Bernie Sanders

#DemDebate, or How They Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Being Democratic Socialists

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Democrats have been complaining for years that Republicans have moved so far right that they’re not compatible with American democracy anymore. Republicans were fine before, they say, but not anymore! Weak-kneed Republicans who lose primary elections then decide to become media stars by switching to Independents (and eventually Democrats) and claiming “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me”.

[cue thunderous lemming applause]

But no one ever asks how far the Democrats have moved left. In their first primary debate of the 2016 contest Tuesday night, we may finally have gotten the answer. They’re all Democratic Socialists now, and proud of it (with the possible exception of Jim Webb).

Bernie Sanders, the Faux Socialist, Government-Loving Statist

sanders

This was originally posted at International Liberty.

 

It’s not often that I disagree with the folks who put together the Wall Street Journal editorial page. For instance, they just published a great editorial on that cesspool of cronyism and corruption that is otherwise known as the Export-Import Bank.

Isn’t it great that the voice of capitalism actually supports genuine free markets!

That being said, a recent editorial rubs me the wrong way.

It’s about the presumably quixotic presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. These excerpts will give you a flavor of what the WSJ wrote.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an avowed independent Socialist, has decided to run for the Democratic presidential nomination… He thinks the American economy is fundamentally unfair, and that government must tax and spend even more heavily… He thinks Social Security should increase benefits, no matter that it is heading toward insolvency. Higher taxes can make up the difference. …He wants single-payer health care, though his own state gave up the experiment as too expensive.

So what’s my disagreement?

Spending Proposals Down in 112th Congress, Fiscal Irresponsibility Still a Washington Habit

It’s no secret that Washington is addicted to spending. Though, it’s true that the budget deficit is expected to decline this year, after four consecutive years of $1+ trillion deficits, the decline is spending isn’t because of any actual spending restraint, it’s a result of gridlock in government.

But declining budget deficits don’t reflect the desires of many members of Congress. According to a new report from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), the net-cost of legislation introduced in 112th Congress (proposed increases less proposed cuts) would have increased the federal budget by $1.3 trillion.

Despite the large increase in federal spending proposed last year, the “BillTally” report has some encouraging findings. Demian Brady, director of research at NTUF, noted that there was a increase in legislation to cut spending.

“The 112th Congress saw a sharp rise in the number of bills to reduce federal spending, with 221 introduced in the House and 127 in the Senate,” wrote Brady. “This is the highest number of spending-cut bills NTUF has recorded since the 105th Congress (1997-1998) when there were 265.” The report also found that legislation to increase federal spending is “being introduced at a much slower pace than in the previous Congress.”

Federal Reserve is Conflicted and Interested

Last month, the office of US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released a report [warning: PDF] on the GAO Audit on “major conflicts of interest at the Federal Reserve.” I didn’t see this until just recently, but the summary is quite interesting:

 

Podcast: Afghanistan War, Huckabee-Maurice Clemmons, Bernanke Re-Nomination, Iran News & More, Guest: Stephen Gordon

Note: Brad Warbiany from The Liberty Papers was originally penciled in as a guest for the podcast, but some technical difficulties required a re-recording of the show.  He was missed on the final product, but we plan to have him on again in the very near future.

Jason and Brett were joined by Stephen Gordon, principal with Forward Focus Media for the re-record, as well as the original.

Together, they discuss:

2016 DNC Repudiates Bill Clinton, Swerves Hard Left

DNC 2016

In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton beat out incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush for the presidency, successfully branding himself as a Southern, conservative “New Democrat” who could be trusted with major responsibilities like national security and the economy. Fast forward nearly a quarter century and this week the Democrat Party is hosting its national convention for the purpose of nominating Bill’s wife, Hillary, as its candidate for president, and to adopt a party platform. In doing so, the Democrats have swerved hard left and, while Bill is still immensely popular with the Democrat base, this year’s Democrat National Convention is nothing less than an utter repudiation of the Bill Clinton presidency.

The Bill Clinton Democrat Party of 1992 was a center-left party, but the 2016 Hillary Clinton Democrat Party is a motley amalgam of far-left radicals, socialists, racial grievance-mongers, and card-carrying members of The Hate-America Club. This is abundantly evident in the convention backdrops, the platform, and the rhetoric used by its speakers, perfectly captured by the sight of Bernie Sanders’ supporters angrily waving “America Was Never Great” signs.

In case you missed it, the presidential primaries are over

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UPDATE: Trump has officially clinched the Republican nomination as of today.

It seems like it took five gruelling, facepalm-inducing years, but it was blink-and-miss-it news that the major party presidential primaries came to an all-but-official close this week. The result that we all predicted and dreaded six months ago: Trump vs Clinton vs …?

Although Bernie Sanders has not yet ended or suspended his campaign, the Democratic primary came to an arrangement this week that serves the same purpose. Hillary is less than 100 delegates away from clinching the nomination, and she seems content to coasting to victory.

dem-del

That victory will officially take place with California, New Jersey, and the final round of state primaries next month. In the meantime, the Clinton campaign has shifted ad spending from the primary battle to the general election, now focusing on Donald Trump’s lifelong parade of horribles.

Feeling the Bern, Hillary Turns to Bill on Economy

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Poor Hillary is feeling the Bern. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

It was supposed to be a coronation, not a dogfight. Her primary battle with socialist curmudgeon Bernie Sanders was supposed to be political Kabuki theater, with her dispatching the hapless but loveable (insofar as one can be loveable while embracing an ideology responsible for the deaths of a hundred million people in the last century) Sanders in a display of feminist power, the glass ceiling of patriarchal oppression shattered once and for all. Finally, a Uterus-Enabled American at the pinnacle of power!

Her path to the Democrat nomination was rocky from the start, having won Iowa by a hair’s breadth (0.3%), and then getting blown out in New Hampshire by Sanders. She and Sanders have since then traded blows, with Hillary leading the contests 27-20. With the Democrat super-delegates firmly in her corner the process was rigged for her from the beginning, but her inability to put Sanders away makes for poor optics, as they say, leading up to the general election.

That might explain why she is starting to get gimmicky in an effort to shut down Sanders and lock up the nomination.

Her latest gambit came this past Sunday when Hillary, speaking before a group of voters in Kentucky, said that she would put her husband, former President Bill Clinton “in charge of revitalizing the economy, because, you know, he knows how to do it.”

Bernie Sanders Just Another Tax-Evading Liberal Hypocrite

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Bernie Sanders has won the hearts of basement-dwelling socialists everywhere with his angry, septuagenarian rants against the evils of capitalism and the greedy One-Percent, his denunciation and vilification of America’s top earners and producers, and a market system he deems “unfair” to the poor and the middle class (he actually once argued that there are poor kids in America because consumers have too many choices of deodorant).

Sanders has also repeatedly criticized anyone who takes advantage of standard tax deductions in order to lower their taxable income, and therefore their effective tax rate, stating on his campaign website that “We need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on the ability to pay. It is not acceptable that corporate CEOs in this country often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than their secretaries.”

Democrats: Not just the ‘Party of No,’ but of ‘Hell No’

Warren Caucus

Gridlock and obstructionism will have a new face in Washington come January: liberal Senate Democrats. The incoming Democrat minority created a special leadership position for liberal populist Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), signaling a hard-left turn within the new minority.

“The best news about a Republican majority in the Senate is that the Republican minority is now gone. They were just a god-awful minority,” said Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

Moderate Democrats sided with Republicans on a failed attempt to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, an intiative that embodies the fight between the environmentalist Left and the pro-energy Right. And Americans should gear up for more fights along those ideological lines in the Senate. The liberal ‘hell no’ caucus is going to be a vocal and persistent minority over the next two years.

From one account:

Liberal Senate Democrats united to block the controversial [Keystone XL] project, even though their imperiled Democratic colleague Mary Landrieu of Louisiana begged them not to at a Democratic Caucus lunch on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a remarkable move for a group that has stood behind Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the years, as he sought to protect vulnerable moderates, like Landrieu and some of her now-ousted colleagues, from taking tough votes on divisive environmental, health care and social issues.


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