As candidates announced their candidacy several months ago, it seemed inevitable that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination.
However, Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist from Vermont, quickly gained traction in polls. It’s not surprising considering his platform. He is promising things like free college for all Americans, an expansion of Medicare to give everyone health insurance and the creation of a million jobs for disadvantaged youth.
All of his promises sound good — too good to be true, in fact.
With all of his promises, he has offered only vague explanations of how the government would pay for all of his proposals.
According to The Wall Street Journal, his proposals would cost $18 trillion. The U.S. already has a large deficit, and assuming he could pass his proposals in Congress, Sanders would greatly increase the deficit as it’s finally starting to decrease.
Sanders, for the most part, plans to fund his absurdly expensive proposals using the wealthy. However you feel about increasing the tax rate on the wealthy, it cannot be the answer for Sanders’ entire agenda. There’s a limit to how much increasing the tax rate of the wealthy will increase revenue.
As Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, says, “You could get more from the rich than we currently get, but it’s not a bottomless pot.”
Plus, even with his current increases on the tax rates of the wealthy, he has not come up with a plan to fund the most expensive part of his platform: expanding Medicare to give all Americans health insurance.
Also, Sanders does not seem to understand how the economy works when he proposes these sweeping reforms that would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. To find proof of his ignorance of the economy, one must look no further than his Twitter account.
Recently, Sanders tweeted the following: “It makes no sense that students and their parents pay higher interest rates for college than they pay for car loans and housing mortgages.”
One of the pillars of Sanders’ platform is making education affordable (and eventually free.) But his Tweet is a perfect example of his lack of understanding of the economy.
Interest rates on student loans are actually higher for a reason. There is simply more risk. Car loans and mortgages are secured by collateral. Student loans, on the other hand, mostly just hurt one’s credit rating if he or she does not pay.
The cost and economics of his proposals are shocking, but that’s not the only issue. Obviously, no Republican would support Sanders’ agenda. However, many Democrats would hesitate to support many of his proposals, which leads me to another problem, if Sanders were elected president.
He has such ambitious ideas for the U.S., but he’s so far to the left that it’s doubtful that he could get anything done.
Sanders agenda, and socialism in general, sound good in theory, but it is simply not feasible.