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Everybody wins

Bernie Sanders must have crossed some kind of threshold and suddenly he's getting media attention beyond "hey, here's this kooky guy that can't win". This is good. We get to talk policy. The latest is from the Washington Post's Editorial Board and at first glance it seems to be criticizing Bernie from the left:

Bernie Sanders isn't as progressive as you think.

If you read the article, you'll see their complaint is that the programs that he's proposing would be available to all people, not just the poor. And they're absolutely wrong about this. It's actually interesting that they chose to use the world "progressive". Labels mean different things to different people, but one distinction i've seen between liberals and progressives is that liberals want programs that help the poor, and progressives want programs that benefit everyone. Both are good. But the reason the latter are "progressive" is that they actually move the country forward. Programs for the poor are easy to cut; they don't have a strong and vocal base of support. Programs that benefit everyone become a "third rail"; untouchable. Compare Medicaid to Medicare, or welfare to Social Security. Medicaid struggles for funding. Bill Clinton was able to dismantle welfare. But try to mess with Medicare and Social Security and everyone will scream.

With the things Bernie is proposing, it's about becoming a different society. Public university should be available to everyone. Simple. That's very different than going through some kind of means-testing to prove you're poor enough to get subsidies to go to school. Means-testing is humiliating, bureaucratic, it requires additional administrators to be paid, and it would be so easy to start cutting the subsidies the next time someone wanted to give rich people a tax cut.

Since they wrote this editorial, i am sure the Washington Post Editorial Board is very concerned about the wealthy getting too many benefits. But we can satisfy them by balancing it out with increased taxes on upper income brackets. Everybody wins!

By fnord12 | September 15, 2015, 6:15 PM | Liberal Outrage


Fnord, the distinction you make here is so important, and gets right to the heart of how to solve many of the problems America faces as a country. I think that Sanders's candidacy is going to significantly test whether Americans can reverse an increasing tendency towards apathy and disinvestment and move towards involvement in community and developing a more responsive government.

I prefer to see it more of a chance to convince than a test, but i otherwise agree. Thanks Aaron.

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

In the debates Hillary also used the "why should i pay for Donald Trump's kids to go to school" line, which is equally bunk.    Read More: Sanders pushes back on Clinton's attacks from the right