Fox's Varney Attacks Sanders' Proposal For Full Employment As A 'Vote Buying Operation'

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is about to announce his plan to guarantee every American a job:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and health-care benefits to every American worker “who wants or needs one,” embracing the kind of large-scale government works project that Democrats have shied away from in recent decades.

Sanders's jobs guarantee would fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals. Under the job guarantee, every American would be entitled to a job under one of these projects or receive job training to be able to do so, according to an early draft of the proposal.

A representative from Sanders's office said they had not yet done a cost estimate for the plan or decided how it would be funded, saying they were still crafting the proposal.

Sanders joins two other rumored 2020 Democratic presidential contenders who have expressed support for the idea of a jobs guarantee. The push reflects a leftward move in the party's economic policy, away from President Barack Obama's use of public-private partnerships or government incentives to reshape private markets and toward an unambiguous embrace of direct government intervention.

Job guarantee advocates say their plan would drive up wages by significantly increasing competition for workers, ensuring that corporations have to offer more generous salaries and benefits if they want to keep their employees from working for the government. Supporters say it also would reduce racial inequality, because black workers face unemployment at about twice the rates of white workers, as well as gender inequality, because many iterations of the plan call for the expansion of federal child-care work.

“The goal is to eliminate working poverty and involuntary unemployment altogether,” said Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School who has advocated for a jobs guarantee program along with Stony Brook University's Stephanie Kelton and a group of left-leaning economists at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College. “This is an opportunity for something transformative, beyond the tinkering we've been doing for the last 40 years, where all the productivity gains have gone to the elite of society.”


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This is, of course, as the article explained, dead on arrival with Republicans in charge of the Congress and the White House, but despite opposition from the right, "ideas such as a jobs guarantee plan is gaining traction among prominent Democrats. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) backed the idea on Twitter earlier this month. As first reported by Vox, Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) last week also announced his intention to introduce a separate bill that would create a pilot program for a job guarantee in 15 rural and urban areas."

As expected, Sanders' proposal had their heads exploding over on Fox "news," with Fox Business host Stuart Varney attacking the plan as a "vote buying operation" on this Tuesday's Fox & Friends.

KILMEADE: So, stunning numbers. Fourteen states, fourteen states are recorded record low, including one record high, Hawaii. record low unemployment.

Varney: record low. just over 2% in Hawaii. Extraordinary stuff. Look, this is more clear evidence that the trump economy is a fully employed economy and expanding fast.

KILMEADE: He's got people back in the workforce.

VARNEY: Prosperity extends all across the board here, including the states which did not vote for Donald Trump. California, Oregon. Do you think they say thank you, Mr. Trump, for what have you done for the economy? I think not. But what we have got here is a fully employed economy. There are, let's see now, we've got um... we have Maine, Nebraska, Idaho, Iowa, all with an unemployment rate below 3%. That's extraordinary. That's a record low. The problem is not new jobs. It's finding qualified workers to fill the positions that are currently available.

KILMEADE: Are wages going up?

VARNEY: Wages are going up but not fast enough. I think they goal up much faster later this year labor shortage has to be filled by people moving from one job to another.

DOOCY: Well, Bernie Sanders wants the minimum wage to go up to at least $15 an hour and he wants the government to guarantee everybody who wants a job should get one, and they will be paid that.

VARNEY: It's called a vote buying operation. That's what it is. $15 an hour, a government job, with benefits, guaranteed by the government.

DOOCY: Who pays for that?

VARNEY: I don't know.

KILMEADE: The same people that pay for the free college.

VARNEY: I'm sure it will be tax the rich because the rich will be paying their fair share. In fact the rich already paid the vast majority of taxes in this country. And I'm sure that Bernie Sanders will be saying a guaranteed job for all paid for by the rich. It's a nonstarter.

EARHARDT: Is it possible to even guarantee there will be jobs for everyone, like free college for everyone?

VARNEY: No. Actually, it's not. I don't think it is. And can you imagine the vast bureaucracy which you will have to create to provide a government guaranteed job for everyone? Another big bureaucracy? You will never get rid of it and do we need it? At a time when this economy is a fully employed economy, along comes Bernie Sanders and says oh, 15 bucks an hour plus benefits for any job and we will guarantee it.

KILMEADE: And he's also talking about automatic, everybody gets 1,000 bucks a month.

DOOCY: That's a politician who has come up with universal pay.

VARNEY: And he was on my show yesterday. His name is Yang, and he wants $1,000 per month from the government to every single adult between of 18 and 64. He says it will cost $2 trillion.

DOOCY: And that too is vote buying.

VARNEY: Are you kidding me? Of course it is.

When Trump proposes anything, whether it's something they agree with or not, like dismantling our trade agreements, it's "playing to his base." When the left does it, it's "buying votes." Fox threw away the dog whistles for blow horns ages ago and it continues unabated.

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