2/28/16: 12:25 AM
Folks, Bernie Sanders lost by a large margin last night in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary. Sanders' "concession" speech will likely be followed by many more. However, I trust that his message is something he will not concede until he has lost his final contest, hopefully many years from now when he ends up in a far better place than Washington D.C. Unfortunately, that message may be lost to the American people as soon as a Donald Trump or even Hillary Clinton steps into the White House. The problems about which Mr. Sanders continues to rail, need to be addressed by a sitting president, directly to the voters via the bully pulpit. It is something that Mr. Obama has repeatedly avoided, apparently due to his own party members' objections, and it is the very reason that Sanders has remained an independent for so many years.
Unfortunately, the passionate but mild-mannered Sanders lacks the biting sarcasm along with the specific if shocking solutions that would resonate among both middle-class Democrats and Republicans. Last night, he rightfully pointed out that it is not reasonable to expect a retiree to live on one thousand to twelve hundred dollars a month. Meanwhile, the Social Security trust fund is supposed to be in financial jeopardy. The junior Bush administration raided the trust fund, transferring trillions of dollars to the general fund, leaving worthless I.O.U.s behind in some drawer in the Treasury building. Most of the money was wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan on some one hundred eighty thousand of the administration's favorite carpetbagger friends, including Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, and scores of defense contractors. The rest of it was reserved for the killing of thousands of our best young men and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly civilians.
I believe that two trillion dollars divided by sixty million Medicare-Social Security (non welfare) recipients comes out to over $33,000 per recipient, does it not? Now I realize that my sophist law professor friends will say that it is legal for the Citizens United-infected Congress to forgive the I.O.U.s languishing in the Treasury, but I have a better idea--Mr. Sanders. Since the money was essentially stolen for the purpose of padding the general tax fund, now suggest your tax on Wall Street transactions as a way to pay back the Social Security trust fund. That's where the blood money should have come from to begin with. After all, Wall Street and Big Business ended up with most of that money anyway. What did you say, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Republicans, even Mr. Trump? In truth, you owe those seniors a thousand dollars more a month for the next thirty-three years!
I realize that some of Bernie Sanders' ideas are naively extravagant. Some, like completely free state college tuition, can easily be compromised to cheap guaranteed loans without many students complaining. A single-payer healthcare system, properly regulated, government or privately owned, out of the control of the lobbies, could cut healthcare costs virtually in half! Even Donald Trump knows this. If healthcare were paid for with a graduated healthcare tax, then companies could be made to pay higher wages and to increase employment opportunities within our borders in exchange for not having to pay for employee healthcare and in exchange for lower corporate taxes. Corporate taxes represent "dead' money, given to the government and buried in someone's pocket. Money paid in wages is spent and respent many times and generates far more tax receipts for the government. I don't hear anyone suggesting any other reasonable alternatives. Are they afraid that someone might actually agree with some of these ideas and then they would have to actually do something of value without huge campaign "thank yous" from their extremist friends?
Bernie might as well "let it all hang out" and finally talk about "Justice" Clarence Thomas and the shocking absence of a special prosecutor investigating him for violation of the Honest Services Statute. Bernie, you're not going to win this thing anyway, but you can contribute more to "law and order" than anyone has in decades by simply addressing the issue. Thomas' lobbyist wife makes hundreds of thousands of dollars influencing the very decisions that her amoral husband makes. Even the most cowardly and shiftless officers of the American Bar Association realize this but are afraid to threaten disbarment. The equally guilty Congress has no intention of impeaching their most dependable ally and accomplice in the war against voting. The current "Justice" Department, after some fifteen years of Presidents Clinton and Obama's corrupt relative, Eric Holder, and another eight years of the Bush political inquisition have rarely prosecuted anyone who is guilty of a crime or defended anyone who is innocent in twenty-three years. I think it may be time for someone to finally speak up, don't you?
P.S. When is the only responsible adult candidate in the Republican kindergarten class finally going to raise his voice and admonish the "Three Stooges" to start acting like presidential candidates? (No insult intended to the actual Moe, Larry, and Curly.) When will he finally awaken from his nap and accuse the children of insulting each other to avoid the issues because they can't tell their butts from a hole in the ground? Mr. Kasich: it's time for you to speak up too!
Have a nice day, folks and don't forget to vote.
Al Finkelstein, 2/28/16