Every time I watch another one of these little rants by Fox's Bill O'Reilly, I'm reminded of the fact that they basically boil down to one thing; O'Reilly is pissed off about how much he's paying in taxes, and he's going to stomp his feet and scream to the hills until someone does something to change that.
Bill-O is the epitome of the GOP's basic philosophy in life, which is I've got mine and screw the rest of you, and his Talking Points Memo this Tuesday was no exception to that rule.
O'Reilly did his best to push the latest talking point from our corporate media, distorting Bernie Sanders' economic proposals and pretending that they're going to cost $18 trillion above and beyond the money Americans are already paying for these services, and completely ignoring any of the savings or economic benefits derived from them, and for good measure he lumped Clinton right in with him as well, and decided that she must be a Socialist too.
O'Reilly might be surprised to find out that most Americans are "Socialists" when it comes to protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and our social safety nets, and not wanting to see their earned benefits slashed after years of paying their tax dollars into the system and assuming it would be there for them in their time of need or when they retire. I also don't think you're going to find too many people who think protecting our private pensions is a bad idea, but that was on Bill-O's list of grievances about Sanders as well.
Here's the transcript of his rant from his web site for those who can't watch the clip: Free Stuff for Americans:
Senator Bernie Sanders, drawing big crowds like this one in Boston, telling folks America should give them free stuff.
Sanders, of course, the nation's only socialist senator.
And because old Bernie is doing so well with the entitlement line, we now have Hillary Clinton getting on the train:
HILLARY CLINTON: “Every young person who wants to go to college, number one should be able to go to a community college for free. That’s two more years of education on top of high school. I support President Obama's proposal for doing that. But I want to go further. I think everyone who goes to a public college or university should be able to do that without having to borrow a penny to pay tuition.”
Mrs. Clinton says her proposal for essentially free college tuition would cost an average of $35 billion a year.
Talking Points believes that figure is from the Land of Oz. It would cost far more than that, although I admit my opinion is speculation.
What is not speculation is what Bernie Sanders wants to do:
- Free Medicare for all Americans; cost: $15 trillion over ten years.
- An increase in Social Security payments; cost: $1.2 trillion.
- Guaranteed family leave costs $319 billion.
- Tuition free schools; cost: $750 billion.
- Rebuilding the nation's infrastructure costs one trillion dollars.
- Preventing private companies from cutting pensions costs $29 billion.
The freebies and programs Senator Sanders supports would cost the taxpayer $18 trillion over a decade.
Obviously that's not fiscally possible unless the federal government begins seizing assets, which is certainly in line with the socialist philosophy.
On the other side, Governor Jeb Bush recently said this about courting African-American voters:
JEB BUSH: “We should make that case because our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn't one of division and get in line and we'll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting -- that says you can achieve earned success. We're on your side, things can get better.”
Of course the liberal press derided Mr. Bush for using the words “free stuff.”
But it is free stuff that the Democratic Party is promising in each and every election.
That's what the party stands for these days – entitlements. And many Americans are buying into it, somehow believing the U.S. government owes them prosperity.
So with Hillary Clinton now imitating Bernie Sanders, the country faces a very interesting scenario.
Capitalism vs socialism.
We'll see what prevails.
And that's the memo.
O'Reilly can try to give Jeb(!) all the cover he wants, but that's not going to make Bush's, or his own statements any less tone deaf with the majority of voters who are not Faux "news" consumers.