Democratic Party's Future on Display in Kansas
The new Democratic superstar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appeared alongside the other socialist icon and Democratic Party star, Senator Bernie Sanders, at a rally in Kansas yesterday and proclaimed that socialism's day had dawned.
When Democratic socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders rallied for a left-wing congressional candidate Friday afternoon in Kansas, they insisted their agenda is "mainstream."
Sanders, the Vermont senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who spent the afternoon campaigning in Wichita for Democratic congressional candidate James Thompson, boasted that ideas “once considered to be radical” are now part “of the mainstream conversation.”
“With allies like Alexandria and James in the Congress, we are going to pass a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program,” Sanders told the crowd. “And please understand that this idea of Medicare for all – this is not a radical idea.”
I don't know about you, but the idea of increasing government spending for health care by a factor of 10 sure sounds radical to me.
But then, what do I know? I'm a fairly reasonable, somewhat rational American. If Bernie Sanders says increasing spending by the federal government on health care by a factor of 10 is "mainstream," who am I to argue?
Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old progressive who surprisingly defeated longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s Democratic primary last month, struck a similar tone, as she also called for Medicare for all, free college tuition and a guaranteed living wage for all persons.
“They said the people of Kansas don’t want those things,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd. “They told me that I would not be welcomed. But you have proven them wrong.”
She said the United States should be a nation that “allows improved and expanded Medicare for all,” where every child should be “born with the opportunity to go to college or trade school free of cost” and “every person in this country is paid a living wage to lead a dignified life.”
Am I imagining things or does the socialist vision for America sound a lot like Venezuela?
“Our political opponents, you know, they’ll tell us, that’s a great idea Bernie, but you know it’s going to cost a lot of money,” Sanders said. “And they’re right. These proposals are expensive. But we say to them, making higher education available to all Americans, regardless of income, is a hell of a lot better investment than giving tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations.”
Perhaps Bernie can explain how much this "investment" is going to cost? A reasonable estimate appears to be $1.4 trillion a year. But wait, Sanders has a brilliant idea for how to pay for it:
To pay for it, all Americans and employers would see a tax hike. Sanders called for a new 2.2% income tax on all Americans and a 6.2% levy on employers. He would also increase taxes on the wealthy.
But, he argues, people would save money since they would no longer have to pay monthly premiums or deductibles. A family of four earning $50,000 would save more than $5,800 each year.
"As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card," his campaign proposal said.