Democratic Convention 2020

Bernie Sanders Just Gave Joe Biden a Very Expensive Wish List

Is Bernie Sanders' mouth writing checks that Joe Biden's administration won't be able to cash?


Much of the first night of the Democratic National Convention pitched the nomination of former Vice President Joe Biden as a "return to normalcy" as viewers were bombarded with politicians, celebrities, and ordinary Americans expressing their belief that Biden is a decent and honorable guy who might restore some sense of dignity to the country's highest office.

The most notable exception to that theme came from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), the democratic socialist who finished second to Biden in this spring's primary campaign.

Sanders, of course, paid the necessary lip service to Biden's centrist, restorative avatar as well, but the senator also used his speech to look forward, effectively committing a future President Biden to an impossibly long list of progressive policy goals, from promising a $15 national minimum wage to a nationwide shift to renewable energy sources:

Joe supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This will give 40 million workers a pay raise and push the wage scale up for everyone else.

Joe will also make it easier for workers to join unions, create 12 weeks of paid family leave, fund universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, and make child care affordable for millions of families.

Joe will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and fight the threat of climate change by transitioning us to 100 percent clean electricity over the next 15 years. These initiatives will create millions of good-paying jobs all across the country.

As you know, we are the only industrialized nation not to guarantee health care for all people. While Joe and I disagree on the best path to get to universal coverage, he has a plan that will greatly expand health care and cut the cost of prescription drugs. Further, he will lower the eligibility age of Medicare from 65 to 60.

To help reform our broken criminal justice system, Joe will end private prisons and detention centers, cash bail, and the school to prison pipeline.

Biden has shifted noticeably to the left during the past year—and he's done so by working closely with Sanders and some of Sanders' top campaign advisers to craft a 110-page proposal that does indeed include many of the ideas Sanders touched on in his convention speech. The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force's recommendations also include some things Sanders did not mention, like canceling up to $50,000 in student debt for individuals who find work as educators and adopting more restrictive trade policies, as Reason's Peter Suderman has noted.

But even after Biden has been forced to tack left by an increasingly progressive Democratic Party, it seems unlikely that he would be able to accomplish much of what Sanders has described. Transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy within 15 years would require effectively banning fossil fuels. Someone should ask California how that is working out. Ending cash bail is a good idea, but it's a state policy that the president has little control over. And raising the minimum wage (a mixed federal/state issue) when the unemployment rate is around 10 percent will likely only make it harder for unemployed people to find work. Indeed, some states are facing pressure to freeze planned minimum wage increases due to the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifics aside, Sanders' speech at the virtual convention on Monday night was probably meant to accomplish two things: First, it's a signal to his most hardcore supporters that they should set aside any misgivings and vote for Biden in November—his lack of a full-throated endorsement for Hillary Clinton may have hurt her in 2016 (or at least she seems to think so). Second, it was meant to give Biden's rusty weather vane one more shove to the left.

But if progressives expect Biden to do all that, they will likely end up disappointed.

NEXT: No, Governor Cuomo, COVID-19 Is Not 'Just a Metaphor'

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  1. Is Bernie Sanders' mouth writing checks that Joe Biden's administration won't be able to cash?

    Not as long as the printing presses work.

    1. Sadly, this. I don't know why anyone would still be under the illusion that spending today will be paid for at any point in the future.

      1. Oh, it'll be "paid for". 8-(

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    2. Modern Monetary Theory. Look it up.

    3. printing presses?! we wish...those hacks in DC (TRUMP INCLUDED) don't even bother to print their fake fiat "money" anymore. it isn't even worth the salvage at a recycler

      1. Then send me yours and I'll recycle it. It will be my contribution to the green movement.

  2. Joe supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This will give 40 million workers a pay raise and push the wage scale up for everyone else.

    I'd bang my head against the wall repeatedly, but I don't want to damage the drywall.

    1. He’s worried about his new math getting 40 million workers a raise to $15/hour, when 50 million people just lost their jobs, most of them because governors and mayors wearing the same jersey made it illegal to work?

      Not only is he a fool, he can’t read a fucking room either.

      1. Everyone in the DNC virtual "room" agrees with him.

      2. "...most of them because governors and mayors wearing the same jersey made it illegal to work?"

        If you want to sell something you've got to create the need.

    2. Especially since you will have to pay more to have it fixed.

    3. Yeah, sheetrock guys are going to cost more now.

      But, why $15? I think they should demand $50!

      1. They already get $30/hour - just in wages - if they have any skills here in California.

        Our "prevailing wage" tables show them at $50, plus benefits.

  3. "It's ok, because Joemala won't do what they're planning on doing. Most important is orangemanbad!"

    1. Are you referring to the democrat Feels Up/Heels Up ticket?

      1. LOL. Thanks.

      2. Had my vodka blowing out my nose.

        I read Mary McNamara's opinion piece about Harris earlier today, in my local paper.

        Yeah, her hanging on Willie's arm all those years has nothing to do with her rise in politics. Sure. Just like Newsom's being backed by the Getty's didn't propel him to where he is today.

        CA politics is nothing but a giant circle jerk. And, Willie Brown was at the forefront of that long before the left's takeover of every political office here.

        As libertarians, perhaps we should forget getting into politics and instead, limiting their powers and making them impotent so we don't have to constantly worry about what they're doing next that can disrupt our freedoms.............left, right or otherwise.?

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  5. But was Bernie angrily flailing his arms and denouncing anybody who disagreed with him?

  6. Okay... Who's the jerk that forgot to deliver the suicide booths to convention?

    1. We're skipping the booths this year and doing it all through the mail.

      1. Time to let Ted Kaczynski out and get him to work.

  7. The only list anyone is going to give ol' Joe is the amendment 25 list of reasons why he isn't President anymore.

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  9. Poor unreason staffers.

    Its gonna be another Party of slavery loss to Trump this election and years of their refusing to accept that Americans will not move toward full blown Socialism.

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  11. I looked at the list of things Senator Sanders spoke on and I hardly see this as a shift left unless you are pretty far right from the start. Getting workers better wages, providing support for working families, providing access to health care, and working to maintain a good environment. Joe Biden's campaign will be a return to normalcy and that includes looking out for everyone. Will it cost money yes, but so does building a wall without purpose, so do increased military spending so we can blow up the world faster, so does a economy wrecked by incompetence, so does borrowing money to give tax cuts. You can call it a shift to the left but that seems to be the way the American people are going. People want health care, corporations know people want the environmental concerns addressed. Sadly we have two old men running for President, but Joe Biden is looking to the future and Trump is looking at his feet.

    1. Let's take those ideas one at a time.

      "Getting workers better wages": Money is not free. Yes, raising the minimum wage can get some workers better wages - at the expense of other workers who won't get any wages and of customers when business inevitably pass along their cost increases. Minimum wage laws harm the very people they claim to protect. They benefit only unions who don't want competition.

      "providing access to health care": Despite the rhetoric, the US population has some of the best access to health care in the world. We have lots of problems with the health care system but doubling down on failed government interventions in the health care market are not likely to solve any of them.

      "working to maintain a good environment": Again, despite the rhetoric, we have a better environment than at almost any time in human history. Air and water are cleaner than at any time since the 1970s. Quality of life is up. All of it was made possible by the excess capital of a high-functioning economy. Look around the world and you will see clearly that people can only afford "environmentalism" after there's food in their children's bellies. Sanders and his wing want to destroy the economy in the name of incremental improvements. Worse, they seem totally oblivious to the fact that most of their proposed solutions are actually more harmful to the environment than fossil fuels. Electric cars, for example, require vast quantities of heavy metals mined in countries that still exploit child labor. The lifecycle costs of those heavy metals (including their eventual secure disposal) vastly outweigh the savings.

      "Building a wall without purpose": Can't disagree with you there. That was a dumb idea at every level.

      "Increased military spending": I don't know what budget you're looking at but inflation-adjusted military spending is way down. We're barely at maintenance levels for the things we ask our military to do.

      "Economy wrecked by incompetence": The stock market is a remarkably effective predictor of the recent past and near future. The stock market disagrees with you - with one exception. Yes, we had lots of government incompetence related to this virus panic and yes it's harmed the market. Under our system of federalism, those lockdowns were the responsibility of state governors. No matter how much you want to "orange man bad", that's not the president's fault.

      But sure, continue to ignore reality and recycle stale campaign speeches. Just don't be surprised when the rest of us think Biden is rather less than the Second Coming.

      1. You are factually and logically correct, but your positions don't fit on a bumper sticker or in a tweet. So you lose.

      2. Thank you; that sounded much better than my succinct but foul response which was "you are a fucking idiot go sell your excrement somewhere else."

      3. Sorry, the economic effects of the administration's coronavirus policies are the administration's fault. Telling the CDC not to use existing tests on offer, and to spend weeks failing to create its own test so that the US would have a test to sell to others, obstructed the early testing and contact tracing that could have forestalled the massive shutdown and the three trillion dollar federal package. That's a monumentally big fail.

        1. Trump didn't tell the CDC not to use the tests on offer. They decided that themselves. Trump _did_ appoint politicians to head the CDC, replacing the politicians appointed by Obama - so there is his failure, not being _better_ than Obama. And his appointees believed WHO's repetition of the Chinese lies for too long, missing the chance to quarantine everyone coming into the US with possible Chinese contacts before the virus was running rampant in America cities - but you'd have been criticizing him for "paranoia", "racism", and "ignoring the experts" if he had done this.

      4. “providing access to health care”: Despite the rhetoric, the US population has some of the best access to health care in the world. We have lots of problems with the health care system but doubling down on failed government interventions in the health care market are not likely to solve any of them.
        One way to get affordable healthcare is to do away with medical insurance. Another is not to allow patenting meds since most research is paid for by the government and that would allow many firm to make drugs affordable.
        Once the medical industry no longer has access to insurance payments the costs will drop significantly. No more $50.00 dollar aspirin tablets.

    2. does our current national policy include all those things you ae wishing for? no? well, then implimenting them would be a shift to the left.

      your own opinions (and even mine) on where such policies should be are irrelevant to the factual analysis of where we currently are.

      nice try though.

    3. You really are a dope. He plays classic politics. He takes positions that, by their most shallow interpretations, are things that no one could disagree with and then just asks you to completely gloss over the prescription. The prescription of course, is government monopoly over every "troubled industry." Don't you mind the details, he'll figure it out for you. Just hand in your guns, give him total control of the economy and don't ask questions, and he can make all your wildest dreams come true without a single negative repercussion!

      Normalcy is looking out for everyone? If by everyone, you mean only bankers, weapons manufacturers or any titan of industry that can afford to make real campaign contributions. An economy wrecked by incompetence? You can look me in the eye and tell me that it's not NY and CA that have people fleeing in mass due to the economic policies?

      Everything he suggests has been tried before. They're not looking towards the future. They're doing the same square peg in round hole game that the left played for the entire 20th century to disastrous results. You're suggestion that government strong arming will turn out swell this time makes it seem like you have less of a sense of actual history than that poster child for Alzheimer's that your party has put up to lead the world from a bunker.

      1. Instead of "let them eat cake" he is using the "bribe them with other people's money" fallacy.

        It's a shame that so many can't see past those ridiculous outbursts.

      2. poster child for alzheimers...FUNNY, even as it's looking accurate, so yes we are going to hell for teasing him about it.
        our economy was hammered by the governors of the several states shutting things down, the distress we have now is not a federal thing or a trump thing. the wave of business closures is FAR worse than one would gather by tracking bankruptcies...MOST businesses simply pull up stakes and close. i am especially watching calif and hawaii. and it strikes me as extreme irony that the governors of those liberal bastions will be in line for federal relief. one needn't be a trump partisan, i am not, to be impressed by the pure bullshit peddled by the pelosi's and schumers of this world. they claim "we're in this together" but cannot seem to put up a targeted response plan to the covid's pure politics for them. fortunately the virus is far less deadly than they'd have you believe and it spares the kids

        1. Right on point mr murphy. who said your law is bad luck.

    4. Excellent post.

    5. None of those things, from Sanders or Trump, is the proper roll of the federal government. Lest you wish to be subservient to all of your betters.

      Get real!

      Or, invest in many jars of Vasoline. I'm told, it won't hurt so much.

    6. “......borrowing money to give tax cuts.”

      The same bloated assholes that waste trillions right now should get even more, eh mod?

      Why are you such an enabler for criminals?

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  13. Bernie is a political cuck.

  14. I used to think that the government being out of money would prevent this stuff. In the last year I have come to understand the government being out of money doesn't stop anything. Bernie is giving a list of demands that will be fulfilled should the Democrats ever get back into power.

    1. Wasn't that the idea behind what they called Reganomics? That by running up the deficit future congress-critters would be prevented (or at least slowed down) from doing more deficit spending and would presumably cut spending or something? Clearly those Republicans of the 80s underestimated the caliber of the people who were being sent to Washington by either party. They were more than ready, willing and able to drop a brick on the accelerator no matter how much revenue the government took in, and brakes be damned!

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    1. Turning tricks in illegal in my state.

  16. No one should have more than two mansions and one lakeside dacha.

    So, cheap whore Bernie sold out again. At least this time he's striking some hard bargains for his "death camps for political enemies" followers. Fifteen bucks an hour (with box lunches) for participating in Officially Recognized Riots and Protests. Protest organizers and inner circle will be on salary, of course. Six figures with bennies. Sign up now at >>link<<

    1. Will I finally be able to afford a Yugo?

    2. How many does Bernie have?

      I've heard his book advances were in the $Ms.

      This is America. One doesn't have to be smart to be rich. Just controversial.

      1. Not as good as the $65M cash advance Obama received for a book that he is way behind schedule in delivering. I doubt he can plead economic hardship and renege like he did on the $175K cash advance he received for his first book which he failed to deliver.

        Obama does not possess the intelligence or talent to write an interesting book.

        1. I wonder how an impoverished neighborhood organizer can be elected president and at a $400,000 salary for 8 years now live on multi-billionaire rows in Mass. and Hi?

    3. Socialism been berry berry good to Bernie.

      1. and Barry too.

  17. >>and he's done so by working closely with Sanders and some of Sanders' top campaign advisers to

    plagiarize the Sanders' campaign.

  18. We've got Biden's campaign on the one hand saying we're gonna make America great again by buying made in America products, and on the other hand we're gonna magically fund trillions in new spending. His campaign managers have managed to rip everyone off so far. He's an empty vessel with other people's ideas.

    You might just get this for the next 16 years. After America is sucked dry by the looters and wannabe socialists.

    1. The plan is to elect the feeler and kneeler and then suicide the feeler so the kneeler can take over and make the pelosi 2nd in command but will actually make her the puppet master.

  19. Why can't the democrats admit the limits of presidential power? Oh, right, honesty doesn't get votes. Does no one remember all the things Obama promised? Remember how Joe was supposed to shore up Obama's lack of experience and they were supposed to accomplish so much because of Biden's relationships in D.C. and his history of successful bipartisan legislature. Well how did that turn out? If the Democrats can't get a majority in the Senate, Biden's agenda is going to be a 4-year encore of the second COVID-19 stimulus package negotiation.

    1. That will happen when voting is limited to people of a certain IQ. Those who can at least minimally understand, the three branches of government and the balance of powers. Those who understand that the POTUS is not some benevolent dictator. And those who understand that government is not magic and cannot ignore basic science, nor "control" the economy or natural forces.

  20. "Joe will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and fight the threat of climate change by transitioning us to 100 percent clean electricity over the next 15 years."

    You could try asking Californians how increasing their dependence on "clean electricity" is benefiting them- well, the ones who still have power and are not shut down due to rolling blackouts, anyway.

    1. Has our infrastructure ever NOT been crumbling? It seems like that's the only way to refer to it. Not that I'm complaining mind you, as it keeps me employed, but not matter how much we spend our infrastructure remains and always will be "crumbling."

      1. Well, as an accountant I can vouch that depreciation is a REAL cost. And, all assets have a finite life.

        But, politicians and their supporters in the general public don't accept this.

        Hence, our infrastructure will always be crumbling.

        You should see the looks I get from people, bragging about their new car purchase and how that will free up their cash flow. I tell them they need to start saving for their next new car, right away. They think I'm off my rocker.

    2. That's a total pipe dream if I've ever heard one. Making Cali's high speed rail project seem like nothing.

  21. This is the same list that Bernie has been wanting for decades. That is why those who like him like him and those who don’t dont.

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