November 1, 2015
Bernie Sanders has raised the bar when it comes to expectations for a democratic socialist’s ability to compete in American politics. Sanders continues to lead polls in New Hampshire, is drawing Obama-like crowds on college campuses across the country, and reported an impressive $26 million third quarter fundraising haul last month, twice what Jeb Bush raised (so much for Citizens United destroying competitive politics). A large part of Sanders appeal to the Democratic base, and Millennials in particular, is his promise to provide “free” stuff if elected.
Sanders thinks the federal government should pay for Americans’ health care, college tuition, pre-school, and housing. Yet if Senator Sanders would simply look at what happened in his home state of Vermont, he would see that his most expensive proposal – universal government-run health care – is unaffordable, unworkable, and would be an even bigger disaster at the national level than it was in Vermont.
The Vermont legislature passed a bill to enact the nation’s first statewide single-payer health system in 2011, which Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) campaigned on and signed into law. The goal of the law was to have the new system, dubbed Green Mountain Care, in place by 2017. On the way to Bernie Sanders’ progressive dream of a socialized health system, Vermont discovered that “free” health care is actually quite expensive. So expensive, in fact, it would require an 11.5 percent payroll tax and a 9.5 percent income tax to fund it. “In a word, enormous,” is how Gov. Shumlin himself described the tax hike required to fund Green Mountain Care.
Read the full article at Forbes.com: Democrats May Be Feeling The Bern, But Sanders' Policies Nearly Wrecked His Own State