If you only read one more article about Bernie Sanders, PLEASE make it this one
I only included a part of it. But it captures - thoroughly, precisely, devastatingly - the disturbing thing about Bernie that I have been trying so clumsily to say when I say he is "just saying what people want to hear".
I'm sure that Edgar and Lash will not read past a couple paragraphs because it shatters all their rationale for hero worship, and it's much simpler just to call it a lowdown Hillary enabling plot. But, for the rest of you, PLEASE read the whole article. It's a little longish, but I promise you it will shed new light on Senator Sanders and his "political revolution".
Senator Sanders, I like you. I admire you. Most of the time, I wish that we had 99 more senators just like you.
And I would, wouldn't I? I'm on the younger end of the likely voter spectrum. I'm male. I'm white. I'm liberal as hell. I'm the kind of voter that you should have a lock on.
But Senator, we have a problem, and it's a big one. When it comes to the specifics surrounding the core issue of your campaign, you have too often come across as either disingenuous or strangely removed from current reality.
The red flags have become too frequent to ignore.
You recently claimed that under your leadership, "the Treasury Department will create a too-big-to fail list of banks and insurance companies."
Of course it will. The Treasury Department has been legally required to do that since the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. The institutions are, on top of that, already subjected to stress tests, and when they fail, there are fairly serious consequences. The Department's annual report is available right here. You can find a list of these institutions on Wikipedia, for crying out loud. The Financial Stability Board also maintains a global list, which you can find right here, should you find that helpful.
Similarly, you have made a fair amount of noise calling for an independent audit of the Federal Reserve. That's already done, every single year. You can find last year's report right here.
What the plan that you and Sen. Paul have put forth does is, a) pander to low-information voters, and b) make the Federal Reserve's every decision subject to congressional pressure. What you are proposing, Senator Sanders, would set the Fed's independence back four decades and allow Paul Ryan to pressure it at every turn.
Even when I agree with your proposed policies, I am too often alarmed by your extreme departures from reality.
You have proposed, for example, to pay for universal free public college with a tax on Wall Street speculation. Hillary Clinton had previously proposed such a tax, sans the promise that it would cover such a large expense. It's called a Tobin tax. The idea dates back to 1972, and is meant to stabilize markets.
But none of this holds a candle to the bizarre narrative you have consistently pushed around Glass-Steagall, your primary point of distinction from Secretary Clinton on finance. You have repeatedly insinuated, implied and said flat-out that the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which you tend to call a repeal of Glass-Steagall, caused the financial crisis.
Senator Sanders, that simply isn't true. That is a lie invented for a slimy attack ad during the 2008 campaign. There is an overwhelming consensus--not from Wall Street, but from watchdogs and academics -- that the repeal of Glass-Steagall did not cause the financial crisis. Fact checker after fact checker after fact checker after fact checker has found the claim to be, at best, an enormous stretch. They were doing so, from all parts of the political spectrum, years before you launched a presidential campaign.
The law had little if anything to do with the practices leading up to the crisis. It aimed, as you well know, to separate commercial from investment banking. You can support that policy or oppose it, with honest, pro-regulatory arguments on either side. I might even agree with you. But you cannot with a straight face blame the financial crisis on its absence.