Posted on April 17, 2016
Socialism is the antonym of honesty
Seldom are presidential polling results as consistent over time and among different polling organizations as they are in concluding that the American people think Bernie Sanders is honest. That's the general perception of the Vermont senator, even among Republicans, but why? Is it just because people don’t see some unhinged, frothing blowhard hollering “Lyin’ Bernie” every five minutes on TV?
Many conservatives have made the mistake of crediting Sanders with being honest about his socialist ideology, as opposed to Hillary Clinton and the rest of their party, who have traditionally shunned the S-word as if it had head lice. In fact, Sanders himself hedges by calling his belief “democratic socialism,” as if that were somehow philosophically different. To the degree to which he embraces the socialist label, it’s only because he sees nothing to be gained by hiding it. That does not mean he is a characteristically honest man, as anybody should know, from the simple fact that socialism and honesty are mutually exclusive categories.
The centerpiece of Sanders’ campaign is his promise to provide free public college education, funded by a new tax that would be levied on Wall Street financial transactions. Actually, his plan only calls for the federal government to provide two thirds of the tuition funding, while mandating that the states supply the rest. He shows no concern for where the states might get the money, nor would he allow them to reduce their liability through cost containment. Rather, his plan requires that annual per-pupil spending be equal to or greater than it had been the previous year. Thus, he actually plans to make college more expensive once it’s free.
The tax, then, would only have to produce 67 percent of the needed revenue, but it’s highly unlikely that it would do even that. After all, it would suppress economic activity by design. Whatever amount was collected through the financial transactions tax would be mitigated by decreases in revenues from other federal taxes. Ultimately, the price of “free college tuition” would be increases in federal deficit spending throughout the duration of the program, combined with crushing amounts of federally mandated deficit spending by participating states.
One might ask how Sanders can force state governments to contribute all that funding. He can’t. If the states don’t want to take on that burden, they may simply decline to participate in the program. Because the plan only applies to in-state tuition, a student in a non-participating state could not avail himself of the “free” college in another state. It is likely that few states, if any, would opt to participate, in which case few if any students would ever receive this “free” government service. How adequately has Honest Bernie explained any of this?
The theme of the Sanders campaign has been his charge that the economy is “rigged” – but what is socialism if not the rigging of the economy? The opposite of a rigged economy is a free market, also known as capitalism. Tea Party conservatives decry the “too big to fail” bailouts because they made the market less free. Sanders’ objection, if he were honest, would be that the government was rigging the economy on behalf of the wrong people, not that he has a problem with the general proposition that the economy should be rigged.
Sanders vows to bring manufacturing jobs back to America, even though that’s exactly the kind of work that socialists characterize as exploitative and cruel. If manufacturing jobs began returning in significant numbers, President Bernie would chase them away faster than you can fall asleep reading Dickens. Sanders’ public hand-wringing over job losses is belied by the callousness with which he promotes onerous regulations and taxes. His “climate change” obsession, for example, is anti-industrial to its core.
As if that weren’t proof enough, Sanders tells us how he perceives the manufacturing sector when he weirdly complains that there are too many brands of deodorant on the market, and that this is why there are starving children in the world. If he thinks the manufacture of a product is a misapplication of funds, then how sincere can his pleas on behalf of The Workers be?
Socialism is the antonym of honesty. This must be so, because socialists would never be allowed to implement their philosophy if they presented it forthrightly to the people. To credit Sanders with honesty just for calling himself a socialist is no different from calling the chairman of the Liars’ Club an honest man, just because he admits to being a liar.
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