Mr. Sanders is candid on his web Site. We’ve reprinted the headers to each issue verbatim. Let’s let open-minded democrats address them here.
Bernie Sanders: Today, we live in the richest country in the history of the world, but that reality means little because much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals.
The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.
Mark Stewart: Only the first clause (“richest country”) is true. Beyond this, the statement is off the rails. A handful of individuals do not “control” the rest of us. We have brains, free will, freedom of movement, and freedom of choice. A wealthy person has more options, but in important things, even poor Americans have more choices and a higher standard of living than monarchs from three centuries ago. And who helped make it that way? More than any other group, Americans.
Rich people don’t control you. This is progressive fear-mongering. Yes, two large conglomerates (Disney/ABC and Universal/NBC) have 60% of the national entertainment market. But they are not stealing from any of us. Any of us can tune in or play an “independent channel” Indeed, Disney and Universal are big in part because they provide programming many of us want.
Progressives get angry because “someone is getting rich”. They need to recognize that the opportunity for someone to get rich is what gives us ALL the great products and services we desire.
As for “morality”: Judaism teaches that “moral issues” are those between human and human. Income inequality is not a moral issue unless wealthy people are stealing from others. Now, many progressives believe laborers working for high-salaried bosses means there is “stealing”. But that’s ludicrous; there is no force.
Closer to the truth is that government is stealing from all of us. There, there is force. If you don’t pay the taxes, you’ll eventually be met at gunpoint by government officials. If you don’t comply with regulations forced upon you, your business can be closed down. If you don’t comply with private property regulations, your property can be confiscated. Literally, forced taxation and regulation is backed up by federal authorities with guns. And this “theft” hurts low-income earners more than high income earners. The 15.6% in Social Security taxes hurts poor people more than right people. The $500,000 earner can shield much of his earnings from taxation, and has a mere 3.5% Social Security tax.
It’s progressives in Congress who have created and backed this perverse Social Security system. It’s progressive leaders who keep the Swiss-Cheese tax system, in part because they like the power (and sometimes money) that comes with manipulating the tax code. Progressives (and RINOs) have lobbyists shower them with nice treatment in return for their keeping a tax code that lets the powerful manipulate the non-powerful.
Wealthy people exercise far less control over people than Big Government controls them.
We will eliminate the income tax on all U.S. citizens. It will be replaced by a federal sales tax and possibly a wealth tax. (Wealth tax requires a Constitutional Amendment, as the income tax did with the Sixteenth Amendment). Whether based on sales or wealth, Stewart’s tax has NO exceptions. No loopholes. Sales taxes are beautiful because you are taxed on what you choose to partake of. A wealth tax is even better. A tax on real property and vessels is efficient and fair. By replacing the income tax with a wealth tax, everyone gains except the idle rich. Even Bernie should like that.
Candidate for US President