Sunday, February 21, 2016


Yes, I know.  It doesn't add up.

A gaggle of liberal economists, including a group who worked in the Clinton administration, but also some others (like Paul Krugman) have run the numbers, and the Sanders budget is just as far off as the nonsense the Republican candidates have been putting out.

Well, there's a good reason for that: nobody gets elected president by telling the middle class they will have to pay more in taxes, and financing single payer health insurance, more generous Social Security, free tuition at public colleges and universities, paid family leave etc. etc. doesn't come cheap.

You can't say Bernie has been totally misleading, though.  He has told us he's a socialist, and pointed to the social democracies of northern Europe as templates for what the USofA might be.  Social democracies have much higher tax rates than neoconservative plutocracies — the super-rich, all by themselves, can't finance all the benefits Danes and Swedes and even Germans have come to expect.  Anybody earning more that $200,000 — maybe even $150,000 — could expect to pay a lot more.

The thing that keeps some of us with Bernie, though, is that we think what we get as a society will be worth vastly more than what we pay in increased taxes.  It would be a major change in the American way of doing things — yes, a genuine revolution — but people like Bernie and I have been chasing that dream for about a hundred years now, and it's beginning to feel like it might finally be within reach.

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