Last night, if you were savvy enough to catch it (considering it was deliberately positioned opposite playoff football and Downton Abbey), the two candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination faced off while Martin O’Malley looked on helplessly. To the untrained eye, flipping through stations to avoid prime time network entertainment, it looked like, in the words of Jim Gaffigan, your grandparents arguing. If you paid attention, it was still your grandparents arguing.
Anyway, Bernie Sanders is said to have walloped Hillary Clinton, even though he has no nuanced thought on any political issue that doesn’t somehow involve Citizens United. He is the Kevin Bacon of Citizens United. Is racism a problem among our law enforcement community? It’s because of Citizens United. Is global warming getting worse? Blame Citizens United. Should our healthcare system be more comprehensive? Citizens United. He also has no idea how to pay for any of his proposals – except for one: that comprehensive health care system we just mentioned. According to Bernie, paying for that is simple: you just raise taxes on the people who can least afford to pay them, the middle class.
Bernie Sanders told TIME on Sunday that he would be willing to raise taxes on the middle class in order to guarantee universal healthcare, after months of weathering attacks from Hillary Clinton.
When asked in an interview in Charleston, South Carolina, on Sunday which of his big-ticket proposals would cost the middle class more in taxes, the insurgent presidential candidate said “I think if we can guarantee healthcare to all people comprehensive healthcare, no deductibles, and if we can cut people’s healthcare bill substantially.”
Sanders disputed to TIME it was a middle-class tax hike, saying it would ultimately save taxpayers money by cutting out private health insurers…
“What media sometimes does, what my opponent does, what Republicans do, is they really try to take a cheap shot. If you were paying $10,000 in private health insurance and I said to you, guess what, you ain’t going to pay that $10,000 and more but you’re going to pay $5,000 more in healthcare premiums, you’d be jumping up and down for joy. You save $5,000 on your healthcare bills,” Sanders told TIME.
“It’s disingenuous. I’ve heard this my whole life,” Sanders continued, arguing the legislation would save money.
His example, of course, makes no sense, least of all because he used the word “ain’t.” You’re not actually saving money, because that $5,000 or so is just coming out of a different place: your taxes. Nothing that Bernie Sanders offers is actually free, it’s just paid for by someone other than you, at least for a short time. As with his proposed single-payer health care plan (a plan that almost totally outlaws paying for private care), the rich can only be soaked for so long. Eventually, you’re the rich.
Sanders hasn’t actually released his health care plan yet, probably because there’s no need to ruin his uphill momentum at this key point. Why tell people they can’t afford to make you President when they’re already well on your side?
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