June 28, 2019

A Second Dose of Sanders’s Socialist Snake Oil

Prior to his debate performance, Bernie made the case against Trump’s “corporate socialism.”

The day before Bernie Sanders appeared on stage for Demo Debate 2, he wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed expanding on his socialist snake oil sales pitch. It was timed to provide him a platform during the debate to riff on the “virtues” of socialism, while slamming what he calls President Donald Trump’s “corporate socialism.”

What does that mean?

Well, Bernie explains, fossil-fuel companies, pharmaceutical companies, big-box retailers like Amazon and Walmart, Wall Street banks, and others in “the billionaire class” all get subsides and tax breaks. On the other hand, American workers, consumers, and patients “get the free market,” which Sanders says leads to “higher electric bills,” “an eviction notice,” “foreclosure,” “starvation wages,” and then “you die because you cannot afford the medication you need.”

You might say he painted a very bleak picture of Barack Obama’s eight years in office.

First, Sanders isn’t wrong to decry massive corporate subsidies or unfair tax breaks, though it’s worth noting that subsidizing certain industries isn’t the same as reducing individual tax rates; the former is a gift (or graft), while the latter is simply allowing people or companies to keep more of what they rightfully earned. Moreover, Sanders didn’t even mention the word “regulation,” which is the most insidious form of taxation and the way Big Business gets in bed with Big Government to ensure the new rules hurt the potential competition. Those Wall Street bailouts he rightly complains about were Democrat-sponsored corporatist graft that instead of ending “too big to fail” practically codified it.

But none of that is “the free market,” and Donald Trump didn’t establish all that favoritism. Career politicians like Bernie Sanders did.

Second, Sanders’s prescription is worse than the disease. Rather than just ending all the bad policies, he wants to implement them for the recipients he chooses. By way of a patriotically named “21st Century Economic Bill of Rights,” Sanders calls for a whole new laundry list of “rights” that he’ll force taxpayers to fund.

As fellow socialist and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put it in Wednesday night’s debate, “There’s plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands.” But never fear: Bernie’s just the guy to relieve you of it so he can pay for the “rights” of his constituents. Just trust him, he says, and he’ll be the one to finally get socialism right.

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