My problem with Bernie is big government. I think people, particularly the folks that support Bernie, don't understand the consequences of Bernie's policies and ideas. Redistribution of wealth always sounds good. It sounds great on stage preaching to a bunch of young idealists to say that the billionaire class is hijacking the political process and that the American People bailed out Wall Street now its time for Wall Street to help the American people. Incidentally I don't believe the first and the second is a non-sequitur.
But the issues with his particular policies are one thing, the issue with big government is another completely. Bernie says its the height of hypocrisy that the Republicans are against big government but then want the government involved in a woman's right to choose what goes on with her own body. About that he is certainly right. But isn't it also the height of hypocrisy to say that billionaires and hugely profitable corporations are too powerful, hijacking the political process, and ruining the middle class but saying at the same time we should take those billionaires' and corporations' money and give it to the largest, most powerful bureaucracy in human history - the US Government?
Ronald Reagan was right when he said the most frightening words in the English language are "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help." The Government is not your friend. The Government does not spend your money well. If the Government was a charity, you wouldn't donate. Why? Because about 70% of your money does not got to the actual programs themselves, but to the administration, ie bureaucracy, of those programs. If you give $1,000 to charity about $820 goes directly to the people and programs you are supporting. If you pay $1,000 to the Government, all those things you want it to go to, like free tuition, health care, environmental programs etc, get about $300, the rest goes to the people administering the programs. Government is disgustingly inefficient. And with that inefficiency come corruption and power.
The politicians talk about government spending as if it is financed through magic. It isn't. It comes from everyone who pays taxes. That's it. That's the only source of the Government's money. You and me. Borrowing depends on taxes, payoff of debt, from taxes, social security, Obama-care, military spending, all paid for by taxes. Everything the Government does is paid for by you and me.
Now Bernie and Barack think of that money as theirs. Obama even had a phrase for what we keep of our money. He called it "tax spending" and the way corporations got out of paying taxes was through tax spending loopholes. Everything that allows anybody to keep their hard earned money is a loophole. Its as if they view all the money as theirs, and what they let us keep as spending their money. That attitude leads to corruption, because if its their money, how can anyone fault how they spend it. They convince themselves they are blameless for inefficiency and any one who wants to keep the money is greedy.
Bernie started out the campaign talking about millionaires and billionaires paying their "fair share" of taxes. I have two problems with that. First, there is a huge difference between a millionaire and a billionaire. A person with a million dollars can live for 20 years in retirement on about fifty thousand a year. A person with a billion sedollars can live for a thousand years on a million dollars a year. Second, millionaires and billionaires pay most, if not all of the taxes in this country.
Margaret Thatcher was right (although her exact quote is unknown) when she is reputed to have said the problem with socialism is soon you run out of other peoples money.
But the real problem is that all that money goes out of the pockets of people who actually earn and, in the case of businesses, create it, to fund something that is just as bad, just as untrustworthy, just as insidious, just as corrupt (if not more so), and far more inefficient than the corporations and rich people from whom the money is to be taken. It goes to fund the United States Government.