Sep 252015
 

bernie-sanders-portrait-03

by Alex Symington…….

In case you didn’t know, there are other candidates besides Hillary Clinton vying for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Recently the heat has been turned up on the Democratic Machine and the DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to be more inclusive of other Democratic contenders. However, Debbie is making it clear she is not interested in anyone other than her presumed future boss, Hillary, and is obstructing a growing demand by the left to give voice to Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and others. This attitude is the antithesis of democracy. Many would like to see more debates and fewer restrictions on debate format. Meanwhile in the right camp there is Donald Trump and his adoring 24/7 corporate media coverage. After the latest three hours of intellectually empty calories of Republican debate Carly and Ben are doing a little better. Whatever. Unfortunately fact checking is not included in the post-debate analysis.

The Donald continues to get more coverage than Kim Kardashian’s caboose, but I want to talk more about Senator Bernie Sanders. In the past Bernie was completely ignored by the corporate press, but with his poll numbers steadily rising and the largest rally attendance of any candidate, right or left, he has become impossible to ignore. He isn’t as entertainingly bombastic as Donald Trump, but he identifies the very real problems facing working and middle class Americans (the vast majority) and offers practical achievable solutions. Conversely, The Donald has “a good plan” and when asked to elaborate, he says, “It’s a very good plan”. Yes, very impressive, if you’re running for middle school student council.

There is media coverage and then there is media coverage. While Trump, Fiorina and the rest are given passes on outrageous and factually challenged pronouncements, our fake fourth estate incessantly repeats that Bernie is “unelectable”; too left, too old, too Jewish, too socialist…in other words a long shot like that guy with the funny name, Barack Obama.

Considering all this repression and/or negativity Bernie’s message is still getting out there and being enthusiastically received. A quick synopsis of his proposals: Eliminate income inequality, promote a livable minimum wage, invest in our country’s future with tuition free state college for our young, single payer healthcare, invest in American infrastructure creating millions of jobs, break up the too-big-to-fail banks so if they do gamble and lose the tax payer doesn’t have to pay for their reckless behavior, end corporate welfare and tax havens so even those “corporations/people” will have to pay their fair share into the system that made their wealth possible in the first place, overturn citizens united (we all know corporations ARE NOT people), stop endless wars and wean us away from a war based economy, end police brutality and the militarization of civilian police forces, end the failed “war on drugs”, end privatization of prisons for profit and raise taxes on the one percent free loaders paying nothing or next to nothing.

In spite of a mind boggling 18 trillion dollar figure Rupert Murdoch’s “Oligarchy Journal” tossed out, the money is already there to make all these much needed changes possible. It just comes down to what do WE want to spend OUR money on; healthcare or endless war? US infrastructure or no bid contracts to fix other countries we’ve invaded and destroyed? Tax breaks, loop holes and kick-backs to oil companies or clean renewable energy? In a September 15 Washington Post article by Paul Waldman he explains, in terms even I can understand, we are already spending trillions and just publishing big numbers to frighten tax payers is just straight up textbook propaganda. A good example of apples to apples is this on healthcare:

“At the moment, total health care spending in the United States runs over $3 trillion a year; according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over the next decade (from 2015-2024), America will spend a total of $42 trillion on health care. This is money that you and I and everyone else spends. We spend it in a variety of ways: through our health-insurance premiums, through the reduced salaries we get if our employers pick up part or all of the cost of those premiums, through our co-pays and deductibles, and through our taxes that fund Medicare, Medicaid, ACA subsidies, and the VA health care system. We’re already paying about $10,000 a year per capita for health care.”

Shocking,right? Here’s more: “By the logic of the scary $18 trillion number, you could take a candidate who has proposed nothing on health care, and say, ‘So-and-so proposes spending $42 trillion on health care!’ It would be accurate, but not particularly informative.”

One last thing. “There’s something else to keep in mind: every single-payer system in the world, and there are many of them of varying flavors, is cheaper than the American health care system. Every single one. So whatever you might say about Sanders’ advocacy for a single-payer system, you can’t say it represents some kind of profligate, free-spending idea that would cost us all terrible amounts of money.”

Bernie Sanders’ ideas are not radical. They are pro-America and pro-American. He is an actual populist, unlike Hillary, who only plays one on TV. He is speaking honestly and respectfully to the people in a way no other candidate, right or left, is. As Bernie’s undeniable poll numbers rise Hillary is stuck with a conundrum. Bernie has consistently been civil when asked about his opinion of Hillary and her campaign so the Clinton camp must appear civil, as well (read: proxy swiftboating). Bernie is sticking to focusing on what he will do when he becomes president and completely avoiding the meaningless distraction of negative attacks on anyone, including Hillary and the right wing gang. My hope is the DNC will give ALL the democratic contenders more opportunities to show Americans what they have to offer instead of the self-fulfilling-going-through-the-motions ordination of Hillary Clinton.

More from other sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/09/15/no-bernie-sanders-is-not-going-to-bankrupt-america-to-the-tune-of-18-trillion/
https://berniesanders.com/issues/
http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/recent-business/sanders-proposes-roads-and-jobs-bill
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/32863-the-wall-street-journal-s-attempt-to-take-down-bernie-sanders-backfired
http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/the_far_left_needs_to_stop_worrying_and_support_bernie_sanders_20150919
http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/16/dnc-chair-refuses-to-acknowledge-bernie-sanders-effect-on-the-democratic-primary-video/
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/hillary-clinton-2016-proxies-attack-bernie-sanders-213359

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Alex Symington

Actively engaged human being distressed by the current global paradigm of destruction of the planet for short term profit by the global corporatocracy and the bovine reaction of the people most affected. I write essays and poetry in order to sleep at night.

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More Articles by Alex Symington Prior to November 2014.


 September 25, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Alex Symington, Issue #133  Add comments

  16 Responses to “Senator Bernie Sanders”

  1. Good article, Alex, as usual.
    Sadly, I think our next president has already been decided. No, I don’t know who and I don’t think my vote will matter.
    As for single payer health care, that is not likely to happen here because the profits are too big and the corporate stranglehold too tight. But it would be far cheaper in many ways. Few people realize that medical insurance is paid over and over again. It adds to your home insurance bill, auto insurance, workers comp, business insurance, and property tax. As well as your personal health insurance premium, you pay a Medicare tax supposedly for your future health insurarnce, You pay for the medical of others under Medicaid, VA, Tricare, politician’s lifetime insurance that may never benefit you. You pay for FKAA management’s retirement health insurance in your water bill as well as for the workers’ current medical insurance. A business must recover its insurance costs in the price of what it sells you. The list goes on, and explains why the insurance buildings are even bigger than the banks’. The same vehicle insured for icy roads in a well populated area of Canada costs about three times as much to insure in suburban Florida.The difference is in the cost of medical liability. Where an employer doesn’t pay extra for Workers comp in Canada, a roofing contractor here might pay as much for his workers’ insurance as his workers’ paycheck. But you actually pay that in the price of your new roofing.

  2. If we went to single payer universal healthcare,
    our savings, [compared to what ALL of healthcare
    costs us now], would be approximately 40%.

    Using your $42 trillion figure, Alex, our savings
    would be about $16.8 trillion per decade, [that’s
    $1680 billion per year].

    If we spent that money on infrastructure, energy
    and global sustainment, at $70,000 per job that
    could amount to 24 million full time jobs. That
    of course would increase our tax base enough
    to eliminate our yearly deficit and pay off all of
    our national debt in, [WAG], 20 years?

    That would be without decreasing any of our
    yearly tax expenditures, including military, AND
    we could staff all of the regulatory agencies to
    where they would be effective again.

    Note: At first glance, it might seem that if we took
    $1680 per year out of healthcare costs and put
    it all toward infrastructure, we’d simply be trading
    jobs for jobs. I don’t think so. We’d be trading
    red tape for actual hands-on accomplishment.
    Perhaps an economist could weigh in on this?

    Please, check my math and logic. It does sound
    too good to be true.

    Thanks for what you do, Alex… 🙂 pip

    • Lawrence, I can’t see how your numbers are wrong. Remember, Bill Clinton, by simply nibbling around the edges of public assistence and taxing the wealthy a bit more, BALANCED THE BUDGET. There is no hocus pocus here. America has the wealth to do what Sanders and you suggest without ruining the incentives to do business. All else is a lie. ciao, Jerome

    • Pip, the thrust of your analysis is indeed correct. It would not be simply “exchanging jobs for jobs.” It would exchange high velocity money from construction jobs for low velocity money going to executive bonuses and dividends. Money more widely distributed that gets spent creates an active economy leading to greater well-being for all, including the rich.

      I wrote a book about this, which apparently my friend Jerome forgot, with his adulation of BALANCING THE BUDGET. Bleah.

      • Rick,

        I just ordered your book, [used, but in VG condition], through Amazon. Thanks for your supportive comment, BTW.

        Isn’t it a dirty shame that Grover Norquist has never rescinded his anti-tax pledge? If only he were a True patriot…

        If you happened to be personally acquainted with Paul Krugman, perhaps you could get him to comment here? We gotta get serious nationally about this. Cause and effect! People may be ready to pay some real attention.

        pip

        • Mr. Piper:

          Shaquille Boettger does not understand the monetary system. if he did, he would be letting you know that the private creation of money (credit) is the single most destructive tool that the “elite” have wrought on the world, and responsible for the deprivation and enslavement of us all..

          Shaquille does not understand that national debts do not need to exist. taxes do not need to exist. the platform you should be arguing for is the elimination of privately owned and controlled money creation. public money created by the government, as non debt is the way to go.

          shaquille should also tell you that paying back the national debt is a mathematical impossibility. when the fed issues money (credit) they do so at interest. so if they create 1 dollar, they are owed 5 cents (an example). where does that 5 cents come from? they only created 1 dollar. it comes from the issuance of another dollar. then the initial 5 cents is paid off, but now you owe for the second dollar. and so it goes. you can never pay back the debt because you have to constantly create new money to pay for old. in other words, a ponzi scheme. shaquille, financial expert and author, should know this, but he doesn’t. his book is/was fiction.

          well, you only paid 40 cents for the book. it might make a good door stop.

  3. “The KW City Commission is a microcosm of the larger bodies of governance in neo-liberal America. Money beats the people’s needs and wishes every bloody time. Representative government, my ass.”

    Well Mr. Symington, it seems you understand that representative government is a myth, yet you regale us with an article extolling the virtues of a political candidate and the promises of nirvana if that candidate is supported and elected. Forgive my naiveté’, but just how do you reconcile that seeming contradiction?
    By the bye, Mr. Sanders, the “populist” voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, offering unqualified support. This “populist” also supported Clinton’s genocide in Kosovo. This “man of the people” also had peaceful demonstrators arrested at his congressional offices for exercising their freedom of speech when protesting his position on that little homicidal adventure. Yes, Bernie Sanders, a true beacon for democracy, and a fierce protector of the common man.

    How is it that you can recognize the fallacy of the system (though don’t fully understand it), yet participate in it as if it is legitimate? Sort of like how you can appreciate the anti-war wordsmithing of a war criminal like Ike.

    care to comment this time?

    • Keysbum, I have to admit, I am a bit surprised by Bernie’s support of the war, but it does not completely trump (sorry for that word) my support for him. As usual, you deal in black and white with no room for shades of grey. I’d be thrilled to have him as our President, something that will probably never happen because the status quo would never have it, thus proving that he could make a difference. No one is perfect, but coffee that is not hot enough is still better than cold coffee. I’ll take what I can get. ciao, Jerome

      • and as usual Mr. Grapel, you (and Mr. Symington) attribute to me assertions of character that simply do not apply. NO WHERE in my comment did i offer an opinion on Bernie Sanders. i simply stated his positions on policy, and what those positions define him as. there is no opinion there.

        my opinion of him though, is that he is simply a politician like all the others. check out his support of Israel and their slaughter of Palestinians. some of his ideas are great, but they are as obvious to any sane person same as they are obviously never going to be put into practice sans a revolution. he is no revolutionary thinker, no radical, and no visionary. he is a politician who found a niche’ to exploit.

        • oh, and yes, when it comes to committing murder while hiding behind the state, I am black and white.

          • Sure wish there was a Like button for your comment, Keysbum.

            The 50 shades of moral relativism along with the everlasting love of cognitive dissonance is the root of all evil and must be eradicated. That and the black goo I keep hearing about.

        • Keysbum, Sorry, but you are beginning to sound like a politician yourself. If what you said about Sanders is not opinions, then I’m Donald Trump. Hey, I find those opinions relevant and intelligent, but they are opinions. I think there is merit to what you’ve said, but I’ll still say “I’ll take what I can get”. If you think that is naive, I can live with and respect that. I believe that is entirely possible. ciao, Post Consumer Man

          • an opinion is a personal viewpoint sans the certainty of fact. all i did in that first comment was state sanders actions and how that defines him. those are facts.

            sorry to say that is not opinion, Mr. Trump.

      • Mr. Grapel:

        forgive my presumption, but if as you concede, “the status quo wont have it” as far as a bernie sanders coronation, you are tacitly admitting to a corrupted system in which you have no voice and your vote does not count.

        so i will ask you the same question that Mr. Symington can’t/wont answer: why do you participate in a system you know is not legit?

        • Keysbum, You’d have to be somewhere around the Missing Link on the evolutionary ladder to not realize the system is corrupted, but I’d guess you wouldn’t even bother with what you say in this publication if even you, somewhere deep within the innards and bowels of your being, didn’t believe that hope was still alive. Why would you bother if this were not the case? I still think our system is capable of reacting to the world around it. What happens within our political system can still be relevant. An example: if W. had not been handed the presidency, the world would be a far different place today. Now, you might say the shenanigans that gave him the presidency proves your point, but I say only the most precarious nature of that election made such shenanigans possible. KB, I share much of your pessimism, but the world is always in flux and my efforts along with anyone else’s, is still relevant. ciao, PCM

  4. Thanks for this Alex! Our Key West For Bernie Group is growing by leaps and bounds. Our first organizing meeting on July 29th at The Gardens Hotel drew over 60 people.
    We also have about a 60 person Facebook Page, “Key West Conch for Bernie” that we use to communicate our events and ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/403384443189544/

    Also.. if you would like to see videos of Bernie’s rallies…. as they happen… and all that have happened in the past few months, go to this You Tube Station… live.bernie2016.tv

    OK… listen to Bernie and Feel the Bern!