by Alex Symington…….
These last few days I’ve been thinking how am I going to resolve my internal conflict with my total loss of faith in our ersatz “two party” system, but still be some kind of participant? Just when I was going to resign myself to the grim idea of the “choice” between Hilary and “Jeb” (whoever), along comes this disheveled rumpled suited Vermonter-via-Brooklyn guy named Bernie Sanders. Here is someone who is unafraid to speak the truth and just when I was at my apex of despair in this God forsaken shadow of a former great republic he has pulled me back in! Bernie is saying things that I say and things that I believe, such as; we need to raise taxes on the super wealthy, we need to close tax loopholes for large corporations that ship jobs overseas, we need a constitutional amendment to ban big money in politics, we need to enact a single-payer healthcare system (all O.Care does is add public money to the private insurance industry, you would think the radical right would LOVE that!), we need to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, we need affordable, if not free college tuition for all qualified students, equal pay for women, a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage and expand social security, Medicare and Medicaid. I call that a people’s platform if ever there was one!
The Hyper-Capitalist radical right regime would have us believe that Social Security is in danger of drying up tomorrow if we don’t make cuts and raise the retirement age. Poppycock! “Today, the Social Security Trust Fund has a $2.8 trillion surplus,” Sanders said. “Social Security can pay out every benefit to every eligible American for the next 18 years, but listen to this; if income inequality had stayed at the same level as it was in 1983, Social Security would have $1.1 trillion dollars more than it does today, and it would not just be solvent for the next 18 years, but for the next 38 years. In other words, it’s not just that income inequality is wrong unto itself; it has significantly hurt the lifetime of Social Security.
As for corporations being people and money being free speech, here are a few interesting Republican poll numbers by CBS/NYT :
– 80% of Republicans believe that money has too much influence in our politics.
– 54% believed that most of the time candidates directly help those who gave money to them.
– 81% of Republicans felt that the campaign finance system needed fundamental changes (45%) or a complete rebuild (36%).
– 64% are pessimistic that changes will be made to reform the campaign finance system.
– 71% want to limit the amount that individuals can give to campaigns.
– 73% felt that super PAC spending should be limited by law.
– 76% thought that superPACs should be required to disclose their donors.
These numbers reflect the reality of the people’s historic American sense of fair play that transcends political party affiliation and we are ready for leadership that represents the people, not Corporate.
The reason our higher education has become increasingly unaffordable and therefore unattainable for many promising students is the practice of greedy lenders that borrow money from the Fed at 0.75 percent and turn around and gouge our youth charging anywhere between 3 and 11 percent. These parasites are called “bankers” and they hobble college graduates with crushing debt before they can even start a career (yes, and good luck finding work). This is a perfect example of private business using public money to profit at the expense of that public. It is a disgusting scheme that should be outlawed. We need to cut out the middleman and have the Fed loan directly to the students or better yet provide free education and halt the nation’s dwindling intellectual global relevance.
Senator Sanders quipped, “The folks who control politics in America, the people who control the media aren’t particularly interested in that discussion. They’re doing just fine. Ninety-nine percent of all new income being generated is going to the top one percent. The top one tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. ‘What’s your problem? Things are going just great.'” Sarcasm aside, Sanders pointed to Denmark, where most education is free of tuition and health care is universal. Sanders facetiously continued, “But that’s democratic socialism, we don’t want to talk about that, do we? We love the current system, where we have massive wealth and inequality.” Yay Corporate Oligarchy! (I added that)
Bernie had this to say on healthcare, “The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to its people. Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care with worse results than other countries that spend far less. It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage. It is time for the United States to provide a Medicare-for-all single-payer health coverage program.”
While making the case for a single-payer system nationwide, Sanders applauded his home state of Vermont for its progress toward developing its own single-payer system which could become a model for the nation.
So far the biggest complaint on Bernie from the radical right is, “He’s a socialist, for God’s sake!” That may strike fear into the hearts of the boomer generation because of the Pavlovian training we received in the fifties and sixties, but today’s youth don’t suffer that affliction. Their view of socialism isn’t seen with the jaundiced eye of the sixty and seventy somethings. It actually is seen as a reasonable and reasoned form of government social responsibility blended with an intelligently regulated free market system that works quite well in many countries.
He ain’t pretty, but Bernie is actually speaking on behalf of the people. I repeat: Bernie is speaking for the people in a refreshingly candid, up-front manner. He is treating us like the intelligent thoughtful adults we are. He does not talk down to us and is a real, honest-to-God populist, unlike Hilary, who only plays one on TV.
More from other sources…