and others WITHOUT singlepayer. This doesn’t even include what is currently private.

      If what you say is true, single payer can be currently managed on the current medicare/medicaid/VA budget now for everyone. Do you think this is feasible? This would bring us in line with all those other countries.

      Bernie’s medicare for all is significantly more coverage. It will be very expensive.

    2. http://www.oecd.org/health/exp…..glance.htm

      The united states is number 3 in healthcare spending in public dollars (dark blue) without full single-payer

      Also in the UK, if you are over 70 aren’t you essentially screwed?

      How about making it voluntary? I would like options and not a government monopoly.

    3. Europe has public schools. America has public schools.

      Europe spends less per pupil, and gets better test scores.

      Merely copying institutions doesn’t always work.

      The ACA copied the Swiss system. We don’t have Swiss costs.
      Medicare/Medicaid copied the French. We don’t have French costs.
      VA system copies the NHS. We don’t have British costs.

      Therefore, its not as easy as you think. Especially rolling back doctors and nurses salaries like you’d have to to match Europe.

    4. Europe also doesn’t allow runaway lawsuits like the US does. Funny how all the faggot cookies who preach about government healthcare bullshit being so wonderful neglect to mention that little tidbit. As the the progtards are in thrall to the trial lawyers, that will never happen in the US.

      Getting government out of healthcare, and restraining the ambulance chasers will do a lot to fix th healthcare problems the progtards have created. Not doubling down on socialist bullshit.

      Nice try though.

  41. of course, it goes without saying that given bernie’s belief that the government should simply do what the american people want at any moment, he will admit that he was wrong to initially oppose the preemptive invasion of iraq under w. bush. or that gay marriage, until recently, was a travesty. or….well, this could go on for a while.

    while i hold my breath, it should be noted that this gives him a way to raise more money for his promises. we could eliminate congress completely and replace it with a pollster who would simply tell us what’s next.

    1. Yep you nailed it. That is idiotic logic at its finest.

  42. $15/hr wages: You will pay for it. Period. Or that company goes under. Double the wages, double the price of that good.
    Free tuition? No free lunch. You will pay for it. Period. All the countries that have “Free tuition” have 66% taxes plus a VAT.
    90% tax rate for $250K+? Look around, most businesses are small, why would anyone work 80hrs/week just to see 90% of their profit go to the leviathan known as the Federal Government.
    Litmus test for SCJ have been decried repeatedly by both sides. Candidates could simply say their position “evolved”.
    Worst, Citizens United was rules as free speech, and rightly so. If we have a press controlled by one side, you can’t gag the other, you will have riots in the streets.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Bernie. In many ways he is the most honest, trustworthy, likeable candidate of the bunch, but he is Extreme Left, and this country will never go that far left in my lifetime, perhaps ever.

  43. $15/hr wages: You will pay for it. Period. Or that company goes under. Double the wages, double the price of that good.
    Free tuition? No free lunch. You will pay for it. Period. All the countries that have “Free tuition” have 66% taxes plus a VAT.
    90% tax rate for $250K+? Look around, most businesses are small, why would anyone work 80hrs/week just to see 90% of their profit go to the leviathan known as the Federal Government.
    Litmus test for SCJ have been decried repeatedly by both sides. Candidates could simply say their position “evolved”.
    Worst, Citizens United was rules as free speech, and rightly so. If we have a press controlled by one side, you can’t gag the other, you will have riots in the streets.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Bernie. In many ways he is the most honest, trustworthy, likeable candidate of the bunch, but he is Extreme Left, and this country will never go that far left in my lifetime, perhaps ever.

    1. sorry, double post.

  44. “All the countries that have “Free tuition” have 66% taxes plus a VAT.”
    66% seems to be top rate only in one EU country (Sweden)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_of_Europe
    In fact only 4 of them are above the US across all income taxes.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ List_of_countries_by_tax_rates (sort by max rate)
    Sweden’s top tax rate is only on income over $500k. Anyone on less than $150k pays about 28%. Until about $90k, it’s 7% (first $25k no tax).
    http://www.ekonomifakta.se/Fakta/Skatter/ Skatt-pa-arbete/Marginalskatt/
    True, plus VAT.
    Need to keep to facts here guys, if we’re not to get sucked down the rathole of idealogy

    1. Your links just list max rate. Does not say anything about when they kick in. Can you provide some more info?

    2. I can’t even read your last link.

  45. Had to break links – just delete the space to add text to the right. Kick points are in there. Swedish one has a nice slider.

    1. This is irrelevant to my question. Where in those links does it say it is over 500K? The wikipedia links just say top tax rate. It gives no threshold. And i can’t read swedish.

      1. The second link gives both min and max, and lots of refs so you can find the full scheme in each country.

        1. Sorry nothing in there bud about 500K or 150K or 7K:

          Sweden 22%[121] 31% (first USD $2,690 pro anno is deductible) 59.7%[122][123] 31.42%[124] 25% or 12% or 6%[125]

          Are you making stuff up??????

          1. Where is the 150K, 500K, 90K and 25K threshold numbers???????

          2. Where is the 150K, 500K, 90K and 25K threshold numbers???????

        2. Here are the columns: corporate tax, income (min), income (max), payroll and VAT

          They are all rates for sweden.

          You aren’t helping your case.

          1. There were no thresholds. Back up your claims.

            1. It’s a bit rich to ask me to back up my claims – I was pointing out that ConstitutionFirst was off base.with
              “”All the countries that have “Free tuition” have 66% taxes plus a VAT.””
              but since you need more, try this:
              http://www.salon.com/2014/11/02/ 7_countries_where_college_is_free_partner/
              and this
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ List_of_countries_by_tax_rates
              Germany has a top tax rate of 45% (lower than US) and free education. QED.
              (you need to delete the space again to reassemble links.)

              1. Why you are the one making claims that you refuse to substantiate?

                Salon? Really? What does free college have to do with your tax rate claims?

                You said, “Sweden’s top tax rate is only on income over $500k. Anyone on less than $150k pays about 28%. Until about $90k, it’s 7% (first $25k no tax).”

                The top tax rate in the US is 40% federal. Is the German 45% the entire country? Do they have local or provinces?

                You were on healthcare, then deflected to tax rates and now are pivoting to education. No where have you validated or backed up what you claimed above.

                And then say QED. How do you expect to convince anyone when you flat out make stuff up?

              2. Your links don’t back up any of your assertions regarding Sweden and the threshold. I posted the numbers in your own link

                Where are you getting it?

                1. Once again I find myself looking up stuff that you could easily find, but here it is:
                  http://taxsummaries.pwc.com/uk…..ts.nsf/ID/ Germany-Individual-Taxes-on-personal-income
                  PWC says (as I did) that the top rate in Germany is 45%. and “There are no local or state income taxes levied in Germany”.
                  Germany has free education.
                  Therefore, the assertion that
                  “All the countries that have “Free tuition” have 66% taxes plus a VAT.” is not true.
                  As I also pointed out, the top tax rate in the US is higher than Germany’s highest rate.
                  Now I do need to stop spending time on this – but it’s all there for you.

                  1. Then link Sweden. You claimed it…back it up. Now you are going off on other tangents for what reasons i am not sure but i can guess. You are making stuff up.

                    The united states does have “free education”. What are you talking about??? In germany can you provide details on college…what is the nitty gritty of it?

              3. So then, you’re aware that Germany’s taxes amount to about 40% of GDP, relative to the US at about 26%? Yeah, that sounds like a much better deal. FYI, most of the other European countries aren’t much better, or are worse, like France at 44%.

                1. Germany’s ideologies are what God’s Own Party eventually embraces as its own. In 1932 Republicans were soooo pissed that beer had been rescheduled as a non-narcotic (thanks to the American Liberal Party platform of 1931), that they imitated Germany’s National Socialists by adopting “liberal” as the economic epithet equivalent to “kike” in its post-1932 vituperation. With any luck, rest homes and klaverns will soon resonate with disgruntled shouts against “libertarians”–the new L-word.

  46. //That’s pretty much the definition of conservatism//
    Ahh… no. Not in politics it isn’t and you know better.

    The conservative movement doesn’t want to go back to the disastrous policies in semi-recent history of sky high taxes. Nor do they argue this is the way we’ve always done it- that is just not a common argument across issues like you seem to want to make it. Who argues that for lower taxes? Who argues that for cutting government spending? Who argues that for eliminating government departments? Libertarian arguments are fairly common among conservatives on these core issues. Can you find someone who argues that for some position? Sure, but don’t try to characterize a movement by its outlier minority positions.

    1. grrr wrong window. oh well :/

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  48. Old bird where are the substantiation this claim of yours. Your links say nothing of the sort. And now you are telling me to find it myself…why? you said it was in the links which it clearly wasnt

    “Sweden’s top tax rate is only on income over $500k. Anyone on less than $150k pays about 28%. Until about $90k, it’s 7% (first $25k no tax).”

    You aren’t helping your case for bernie sanders

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  50. “With a Republican-controlled Congress?or one remotely close to its current makeup,” Andrew Kirell wrote in a widely circulated column at The Daily Beast, “President Sanders would have a tough time getting his most radical economic policies passed, leaving him to fight for the civil liberties causes that matter to liberals and libertarians alike.”

    Except that if Sanders one, it would imply Democrats winning down ticket as well.

    So, there is a large risk with Sanders that a Sanders win also means Demcorats take the house and Senate and then they can merrily pass a lot of their agenda thanks to their mandate on economics, despite the cries from libertarians that they just meant for the civil liberties portions to be done!

    In fact, I bet he’d keep all those violations in place as part of his “compromise” to get his programs passed. Obama used the threats of cuts to the military to get the GOP to fund all of his pet projects.

    1. if Sanders won.

      Seriously, my 20 year old self would mock such a mistake, and yet my 46 year old self now thinks phonetically.

    2. Is it just me or is there an overpowering odor of soiled Republican geriatric diapers alluva sudden?

      1. It’s just you. Now go jerk off to some videos of late term abortions or something.

  51. I have never really read much about libertarianism or the party, but from the comments here about Bernie and his positions I can only say that thank god that you have a trivial number of adherents – 250,000:

    “How large is the Libertarian Party?

    In terms of political activity (i.e. number of candidates, access to the ballot, and elected office holders), the Libertarian Party is the third-largest political party in America. We’re active in all 50 states andhave more than 250,000 registered voters.”

    And that you’ll never likely determine any policy in the US.

    1. So….you’re feeling the Bern?

    2. Just as those paltry few sheepdogs never determine the direction of millions of sheep in Australia, right?

  52. Now that there is no nuclear-tipped Soviet Union to weigh in, Bernie or the Mizzus’ again beating God’s Own Prohibitionists looks like the lesser of two bad deals. Either way, child-shooters and antiabortion fanatics will be tarred and feathered and returned to the Prohibition Party on a rail, where their pitiful number can be seen and measured. Plus, there is no way the LP can fail to benefit from the affray–provided “our” candidate MENTIONS THE LIBERTARIAN PLATFORM instead of tsk-tsking into a lace hankie abt how bah-bAAArically the looters are savaging each other’s candidates.

    1. Are you trying to sound clever? If so, you are failing. You are on the border of incoherence.

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