Two septuagenarians squared off in Washington, DC on Sunday night. They both made outlandish claims while pandering to every possible Democrat voter group there is. I decided to break my analysis of their debate comments and what passed for repartee into bite-sized chunks to make them more digestible. Part I of my analysis and commentary can be found here.
We pick up the action at the point at which they begin sparring about economic stimuli and other actions stemming from the Wuhan virus crisis.
Ilia Calderón of Univision asked this question: Many economists are warning of a recession. Just hours ago, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near 0%, which has not happened since the financial crisis in 2008. Vice President Biden, what would you do?
Biden replied: What I would do is make it clear to the world and make it clear to the United States that we are going to have to have a major, major, major bailout package that we do not reward corporations, we reward individuals who in fact are really put to the test here. The problem is, the policies of this administration economically have… We’ve eaten a lot of our seed corn here. The ability for us to use levers that were available before have been used up by this godawful tax cut of $1.9 trillion.
Me: “A major bailout” is the typical Democrat solution to everything. Biden learned nothing from the 2008-9 bailout that in fact depressed the economic recovery after the government-induced 2008 recession. The Democrat spin is that the bailout “saved the US economy,” but the reality is that it actually depressed economic activity that led to much slower growth than there would have been without the stimulus, as noted here. Biden claims that “a godawful tax cut of $1.9 trillion” supposedly “ate our seed corn.” This is about as wrong-headed a statement as could be made! That tax cut was part of the reason for the US economic growth over the past three-and-a-half years. The economy doesn’t grow because of government stimuli; it grows when impediments to businesses and individuals are removed and when they are allowed to keep more of their hard-earned money and put it to better use than the government could ever do. Biden is nearly as socialistic as Bernie is, but won’t overtly admit it.
Bernie weighed in with one of his generalities to attack the US free enterprise system: We have more income and wealth inequality in America today than any time in 100 years. … What we have got to do also is understand the fragility of the economy and how unjust and unfair it is that so few have so much and so many have so little.
Me: Bernie makes the bold claim and implies that it is “the system” that leads to that inequality, but of course he doesn’t explain why. Like all socialists, he is a big fan of government bailouts and big federal programs as the solutions to “inequality” but ignores the fact that the rich got richer through the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis – in other words, that big 2008 bailout exacerbated the inequality gap! And Bernie thinks that throwing more federal money at the problem (only possible through massive tax increases that will stymie economic growth!) will magically fix the inequality gap. Sheer nonsense. And the “fragility of the economy”? He’s a career politician who understands nothing about basic economics or how free enterprise works. That last sentence is nothing more than a play on envy, which is the siren song of socialism (they’ve been saying “take from the rich and give to the poor” for nearly two hundred years now). President Trump is reinvigorating an opportunity society in which everyone participates and takes advantage of the opportunities to build a good life and a good future for their families.
Calderón then asked this question: Senator Sanders, you voted against bailouts following the 2008 financial crisis. … Would you support bailouts for industries that are being crushed by the Coronavirus outbreak now?
Sanders replied: I did. You’re quite right, I voted against the bailout because I believed that the illegal behavior being done by the people on Wall Street should not be rewarded by a bailout. And today, by the way, those banks are more prosperous and own more assets, by and large, than they did back then. … But to answer your question where we are right now, we need to stabilize the economy, but we can’t repeat what we did in 2008. Joe voted for that. I voted against it. Because we have got to do more than save the banks or the oil companies.
Me: His answer was right out of the Communist playbook. Sanders always falls back on attacks on Big Oil, Big Banks, and Corporate America. He says we need to “stabilize the economy” but has no idea on how to do that, especially when “Corporate America” (which includes thousands of businesses employing millions of Americans) is who he attacks and would presumably tax into oblivion to achieve his “share-the-wealth” socialism in America. By the way, one of the best growth engines over the past three years has been the oil and gas industry, which underpins the growth of the entire American economy. Cheaper energy costs are themselves a direct growth stimulus, but Bernie doesn’t understand that basic fact.
Calderón then asked this question: Many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants, and now even many legal immigrants in the United States, are afraid to seek medical help. How do you ensure they feel safe enough to get treatment to help stop the spread of Coronavirus?
Biden replied: Anyone who shows up to be tested for Coronavirus or gets Coronavirus treated would be held harmless. Just like I’ve argued all along. Any woman who crosses the border or is here and being beaten by her husband, but she’s an undocumented, she cannot be deported because she reports. There are certain things you cannot deport an undocumented person for and that would be one of them. We want that.
Me: Dealing with the virus is an extenuating circumstance, and illegal aliens should be treated because that would help contain the contagion. But to be “held harmless”? No. Illegal aliens committed a crime just by circumventing our immigration laws and need to be held accountable. Treat and deport afterward – or change the law (which Democrats in Congress will fight tooth and nail against). The other example is a distraction.
Bernie chimed in: I have been criticized because the proposal for Medicare for All that I introduced includes making sure that undocumented people are also covered. And right now, we have the absurd situation where undocumented people who try to do the right thing, they’re sick, they want to go to the doctor, they don’t want to spread this disease, are now standing and thinking about whether ICE is going to deport them. So one of the things that we have to do is to make sure that everybody feels comfortable getting the healthcare that they need.
Me: You were rightly criticized on giving free medical care to illegals, Bernie, and most Americans agree. The Wuhan virus crisis is an extenuating circumstance and should be handled as mentioned above. You Democrats are great at bending the laws of the land to suit your political purposes; all that ends up doing is corrupting the rule of law. If you want illegals to remain in the US, then work to change the law – which will require a deal being made with President Trump to complete the Wall (among other things).
Bernie continued: Second of all, we’ve got to end these terrible ICE raids which are terrorizing communities all over this country. And thirdly, to answer your question, the time is long overdue for this country to move to comprehensive immigration reform and a path towards citizenship for those 11 million undocumented. And furthermore, on day one as President, I would restore the legal status of the 1.8 million young people [DACA].
Me: Bernie is an open borders guy. Those “terrible ICE raids” are enforcing federal immigration law, despite the resistance of state and local Democrats (if only they could all be jailed for obstruction of justice!). “Comprehensive immigration reform” is Democrat euphemism for amnesty. No thanks! Finish the wall, and then we’ll talk about “reform.”
Jake Tapper (CNN) then asked this question: Vice President Biden, Senator Sanders is calling for a political revolution. You said people want results, not a revolution. Make the case for why a revolution is not what the country needs or wants.
Biden replied: We have problems we have to solve now. Now. What’s a revolution going to do, disrupt everything in the meantime? Look, the Senator talks about his Medicare For All. He still hasn’t told you how he’s going to ever get it past. He hasn’t told you how in fact there’s any possibility of that happening. He hadn’t told you how much it’s going to cost. He hadn’t tell you how it’s going to apply. It doesn’t kick in for four years, even after it passes. We want a revolution. Let’s act now. Pass the Biden healthcare plan, which takes Obamacare, restores all the cuts made to it. Subsidize it further. Provide for lower drug prices. Make sure that there’s no hidden bills. Make sure that we invest what I want to invest $50 billion in dealing with underlying diseases that are of great consequence, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Make sure that we have a Medicare option that’s in a public option providing Medicare for us.
Me: So Biden doesn’t support Bernie’s “Medicare for All” but wants to restore and put Obamacare on steroids? There’s not a dime’s difference between either’s socialist government-run healthcare solution. Biden simply wants to return to the stealth mode and not advertise socialism. And he wants to throw more money at specific problems. A panderer through and through.
Bernie then weighed in with yet another attack on America: Why is it that we are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a human right? Why are we the only major country not to have paid medical and family leave? Why do we give tax breaks to billionaires, when a half-a-million people are homeless today?
Me: Leftists like Bernie have completely forgotten the definition of the word “right.” A right is something that people have that doesn’t come at the expense of other people. For example, “freedom of religion” is a basic right available to every American that doesn’t impinge on anyone else. There is no such thing as a “right to healthcare” because the Left’s government-run healthcare schemes require “others” to pay for an individual’s healthcare. And we only give tax breaks to people who pay taxes, Bernie; homeless people don’t pay taxes. The homeless are a city and state responsibility, not the federal government’s issue.
Bernie continued with his attacks on free enterprise in America: If you want to make real changes in this country, if you want to create an economy that works for all, not just the few… if you want to guarantee quality healthcare to all, not make $100 billion in profit for the healthcare industry, you know what you need? You need to take on Wall Street. You need to take on the drug companies, and the insurance companies, and the fossil fuel industry. You don’t take campaign contributions from them. You take them on and create an economy that works for all.
Me: His standard stump speech bashing the US. He yells and lectures but proposes no specifics, but “taking on” all these industries means socialism, and he really has never told us his actual plan for implementing his brand of socialism.
This is a good place to end Part II of this series. These guys spew platitudes and promises like there’s no tomorrow. And everything will be “paid for” through the unspoken massive tax increases required to foot the bill. They never mention that and are never questioned about it.
Part III is coming soon.