Rebutting Comrade Bernie Sanders
“Corporate greed” is not what’s driving rampant inflation, and a “windfall profits” tax isn’t going to fix it.
Against the warnings of even their own economists, Democrats unnecessarily pumped trillions of dollars into the economy as “COVID relief,” which lit the fire of inflation. CPI is nearly 14% higher than when Joe Biden signed the grossly misnamed American Rescue Plan. Obviously, Democrats aren’t interested in fixing things and they’ll die before accepting any blame, so they need a pre-election scapegoat. The one they’ve trotted out for slaughter is a familiar one: “greedy corporations.”
You don’t have to be an Ayn Rand disciple who touts greed as good to realize that when corporations do what’s best for their bottom line, it ultimately serves the customers who buy their products or services. What good would it do anyone for a company to be so altruistic that it goes out of business?
This is, of course, a foreign language to career statist politicians who have no experience in the private sector. Politicians like Bernie Sanders, who wrote an op-ed at, of all places, Fox News, where he expects to persuade … who exactly?
He begins by acknowledging that voters are and should be “expressing deep concern about the state of the economy and inflation.” He lays out why: “Today, we live in an economy in which the billionaires are getting much richer while working families fall further behind. Unbelievably, while 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, we now have more income and wealth inequality than we have ever had in the history of our country — with three multi-billionaires owning more wealth than the bottom half of Americans.”
Gee, maybe voters should think about holding accountable those who’ve been running the White House for the last two years and Congress for four.
Except that’s not what Bernie means at all.
“During this political season it is easy to blame President Joe Biden and Democrats for inflation,” Sanders says. “But that’s just not accurate.” Fact-check: Yes it is. The only reason Sanders, Biden, and other Democrats have been harping on the “greedy corporations” line for months now is because they realize voters are about to hold them accountable for terrible policy.
To be sure, Democrats do sometimes complain about things that are actually problems. It certainly doesn’t seem right that the elite gained so much while the rest of us increasingly struggle. Sanders laments that “the CEOs of major corporations now make nearly 400 times more than their average employees,” which definitely seems a bit imbalanced.
He also argues that inflation is “an international crisis,” which it is, though that doesn’t absolve Democrats. He manages to find a handful of countries where it’s worse — primarily in war-affected Europe — without listing all the nations where it’s not remotely as bad.
Sanders points to the evil oil companies as the real reason for inflation. “The profits of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell skyrocketed by 169% so far this year to $125 billion.” Gosh, that sounds bad. Until you do the math. Profits are up so drastically because oil companies previously lost money when they were almost literally giving oil away while shutting down production left and right amidst plummeting demand caused by government shutdowns. When demand roared back, goosed by “free” government money, prices and profits went up. That’s basic economics.
But never mind that. The Vermont socialist echoed Joe Biden in calling for a “windfall tax” to rectify this supposed inequity. Why? Because the rich don’t “deserve” anything else.
Meanwhile, as noted above, not only does Sanders reject blame, he stubbornly vindicates the loving care provided by the Democrats’ nanny state. “I apologize to no one,” he repeatedly said, for having “provided” direct payments to families, expanded unemployment benefits and the Child Tax Credit, and redistributed money to various other favored things. Democrats “provide” nothing. Government takes from some in order to give to others. In private practice, that’s theft. In Bernie Sanders’s world, it’s reason to vote for the thieves.
Finally, never forget that Bernie Sanders is the guy who once opined that bread lines are a “good thing.” He’s also a hypocrite who makes three times the median household income, is worth $2 million, and owns multiple lavish houses. Forgive us if we don’t take his advice on anything.
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