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Stop “Feeling the Bern”

Photo Courtesy of Google Images
Photo Courtesy of Google Images


First off, Bernie Sanders is ancient; you’re liable to give the man a heart attack.  But secondly, and more importantly, America has never and should never become a socialistic state.  It’s been tried before in many places, and it does not work.

So why does Bernie fare so well, especially among young voters, especially college students?  Well, the word “FREE” is getting touted a lot, and for those racking up thousands of dollars of debt at an absurd interest rate, free college sounds pretty great.

$75 billion dollars per year is the actual cost of this “free” college, and that sure doesn’t sound free to me.  Where does that money come from?  Bernie’s plan states that he would tax Wall Street speculators for this one. But why does that matter to you or I, who may never be connected to Wall Street?

Well, contrary to what it seems from many of the big statements made against them in democratic speeches and debates, they already pay their share of income taxes to federal and state authorities just like every other hard working American.  Now, just because they choose to trade stocks as a career, they’d be subject to a new burdensome tax because they speculate on stock exchanges.  Sounds fair to me.

For clarification purposes, only public universities and colleges would be tuition free, leaving everyone at schools like Roanoke college still out in the cold.  Even in these public institutions, free tuition still means that room and board, books, and fees, are not “free”.  As some of you may know, the cost of room and board for a year here still tallies up at around $12,000 give or take.  That’s still $48,000 to be paid for throughout the four years you attend.  But, never fear, Bernie has a plan for you: Lower interest rates!

Interest rates on student loans are higher than when you try to buy a house, or buy a car, or even on some credit cards, which sounds pretty unfair, right? Wrong.  When you buy a house, or a car, or anything else on a loan, the bank loaning you money has collateral, meaning if you default on your loan and don’t pay them the money you owe, they can come take it back and haven’t lost anything.

Student loans have a higher interest rate because they are unsecured loans, if you don’t pay, the bank certainly can not repossess your diploma.  They are at higher risk of losing said money, and therefore they charge a higher interest rate; they’re operating under the fundamentals of simple economics.

Income inequality is another Bernie hit point, stating the top 0.1% owe as much as the bottom 90% of income earners in America.  So again, Bernie demands the rich pay their fair share of taxes.  Newsflash: the top 1% pay almost half of all income taxes in America, which sounds at least like a fair share.  Meanwhile, approximately half of the bottom 90% don’t have to pay any income tax at all.  Who’s really not paying their fair share?  Perhaps Bernie has it a bit backwards.

If you’re feeling the Bern, you probably agree that federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 by the year 2020.  For those working on campus jobs, or even most part time jobs around Salem, that would more than double your pay.  However, this is not as great as it initially sounds.  By raising minimum wage, job growth would slow to a crawl if not disappear at all.  Where now a company can afford two employees at 7.25 per hour, they’d only be able to afford one.  Either that, or they’d have to nearly double their prices in order to make a profit. In any case, the increase in minimum wage would certainly not equate an increase in wealth for employees of a business interested in making a profit.

Places that pay minimum wage include grocery stores, gas stations, fast food joints, restaurants, etc.  Imagine your box of cereal costing you $5 instead of $2.50, your gas going back up to $4 per gallon, your “dollar menu” items are now 2/$4.  Suddenly your $15/hour is the same as it was when you were only making $7.25, considering everything is now nearly doubled if not more.  What will his solution be then? $20 minimum wage?

If you love America like I do, and value the entrepreneurial spirit and a free economy where people get raises based on merit, skill, and talent, where Americans of all walks of life earn what they get instead of getting it handed to them with their sense of entitlement intact, do not vote for Bernie.

We cannot afford four years of socialism; we can not afford even a day of socialism.  Over ten years Bernie’s plan would double the national debt, and inflation would happen at a runaway speed, even those making $100,000 or more would be considered nearly minimum wage employees, unable to make ends meet.