The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Bernie Sanders is many things, but at the core of his being there lies only one thing—Bernie is a forceful advocate of Big Intrusive Government (BIG). In Bernie's view (soon to be adopted as part of the Democrat Party's national platform), the government should tax even more, create even more "free stuff" programs (e.g., "free college") that transfer money from those who pay taxes to those who pay little or no taxes, vastly expand existing BIG entitlements like Social Security and Medicare (both programs are going broke, but that doesn't matter), increase regulation of nearly every aspect of the private sector, and centrally plan the economy by favoring some businesses while crushing the workers employed in others (think: coal).

Bernie is cheered by clueless college students and left-wing advocates who seem perfectly comfortable adopting a demonstrably failed political philosophy right out of the early 20th century. He, even more than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, embodies failed ideas that come straight out of the past.

As Sanders preaches BIG to his adoring followers, we read news reports of the sequential failures of BIG agencies. Tens of thousands of travelers are seriously inconvenienced by the TSA bureaucracy that tells us that "more money" is needed to move people through their pathetic attempt at security theater (recall that studies indicate a 93 percent failure rate in identifying contraband items). Not a single government employee suggests that there might be a lower cost, more efficient way of doing airport security (can you say "profiling?"). Nah ... more money, that's the ticket, until it's not, then, more and more money, ad nauseum. The head of the Veteran's Administration suggests that Veterans should wait in line for medical care in much the same way as people wait in line at Disney World—and be happy about the "quality" care they will eventually get, if they live long enough to get it.

What seems to escape progressive advocates of BIG is that as governmental systems get bigger, they get much more complex, and as they become more complex, they become ponderous and inefficient. They also become MUCH more expensive as money is siphoned away from the people who are supposed to benefit and poured into an ever-growing bureaucracy that is rapacious and protective of its continuing existence. Therefore, the bureaucracy is perfectly willing to embrace criminal behavior and dishonesty (think: the IRS scandal) if those things help the bureaucracy to survive and prosper.

Of course, crony capitalists benefit by sucking at the tit of BIG, providing it with useless equipment (think: hundreds of millions of dollars for "naked" airport scanners that were later discarded) or questionable services (think: the government contractor who wasted $300 million building an Obamacare website that didn't work). Everyone benefits, except the beleaguered taxpayer. And Bernie Sanders has the gall to tell us that BIG will make things better?

Welcome to Bernie's America!

Daniel Henninger comments:
What’s notable about liberalism as represented by Hillary Clinton, much less the socialist Bernie Sanders, is that across nearly 85 years, they never looked back.

They seem never to have revisited the possibility that an argument made for bureaucratic planning in the depths of an economic recession might not be appropriate for the American economy when normal growth resumed. Instead, they stuck unto eternity with the idea that “scarce resources” will necessarily require “complexity.”
But the argument that scarcity mandates complexity is what led to the fiasco called ObamaCare. Even the non-complex funding mechanisms for earlier entitlements, such as Social Security, are grinding toward collapse. The Social Security Trust Fund’s depletion date is 2035.

Unnoticed by them is that their creations have grown into public agencies that have become too big to perform by any politically acceptable measure. (Or more likely the rents earned from being attached to this game mean results don’t matter much.)
"Too big to perform." That might be a good bumper sticker for Bernie's supporters. Then again, maybe not—it sounds eerily similar to "Too big to fail." But in Bernie's America, it's not really about performance, or efficiency, or common sense. It's all about "social justice."

Hmmm. It's kind of hard to see any justice in having to sleep on the floor of an airport because you missed your flight because a BIG agency can't do its job. It's even harder to see any "justice" in a veteran with a serious illness having to wait for weeks or months to see a doctor because a different BIG agency can't do its job.

I know, I know, under Bernie things would be different. BIG would be miraculously transformed and become efficient and inexpensive. Fraud and abuse would disappear. Yeah, that's the ticket! Utopia ... here we come.