My thoughts on Bernie Sanders Fox News Town Hall.
Good showing, smart political move, exposing himself to the broadest audience possible.

Bernie is still a Radical Socialist

Bernie Sanders with a mad face and his fist raised

Many questions were asked, and Bernie was exceedingly good at avoiding answering the questions by manipulating the conversation, but, that is what politicians do.  He was able to refuse to answer any questions about himself by obfuscating answers. In one instance he was asked if he if benefited from Trump’s tax bill. [ He did ] He was loath to admit it. He maintained he voted against it. However,  I found that remark very disingenuous, Bernie knew in this instance, his vote didn’t matter, that the bill was going to pass whether he voted for, or against it. One does not know if he thought his vote mattered whether he would’ve voted differently, because the outcome did directly effect his bottom line.

Bernie advised he and his wife had just released the last 10 years of their tax returns, maintaining that he paid all the taxes he owed, and of that I have to agree he probably did (because of Trump’s favorable tax law), but he then turns it around and says he would like to see how much Trump paid in taxes. Trump’s taxes are currently under audit, Bernie’s are not.  Also, it MAY have something to do with the fact that Trump’s taxes are probably wildly more complicated than Bernie’s. But to address that tax thing again, Rachel Maddow ( a rabid Trump hating liberal) DID get ahold of one of Trump’s old tax returns and was, oh so disappointed, when it showed, not only did he pay his “fair share”, but he had been exceedingly generous to many charities. The questioning then turned to charity.  Bret Baier said, after going over Bernie’s tax returns, it indicated he gave 3.4% to charity. My understanding is, biblically speaking, tithing is considered to be anywhere between 10 and 20 percent. My feeling on that is if it’s good enough for God it should be good enough for Bernie. After all, Bernie is, extraordinarily fond, of reminding everyone that the more fortunate among us need to pay their fair share.

Fair Share

Bernie’s idea is that  fair share is taken from the more fortunate at the business end of a gun (as we all know, the American tax system is nothing but coercion) and distributed by the government (which is the way of the socialists), when ethically and morally (in a free society) it should be a function of free will. As the adage goes “of those who much has been given, much is expected”. Bernie gives 3.4% and proudly proclaims that’s how he does it.

Meanwhile, Bernie could not help himself from disparaging Fox News (who gave him the prime time and exposure that he could not have otherwise gotten) almost every time he opened his mouth.

The conversation continued on with taxation still being the topic.  Bernie’s take on that is that the elderly who are currently living on Social Security which averages around 13K a year should be given a raise provided by higher taxes paid by those who are making over 250K a year so they can make sure their elderly parents have can live in dignity.

I say, if you are fortunate enough to be making over 250K a year, you should take care of your own parents and not expect the government to take care of them.

That is moral and ethical to me. Bernie then went on to say that “kids” who incur phenomenal amounts of student debt shouldn’t be burdened with it for the “crime” of going to college.  He thinks that the banks who offer and provide student loans should be charged a “speculation” tax. He also maintains that everyone should be entitled to a college education. His miscalculation about this is, college in and of itself is not a panacea. Everyone is NOT entitled to a college education nor do they need one. America has an overabundance of college graduates and a shrinking employment pool for them.  There are more candidates for college professors (Ph.D.’s) than there are teaching positions because fewer can afford to go to college.

What America is really in need of tradesmen. Plumbers, mechanics, bricklayers, steelworkers, roughnecks, upholsterers, etc. In many cases, one can go to a trade school in under 2 years and come out with a skill that will be of service to our economy and their future without amassing an overwhelming debt.

In his 2016 campaign Bernie previously suggested a tax rate of approximately 52% for the top earners in the country to which Martha MacCallum suggested that Bernie volunteer to refuse the tax break he received because of the tax reform Donald Trump was able to sign into law, to which Bernie countered that Martha (MacCallum) could refuse too, since she probably made more than him, to which she responded, she did not suggest the wealth tax nor was she running for president.  Sanders again wanted to know how much Donald Trump paid in tax. That made me think of a question.

Donald Trump is donating his entire presidential salary to charity, would Bernie be willing to donate his entire government salary back to charity? Somehow, I think not.

Next, there was a question from the audience that went something like this, the questioner opened with her definition of socialism.  I believe it was her own, but she framed it as if it were the definitive definition that deserved worldwide recognition of its validity.  The definition stated that socialism is just a society agreeing to work together, combining their resources to make sure everyone is protected and taken care of.  How, in the mind of the public could that be bad? Bernie then took another opportunity to take a swipe at his hosts for the town hall by making a sweeping hand gesture saying why don’t you ask  them.

I believe socialism (the concept) in and of itself is a good thing, however from what I’ve seen in history and current events, is in reality it never works, because it is counter to human nature.  

Bernie then went on to describe his thoughts on Democratic Socialism, and what I got from that is life is not fair and it is up to the government to make it fair. That to me is an absolutely ABSURD concept.  The government is so disconnected from humanity it may as well go into the business of producing unicorns for everyone. It is an impossible dream. In this instance Bernie truly reminds me of Don Quixote. It doesn’t even seem worth my time or energy to invest myself into such nonsense.  He also proposes the 1 person/ 1 vote concept so he can do away with Citizens United which he deems to be a horrible organization akin to the anti-Christ. One person one vote would do away with the electoral college which in my opinion is the only thing that keeps the elections fair and is central to the functioning of Republic.  If the electoral college was done away with the population centers – New York, California, Chicago and Washington would determine who won the election and would take all the rest of the country out of the blend. Tell me, how is that fair?

Bernie then went on to pontificate that he believes that healthcare is a right and not a privilege. It should be free and guaranteed.  I can’t believe he is serious. Who is going to pay for the education of doctors if healthcare is provided for free to the end user? And not only that but education should be free.  All of the “free” services” need to be paid for by someone, and the government is so monumentally inefficient with how they provide services that again, I maintain.

If the government is capable of accomplishing all the things that Bernie is suggesting they should be quite capable of providing us all with living breathing unicorns to play with!

Bret Baier then went on to frame the next question by referencing the book Bernie had written that made him A LOT of money and wanted to know if that was not the quintessential definition of capitalism.  That question seemed to take the candidate by surprise as there was a significant amount of dead air before Sanders was able to gather his wits about himself to give a one word answer – “NO”. There was a fair amount of laughter at this. Sanders then went on to talk again about how education and healthcare should be free. Later on in the discussion, he amended his original statement that is would be free, acknowledging there is a cost to it, but it would be free at the point of service.

The next topic addressed the fact that younger Democrat candidates are calling for a new generation to lead.  Face it Bernie’s party is the one who has the old white privilege man trope being spread around. Bernie came back with the tired old defenses.  My health is still good, I have lots of experience, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, it depends on what you believe in.

yadda yadda yadda.

Bernie then went on to call Donald Trump a pathological liar. I found that remark truly classless and  – hmmmm – I AM sounding alarmingly like a snowflake, aren’t I. Oops! My bad.

Bernie proposes a minimum wage for workers and indicates the wages for seniors need to be raised.  I have yet to hear how he proposes to cover that. He also railed about the crumbling infrastructure.   I also, without hearing how he proposes to pay for that want to call him out (again) for the Democrat habit of calling anything that does not increase government spending but holds the line on the current spending (which on both sides is completely out of control and working in make-believe land) a cut.                               

The next question from the audience was about healthcare.  The questioner wanted to know was why Bernie thought the government could provide better healthcare than the private sector and why should people who like their plans should be forced to switch.  Bernie’s answer was that Medicare, which is a program for seniors, is widely popular and quite effective. I, as a senior, could not disagree more with that statement. He also went on to say that the seniors he has spoken to will oppose any Republican effort to cut Medicare.  Again, his interpretation of a cut is no increase. He also said Medicare is not socialized medicine, but the VA is, and furthermore, the veterans think that is a pretty good healthcare system.

I would ask Mr. Sanders, if they do, then why did that vet recently walk into a VA hospital in MO and shoot himself in the chest because he could not get the help he needed?

He said the American Legion and the VFW staunchly defend the program. Well, it may be good enough for them but it is not nearly good enough for those who put themselves in harm’s way defending our American Republic. The way the Medicare program is set up, seniors are basically forced to participate in the program. It’s Medicare or nothing. Trust me, if I could opt out of this bureaucratic nightmare I would, and about it being quite effective I can’t begin to tell you how ineffective it is for me and mine.  

My fiance (also a senior) has severely diminished hearing. It is to the point of being a handicap. Many of the hearing professionals he has consulted over the years have outright told him he is a candidate for a cochlear implant, but because of bureaucracy they cannot recommend this form of relief so he has to go on with the inferior hearing aids (that help but do not come close to correcting the issue) and suffer through the hearing loss. So quite effective? I beg to differ. I myself am having a dental issue.  I was easily able to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan, the only problem was the cost of the work that needed to be done was approximately 12K (which, incidentally is about $100 less than my yearly social security benefit) and my wildly popular and quite effective Medicare covers nearly $200 of the cost. So if I were to opt to have the dental work needed that would give me approximately $140 a month to live on for the next year. Popular? Effective? I think not! This is the face of socialized medicine to me.

No thanks, Bernie!  

He then tried to indicate what he was talking about was a single payer insurance plan. What that means to me is everyone will have an insurance card and not have to pay premiums or have deductibles but the healthcare system and professionals will be so overburdened that it will be impossible for ANYONE to actually get healthcare. Healthcare will have to be rationed and the death panels, that Sarah Palin was so ostracized for having the audacity of bring up, would have to come into play. Barack Obama told a blatant lie, and he knew he was lying when he said the average American family would have a lower insurance premium, a lower deductible, and, if you liked your doctor you could keep your doctor.  That makes me suspect any scheme that is proposed by any Democrat is “exactly” what they say it is. Bernie’s argument is that the current system lacks stability, and he says that if the system is changed to Medicare for all it will always be there. Is that anything like the social security fund that is now in place whose funds are routinely stolen from (misappropriated) by the congress for other programs and whose existence is threatened of running out of money yearly? How stable is that?

Bernie went on to say that most countries pay for public healthcare the way we pay for public education.  I for one am exceedingly unhappy with our public education system. We have dumbed down more than a few generations of children and have not given them the tools they need to deal with life.  Cursive writing is no longer taught in public schools. That reduces children to depending on handwritten documents being “translated” into typeface for them to be able to read it. In the future who’s to say if the translation will be accurate or just what the powers that be (A.I., Google, etc) and those in control of those systems want them to think. The entire public education is dictated by government dollars. What the government wants them to learn is what they have to learn if they are to get passing grades in these schools. I think this is just another exquisitely bad Democrat idea.

The US Worker

The next question from the audience was how would Senator Sanders bring back jobs, such as steel jobs that have been lost due to trade deals that don’t favor America?   Sanders said he voted against NAFTA, resuming permanent normal trade relations with China, as well as the trans-pacific partnership (TPP), because they were written in agreement with the American leadership by multinational corporations to increase their wealth.  Bernie says the US worker should not be forced to take pay cuts to compete with countries who pay their workers next to nothing. I don’t know how that is possible. The other countries are there and are paying their workers next to nothing wages. How can that be eliminated without bringing our economy to its knees?

Martha and Bret then went on to ask Bernie about the relatively good economy and he characterized it as the world economy was bouncing back, no thanks to Trump and that most of the growth and new jobs continue to go to the very wealthy.  My limited research showed that employment for the least employed was at the highest rate it has been at since Obama left office. The unemployment rate for blacks dropped to 5.9%, Hispanics to 4.4%, Asians to 2.2% and women to 3.6%, but Bernie couldn’t leave it at that. He couldn’t resist going back to the uninsured and those who earn minimum wage. He said people shouldn’t have to struggle to feed their families.

And again, I say, if the left collected all the taxes they wanted from the top 1% of the population, it still would not be enough money for them to institute all of the programs they’ve concocted

My knowledge of economics (which I have to admit is limited) is in order for the minimum wage to be increased companies would be forced to make decisions to either cut the number of employees or close up shop completely.  Bernie then went back to his old tired song about the top 1% earners not paying their fair share. And again, I say, if the left collected all the taxes they wanted from the top 1% of the population, it still would not be enough money for them to institute all of the programs they’ve concocted, and they would succeed in driving the top earners out of business or out of the country and not give them an incentive to earn that money that currently keeps this and the worldwide economy running.

To be fair, he did acknowledge that tax law is complicated and he is talking about large profitable businesses. Again, that is something that I think everyone can agree on, however, the record shows when there is any type of tax increase it is usually the small business owner that gets the tax increase and not the huge mega companies. The next topic of conversation was Bernie’s support of The Green New Deal, Medicare for all, free college tuition, Bret Baier wanted to know if Bernie was concerned that it would speed up the debt clock that is currently more than 22 TRILLION DOLLARS. Bernie countered with maybe he would want to ask Trump that question. To be fair though I do have to admit that both the Republicans as well as the Democrats are equally responsible for spending money like drunken sailors, consequently driving up the debt and putting the worldwide economy in danger just because they both know that if they overspend the Fed will just print more money.  Boy, I wish I had a money tree like that in my backyard!

The Opioid Crisis

The next question addressed the opioid crisis.  Senator Bernie once again shifted it to cuts in the budget and what that would do to our ability to address the opioid crisis. In my, humble opinion the only way to reduce the debt IS to cut the budget and, as we have seen in the past, problems are not always solved by throwing more money at them.  Also, again, I have to point out Bernie’s opinion of a tax cut is to maintain current spending levels and not to increase them. These are most definitely tough questions and there are no easy answers. Bernie then transitioned to child care, then again back to college education and student debt. Again he is proposing a government answer to what should be a private matter and what should fall on the shoulders of the nuclear and extended families.  In the past grandparents were called upon to help with child-rearing and up until the 60’s generation in America they seemed to do a pretty good job. Again, back to the top 1% song again. He needs to find a different song to sing. I find it old and boring.

Justice

He then expanded his dissertation to justice. Another word that the left has been able to bastardize in their own inimitable way. Economic “justice”, social “justice”, environmental “justice”, and racial “justice”.  None of which follow the constructs of the english language. He seems to have left out gender equality “justice”. Here is my understanding of these terms as Bernie is stating them. Social justice translates to whatever makes me feel good at the moment. Economic justice translates to, put the little guy out of business and let the government determine who gets paid, how much they get paid, while taxing every working person who draws breath. Environmental justice is making mother earth your God while letting the global warming fanatics completely destroy the American economy and letting the governments of every other country in the world continue to pollute the world in any way they wish.  Finally, racial justice which invents bigotry where it does not exist, and requires reparations be paid by those who did not perpetrate the wrongs that were done to the ancestors who long ago died, and who would not know that any funds had been disbursed in their names anyway.

He railed that The Republican establishment, the Democratic establishment, corporate America, the drug companies, the insurance companies, and said the military-industrial complex needed to be taken on along with everyone else.  What he neglected to address was the government-industrial complex that he wants to replace it with. The very system that would dictate one’s every move from cradle to grave.

Immigration

Then the immigration issue came up. Bernie advised there were huge numbers of refugees that were fleeing violence and bad conditions in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. and Honduras, to mention a few.  That again, is something everyone can agree on. He said, “They’re not trying to sneak in, they are presenting themselves and requesting asylum.” True. What he is neglecting to mention is they have all been coached on what to say that will gain them access to the US. where they can get free healthcare and monies paid to them during their “transition”.   What he also said is we do not have enough judges to address the issue. Again, true. The problem I have with that statement is that the Democrat opposition to practically every judge that is nominated makes it impossible to appoint the number of judges needed to address the situation. He acknowledged it is a crisis and said we need to build more facilities to house the new immigrants.  And, yes, that would be a wonderful option if we had the TIME to build these new facilities, however, the overflow of immigrants are already here now, in the meantime what do we do with them?

Also, what Bernie, again neglected to mention is there is nothing stopping the immigrants from stopping in the first country they get to outside of where they are running from and requesting asylum there.

 The problem is because of our broken immigration policy there is not the financial incentive for the coyotes to stop their charges along the way. Also based on the fact that we have the Cloward and Piven concept in practice our already strained immigration system would be overwhelmed causing it to break down so a crisis develops and the government can employ emergency measures to replace what exists with limited or no opposition.  

It also follows the WWII theory of the human wave that was carried out by the Chinese. What they did was have a million people a day turn themselves into Korea’s military police. The prison system could not absorb that amount of humanity and was forced to shut down and when the system was overwhelmed the opposition was able then to mount an attack that the military/prison system could not combat.

Meanwhile Bernie accused Trump of demonizing immigrants, which is patently untrue.  What Trump has said is we have a crisis and because we are unable to properly vet the immigrants we are in danger of having some less than savory characters take up residence in our country with no way of tracking them, and there is some less than desired behavior going on (sex and human trafficking to name a few).

Untrue!

The hosts then broached Trump’s suggestion to welcome all of the illegal immigrants and send them straight to the sanctuary cities/states.  Bernie dismissed that saying it was a strictly political statement. It is not. It seems that all the locales that offer sanctuary don’t seem to be forthcoming in offering assistance to those Trump would send there.   Also Bernie suggested that Trump ended the DACA program that Obama instituted, which again is patently untrue. There was a sunset clause on the DACA program that Obama proposed AND Trump offered the DACA program to the Democrats with no end in trade for the border wall he was proposing and the Democrats turned him down flat!

The Next Question is Never Answered

The next question addressed the position the US has taken and will take in the future in foreign wars.  The questioner directly addressed the conflict in Venezuela intimating that the US had no business in that conflict. Bernie seemed not to take the threat of other governments and economies having a negative impact on the US and stated we did not need to allocate the amount of funds that we do have to our military. His main push is to eliminate nuclear weapons.  I would totally embrace that concept if it was even remotely possible. With all the factions that participate in the international theatre today I find myself not even being able to take that proposal seriously. It’s a shame but the crazies are everywhere! What he did identify as a threat was climate change and he emphatically stated we needed to reject Trump’s idea that climate change is a hoax.  I can’t entertain that either. There is scientific study that shows the climate has ALWAYS changed. It is a function of climate! He continues to support the 12 year theory, and again if we could depend on the rest of the world falling into line I would look at it. What Mr. Sanders proposal would do is wreck our economy while the rest of the world goes on in the same fashion as they are currently are and it would not significantly change the “greenhouse effect”.  Mr. Sanders rejects nuclear power. That makes me believe that he can’t be serious because nuclear does not emit any greenhouse gasses.

PHEW!

Bernie and Ilhan up in a tree ……

The conversation then moved to acknowledge the fact Bernie is Jewish and is a staunch supporter of Ilhan Omar.  What he said is that he believes that there should be Muslims involved in our government and that they shouldn’t be attacked daily in outrageous racists fashion. Senator Sanders did acknowledge that Omar needed to do a better job in communication with the Jewish community but, Bernie maintained it is not anti-semitic to be critical of a right wing government in Israel.  I totally agree, however Omar’s statements seem to be super supportive of CAIR, which is the propaganda arm of the Muslim brotherhood. The Muslim brotherhood’s goal it is to eliminate the State of Israel, so again, I have to admit I don’t see things exactly the way Senator Sanders does either. If our Muslim representative did not post outrageous racist comments so often maybe the verbal attacks would not be so vociferous.

Actions have consequences

The next question had to do with felons voting.  He believes no matter what you have done that if you have received jail time that you have paid your debt to society.  That would be fine it that was the law, but currently it is not. If you commit a felony part of the punishment is that you lose your right to vote.  Felons and everyone who breaks the law goes into the situation knowing that is the law. Then he morphs it into Republican governors who are trying to suppress the vote.  Where that line of logic enters in I am unable to follow. Senator Sanders doesn’t “like” that if there are things that you do to that can cause you to lose your right to vote.  I’m so sorry. Actions have consequences and just because you don’t “like” them doesn’t mean you have the right to ignore them. He continues to accuse those evil Republican governors  of trying to suppress voting. Face it Bernie, it’s a fact NOT EVERYONE IN AMERICA qualifies to vote! The Democrats want to lower the voting age to 16. If we follow that line of logic why don’t we just go on to give everyone from infancy on (if they survive the infanticide that the Democrats are suggesting as well) the vote!

His closing statements were to go thru a litany of things that his supporters wanted and did not want.  He wanted to highlight that we as Americans had more in common than we give credit for. He thanked Fox for the opportunity he had to be there and voice his views and then finally he emphasized that he wanted voter turnout to be one of the highest among the industrialized nation.

What do you think about all the goins on?

Tell me how you feel about it in the comments section
Lets talk about It!

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shirlthegirl@shirleyhermelin.com

These are my thoughts on the Bernie Sanders Fox News Town Hall. I would love to hear yours.