8-31-15 – Tweet-Meister Bernie

by Chris Campion

Since Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Bernie Sanders – youthful, engaged, energetic – has a Twitter presence, I figured I’d take a

look at what young, hip-hop-happenin’ Socialists do in their free time on social media.

As it turns out, Bernie’s all over the map on Twitter, enough to make even a relatively young man delirious in trying to parse out the contradictions.  But here we go:

  1. Bernie loves the Pope!  Or he does, only when the Pope talks re-distributive utopias:

It's moral to hand over monies to a central government that increases their control over the purportedly "free" people is also just and moral?

In other words, Bernie’s OK with using the Pope’s pontifications (ha) about allowing a moral excuse for the confiscation of wealth, but where are Bernie’s re-tweets regarding the Pope’s position on abortion?  Bernie is pro-choice, and support funding for Planned Parenthood, but I don’t see a Tweet from the Pope saying he supports those positions.  Bernie claims to oppose corporate welfare, but is OK with subsidies for Planned Parenthood.

Bernie also seems to miss the difference between philanthropy, which is the voluntary giving of money, time, and resources, versus the confiscation of money, time, and resources, to be put to use in furthering the expansion of a centralized government, one that has the nice side-effect of keeping Bernie in comfy shoes for the rest of his days.  I guess part of the “just distribution” means Bernie’s going to get just what he deserves?

If I decide to work 60 hours a week instead of 40, is it “just” that I get taxed at a higher rate for those additional hours?  Why should my additional labor be confiscated at higher levels than those who choose not to work more?  Is that “just”?  How “just” is it that those who choose to only work 20 hours get money from me?

2.  Fundamental changes:  Corporation Style!

Agreed. Let's lower the corporate tax rate so we're not the highest in the OECD. How's that for a start, Bernie?

First of all, “disastrous trade policies” has nothing to do with the cost of labor in China versus the US.  It is cost that drives decision-making in corporations, and if a component of a product or service is lower, then it is more competitive, and likely to win business.  This is true when the individual consumer buys an apple pie at the grocery store, as it is when a corporation buys components built in China or in Des Moines.  It’s a market, it is choice – and granted, Bernie tells everyone he’s pro-choice, but apparently only for certain things.

A critical line here:  “allowed corporations to shut down in America”.  In other words, Bernie, at the point of a federal gun, wants to disallow corporations from making decisions based on the company’s and their customers’ best interests.  This isn’t because Bernie’s a fan of Big Labor – nope, that couldn’t be it, at all.  Bernie’s simply in favor of increasing the price of all goods by making sure they are all domestically-produced, with all of the inherent costs associated with doing business in the United States.

Which will have the eventual effect of reducing demand for the product, because as price goes up, demand goes down – which means there will be job layoffs due to reductions in demand.  The good news for Bernie is that because the Fed allows for unfettered spending, he can vote to increase unemployment benefits for 3 years instead of two, ensuring that at least a few of the unemployed will be receiving federal checks during one of several of Bernie’s upcoming election cycles.

Oh, and since we’re at it:  Former countries in the USSR, like the Ukraine, having some first-hand experience with centralized economic planning, know that lowering and simplifying taxes will increase economic growth:

A group of experts wants to cut payroll taxes on employers, exempt reinvested corporate income from taxes and reduce the involvement of government officials in tax collection.

These are some of the ideas that may emerge in the final recommendations on Aug. 27 of the advisory National Reform Council, which is tasked with helping parliament draft legislation to ease one of the worst tax systems in the world. Ukraine’s taxes are punitive and bureaucratic, prompting massive evasion and a shadow, off-the books economy that may rival the official one.

A panel of experts held a press conference on Aug. 25 to talk about competing versions.

According to Volodymyr Dubrovskiy of Reanimation Package of Reforms, the problems run deep — from the way the value added tax is administered to an excessively high 42 percent payroll tax.

The corporate income tax, as structured, encourages companies to conceal at least part of their profits.

Dubrovskiy and others want to decrease the payroll burden to a single, flat rate personal income tax of 20 percent and eliminate the social security payments paid by employers. At the moment, the high taxes discourage employers from legal employment and “punish them for paying salaries,” Dubrovskiy said.

In other words, increasing costs via trade barriers – not “policies” – doesn’t help anyone, because it increases the price people pay for goods, so it hits the people at the low end of the income spectrum the hardest.  Ironically, Bernie’s arguments for erecting trade barriers impacts the people he’s selling this idea to the hardest, because they are least able to absorb the inevitable price increases.

This is the fruit of the thinking that surrounds centralized planning and control of businesses.

3.  Bernie takes on The Evil Wondertwins – aka, The Koch Brothers:

I also believe both brothers want Luke Skywalker to join Darth Vader in moving to the Dark Side of The Force.

The billionaire class “wants it all”?  What does Bernie Sanders want, and what idea does he regularly sell on the campaign trail?  Money.  90% of it.  That’s just shy of 10% of “all”, Bernie –  but the Koch brothers are the bad guys?  Bernie wants to replace someone else’s supposed greed with his actual own greed.  Interesting, and shameless.

Here’s how economic works, Bernie, so pay attention:  The Koch brothers don’t gain a thing by people earning $3/hour.  Why?  Because that means those people then have less money to spend buying things.  If demand for a product goes down, fewer items are purchased, resulting in reduced profits.  And Bernie claims to think this is what the Koch brothers want?

See how easy that math was?  It’s in nobody’s interest to have less money, unless, of course, you’re a hack politician who uses class division memes to keep yourself in a job that doesn’t require any actual work.

I’ll just leave alone the assumptions Bernie’s making regarding the Kochs wanting all poor people to be rounded up and jettisoned into a lake of fire, because it’s patently stupid and insulting.

4.  And finally, who doesn’t need a lecture on morality from a man who supports funding of an organization that sells baby parts?

But I guess we're OK with the immorality of saddling unborn generations with trillions of debt that they didn't get a vote on.

Yeah, let’s talk about “moral responsibility” – as if any American needs a lesson on morals from a politician.  How about the fact that the “moral” effects of clean energy subsidies enrich the wealthy and not the poor?  18 billion dollars sounds like a lot of money to me:

There’s a new study out, under the imprimatur of the Energy Institute of the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, California, entitled The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.  As the title implies, it looks at who actually profited from the various “green energy” tax credits across the United States. SPOILER ALERT! It wasn’t the poor folks.

How much money are we talking about? Well, the paper says that from 2006 to 2012, the taxpayers have been on the hook for $18 BILLION DOLLARS to fund these subsidies, money that would have otherwise gone into the General Fund.

Look at all those morals, trickling up to the evil 1%.  So the government’s efforts to live up to its moral responsibilities have in fact saddled the poor with debt that the rich are benefiting from.

Morality takes a holiday, courtesy of Big Government.

Even a consistently inconsistent Socialist like Bernie Sanders can’t escape the inherent fallacies present in all the ideas he espouses.  Nothing is free.  Morality isn’t earned by spending other peoples’ money.  Creating generations of dependents robs people of their independence.  Which seems not to matter to Bernie, as long as they re-elect him.

Oh, and since Bernie seems to think that there’s an endless supply of money – his advocacy for increasing social security benefits doesn’t seem to match the ability of the program to pay them.

By all means, then, we should increase benefits.

Only in the socialist utopia can a politician argue for increasing benefits at a time when the program is going to be unable to pay out existing benefits as early as one year from now.  But when you’re riding a magic unicorn, like Bernie Sanders is – one paid for by taxpayers – logic is on an eternal holiday.

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