Ezra Klein of Vox interviews Bernie Sanders. Meh. Nothing particularly newsworthy there. But in the process of this softball interview, the question of immigration comes up. Read the exchange:
You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …
Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.
Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …
But it would make …
Excuse me …
It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?
It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.
OK, you can quit laughing now. Klein caught flat footed and gasping. Sanders echoes exactly what the right has been saying while at the same time trying to put the blame on … the right.
Yeah, no sale Bernie, but the rest? Right on. Nailed it. Oh, and about that $15 minimum wage … yeah, you just killed it.
In reality Bernie likens businesses who want cheap labor with the “right wing”. Hardly true but for many on the left, business = “right wing”.
However, to categorically call “open borders” a “right-wing” idea is simply absurd. It certainly isn’t the right in this country pushing for amnesty and open-borders (well, except for some establishment GOP types). It isn’t the right-wing that has established sanctuary cities. And it definitely isn’t a right-wing federal administration refusing to enforce immigration laws.
But you all knew that.
So what is Bernie telling us with all this nation-state talk? That maybe, its really a form of “national socialism” he prefers?
Oh, wait …
I’ve been reading about Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders announcing for the presidency. In reality all he’s likely to do is make Hillary seem “moderate” in comparison.
I guess what I don’t understand is why someone like Sanders is even taken seriously. Read Ed Driscoll at Washington Monthly’s “Political Animal“:
And despite Clinton’s great strength, [Sanders is] also perhaps the most credible seriously lefty candidate in living memory. He’s no Dennis Kucinich, doomed to become a figure of fun.
Really? When have any “lefty candidates” of his pedigree been “credible”? Socialism? It’s now credible? Where?
Venezuela’s bolivar is collapsing. And as night follows day, Venezuela’s annual implied inflation rate is soaring. Last week, the annual inflation rate broke through the 500% level. It now stands at 510%.
That’s just the latest example. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg there. The Bolivar is now more valuable as toilet paper (something that is impossible to get in the Socialist paradise of Venezuela) than money.
And now this “credible” socialist wants to take us down the very same path:
In his campaign “launch” yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders presented one of the most succinct, easy-to-summarize policy agendas we’ve seen from a presidential candidate in a long time. More progressive taxes. Breaking up the big banks. A constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. A carbon tax. A single-payer health care system. Expanding Social Security. Universal pre-k. Free college tuition. A trillion-dollar infrastructure program. A $15 an hour minimum wage. And a reversal of international economic policies that promote/allow job exports.
“Free” health care, “free” tuition, “free” pre-k, $15 minimum wage, more taxes to include a carbon tax, anti-capitalist laws to cripple the producers and spending of a trillion dollars on “infrastructure” (didn’t we just do that a few years ago?). This is “credible?” He is “credible?” In what universe?
Would someone please, please send Sen. Sanders a freaking book on economics?
Oh, and Ed Driscoll too.
Yes, our token socialist (declared socialist that is), during his filibuster of maintaining the current tax rates (i.e. calling for a tax increase), asks the question of the “crybaby rich” – “when is enough enough?”
He goes on to lambast the “rich” for being “greedy” and “addicted”. Here, listen for yourself:
But, in fact, who is the “crybaby” here? Who is “greedy” one calling for more and more money that he hasn’t earned and can only get by taking it from those who have? Who is it who is “addicted” to spending and refuses to acknowledge it, instead projecting all of his vices on those who actually work to earn their riches?
This sort of class warfare is destructive. Both literally and figuratively. Primarily it attempts to set the rest of America against those the Bernie Sanders of this world arbitrarily designate as “rich”. The purpose of such attacks is to dehumanize them and rationalize taking their money without guilt. It is also designed to deflect the issue to a lack of revenue vs. an addiction to spending and an outright greed for other people’s money.
And those who parrot the line that this will “cost” the government x amount of money are just as guilty. This isn’t costing the government one red cent. This is about keeping the tax rates we’ve had for over a decade current. Anticipated revenue based in a hoped for change in the tax rates is not a “cost”. Spending anticipated revenues before they’re authorized or collected isn’t a “cost” either – it’s a criminal breech of the public trust and addiction that needs to be stopped immediately. We aren’t in the fiscal shape we’re in from a lack of revenue – we’re in the shape we’re in because people like Sen. Bernie Sanders have spent other people’s money recklessly and without a thought to the future. And it turns out they’ve hocked our future and the future of our children and grandchildren through their profligate behavior. It is they who are the problem – not the "rich". It is we, the people of the United States who should be asking of Bernie Sanders, “when is enough enough”? The answer is “you had enough a long time ago and you’ll get no more – from anyone”.
If anyone is a crybaby, addicted and greedy, it is the man in the video. And it is men and women like him who need to be run out of DC post haste.
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