On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (Loonbag-VT) unleashed what had to be one of the dumbest things the senile old coot has ever said. And that’s saying a lot, since he’s a socialist.
The remark came during an exchange with potential Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Here was the exchange:
SANDERS: Do you believe that healthcare is a right of all Americans, whether they are rich or poor? Should all people, because they are Americans, be able to go to the doctor when they need to – be able to go to the hospital, because they are Americans?
PRICE: Yes, we are a compassionate society –
SANDERS: No we are not a compassionate society. In terms of our relationship to poor and working people, our record is worse than virtually any other country on Earth. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country, and half of our senior older workers have nothing set aside for retirement, so I don't think compared to other countries we are particularly compassionate.
This is not just stupid, it’s disgusting. America is by far the most compassionate country not just on earth, but in its history. Here are just some stats demonstrating the full-scale stupidity of Sanders’ position, which mistakes confiscatory government policy for compassion.
1. Americans Give More Charity Than Any Other Nation. According to the Almanac of American Philanthropy, as reported by the Washington Examiner, Americans “out-donate Britain and Canada two-to-one and nations like Italy and Germany 20-to-one. What’s more, more than half of every single income class except those earning less than $25,000 donate to charity.” As for that top 1 percent Sanders hates so ardently, they give one-third of all that charity, and the survey shows that “the wealthiest 1.4 percent of Americans are responsible for 86 percent of the charitable donations made at death.” According to Giving USA’s charity report, Americans gave $358 billion to charity in 2014. More Americans give charity than vote for president. We are ranked in the top ten in helping strangers, volunteering, and giving cash.
2. America Has Powered The Global Economy During The Greatest Decrease In Poverty In World History. America is the global economic engine. During that economic hegemony, which also involves American leadership in freeing other nations’ economies, global extreme poverty has been sliced in half. Much of that is due to American companies hiring people around the world, as well as American consumers buying products from around the world.
3. Americans Have Freed People All Over The World. America hasn’t just freed black slaves, defeated the Nazis and destroyed the Soviet Union. Here’s a partial list of the countries we’ve freed: Japan, France, Norway, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Korea, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan. Bernie Sanders, by contrast, made friends with communists in Nicaragua.
4. Sanders Wildly Exaggerates The Level of Poverty In The United States. Here’s Pew Research from last year on poverty in the United States:
The US stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world. More than half (56%) of Americans were high income by the global standard…Another 32% were upper-middle income. In other words, almost nine-in-ten Americans had a standard of living that was above the global middle-income standard. Only 7 percent of people in the US were middle income, 3% were low income, and 2% were poor.
As Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield of the Heritage Foundation report:
Some 96 percent of poor parents report their children were never hungry at any time in the prior year. A poor child is more likely to have cable TV, a computer, a wide-screen plasma TV, an Xbox, or a TiVo in the home than to be hungry. Poor Americans have more living space in their homes than the average non-poor Swede, Frenchman, or German.
5. Sanders Wildly Exaggerates The Level Of Poverty In Old Age. Sanders says half of our senior workers have nothing set aside for retirement. But how do American seniors stack up against seniors in other countries? Pretty well, actually. According to Andrew Biggs and Sylvester Schieber in the Wall Street Journal, “Despite a supposedly stingy Social Security program and ineffective retirement-savings vehicles, the average U.S. retiree has an income equal to 92% of the average American income, handily outpacing the Scandinavian countries (81%), Germany (85%), Belgium (77%) and many others.” It’s also worth noting that Social Security eats up an outsized chunk of the American budget, and that as the Boston Federal Reserve has pointed out, Social Security reduces private savings, since people treat Social Security as a substitute for savings.
Sanders thinks Americans are stingy because they don’t think the government ought to substitute for private generosity or for the functioning efficiency of the free market. But the only person lacking compassion here is Sanders, who mistakes his own top-down control for compassion.