Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Two Political Peas in a Pod -- Trump and Sanders
Let's talk a little bit about the other side, the Democrats and most specifically about Bernie Sanders. He has a rousing message about how the American people are controlled by big money, from Wall Street to big corporations. That's a given and has been the case for the last 50 years at least. It's no secret that this has been happening in this country. The country has managed to move forward even under those circumstances. It's a fact however that the middle class is shrinking and it makes no difference which party wins the election.
The fallacy in Trump's claim that he will not be influenced by big money because he is self funding his election is yet another lie by Trump because he is one of the boys and is a member of that class. He's a billionaire trying to buy his way into office. Trump's main focus since he was born was to make money and if he becomes President that focus will not change. It's ingrained and you can tell by his complaints about funding his campaign and about the money the news networks are making off his back. He wants part of the money that networks are making to go to his charities and vainly trying to monetize this part of the campaign for his own benefit. Trump is a shrewd businessman and he'll find a way to get the public's money (tax dollars) to flow to his companies.
But let's get back to Sanders, we know where Trump's coming from but what about Sanders. First off let's look at Sanders' record in his quarter century in the Congress with 16 years in the house and his 9 years in the Senate. His record is not uncommon as most members of Congress have similar records. In other words he has not shown that he can get things done which brings into question whether he can get things done as President. The same thing applies to Donald Trump. He has never dealt with any obstacles when running his company. There are no shareholders and no one can derail whatever changes Trump wants to make as far as running his companies. The only time Trump's had shareholders is when he has had to file bankruptcy and not just once but four times. So when it comes to complete control Trump does a fantastic job. When it comes to negotiating to get things moving the way he wants, he's batting a big zero.
During his quarter century in office Sanders has introduced 353 bills with a success rate of 1%. Because Bernie Sanders leans to the far left and is much more progressive than most liberals, it has been a struggle for him to get bills passed. With that record it may well be very difficult for Bernie to get the things he is proposing to get through a Bernie Sanders administrated Congress. The downside to the things he is proposing as is the case with Trump are overly expensive and will be more than a struggle to get through this conservative congress and a moderate leaning fiscally minded Democratic part. Sanders as does Trump has some big ticket items that he is pushing and has not been specific about how he plans to pay for those. Sure he claims he will tax the rich, the fund managers and Wall Street but that will not be enough for all the things he wants to do. Where's the money, is the big question people should ask. Trump with his plan to deport 12 million people and build a wall that Mexico will pay for is a pipe dream.
Sander's claims that he has not succeeded much with bills but that he has added many amendments to bills that have passed. He has been dubbed the "Amendment King" which was a title he received from a 2005 article in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2005. However, it seems that most of those amendments were added to spending bills that were not considered controversial or worth fighting for and included shifting money to energy efficiency programs and low income heating assistance. The amendments that were worth fighting for were passed in the house but later stripped from the bills.
It looks like Sanders' record in Congress will follow him as President and he will have a difficult time getting anything passed in the Congress if the ideas are so far left that no one will vote for them.
Sanders has been an advocate for many of the things that people would champion but it will be very difficult to get through Congress. If you are anywhere left of center or right of center even if it is a Republican or Democratic Congress it will not make it through Congress. It is far better to have moderate views than to be on either end of the spectrum on your views if you want to be successful.
Bernie talks about breaking up big Wall Street Banks, expanding Social Security, create a European-style single payer health care system, and provide free college tuition for most college students. Even when the congress was controlled by Democrats those proposals gained no steam under President Obama in 2009-2010.
Sanders' dreams are lofty and progressive but they will never make it through any Congress no matter who is President including him.