Sunday, June 5, 2016

How Bernie Sanders's Socialism Funds Massive Income Inequality - Michael Bargo, Jr.

by Michael Bargo, Jr.

Apparently, ever since President Obama opened the spigot on national debt, the entire nation is on a binge to over-pay public servants. 

The next time Bernie Sanders does a sit-down interview with a major news anchor, he should be asked one simple question: why don’t you ever mention the huge one-percenter salaries and pensions given to government bureaucrats who administer socialist programs? 

After all, Bernie Sanders loves to rant against big corporations and Wall Street billionaires.  His solution is to grow government, create more bureaucracy, hire more bureaucrats, and secretly give more bonuses to socialist bureaucrats.  Today there are huge bonuses given to those who administer the hard-earned dollars of America’s middle class and poor workers.  While many are familiar with the $90,000 bonus given to the former TSA security chief, even after his TSA agents failed to detect 95% of the weapons and bombs brought through airports to test detection procedures last year, there are many people, mostly in education, who receive salaries so large they are difficult to believe.

And because they are large, those who sing from the liberal socialist songbook that the rich are only those who run corporations or profit on Wall Street, the liberally biased media absolutely refuse to report on this transfer of wealth to the socialist class, particularly during an election year.

Examples abound.  When the city of Stockton, Calif. filed for bankruptcy, the judge in charge of the bankruptcy, who was accused of persecuting government union employees, found that the fire engines of Stockton had been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent that every time a fire engine went out on a call, it had to be accompanied by a wrecker.  This was, apparently, because fire department administrators had taken money out of the maintenance fund and given it to themselves as “other pay.”  In 2012, Ronald L. Hittle, the fire chief, received regular pay of $132,000 but received “other pay” of $118,000 bringing his total for 2012 to $323,000.  Stockton’s community development director, whose job description reminds one of President Obama’s career as a community organizer, had regular pay of $133,437 and “other pay” of $291,879, bringing his 2012 total pay to $458,156. 

Apparently, ever since President Obama opened the spigot on national debt, the entire nation is on a binge to over-pay public servants.  And since the public administrators, who control the budgets, have no accountability, they have given themselves big pay increases to the detriment of public safety, health, and education.  And these three things are supposed to be the very reason we have government: to preserve public safety, health, and education. 

Obamacare has led to some startling economic injustice.  Thomas Wander of California’s public Beta Healthcare Group Risk Management Authority earned $2.7 million in 2014.  Khalil M. Tabsch, an outstanding physician at the UCLA Medical Center, received a publicly funded salary of $2.34 million in 2014.  There are 41 university employees who earned between one million and his $2.34 million.  While no one doubts the credentials and competence of these health care professionals, their level of income, which they may get in retirement, is unaffordable to taxpayers.

In higher education, the abuse is more common.  In Illinois, the top beneficiary is Leslie Heffez, an oral surgeon who retired from the U. of Illinois at Chicago (where Donald Trump had to cancel one of his rallies), receiving an annual pension of $547,000.  If he lives to age 81, he’ll get $18 million from taxpayers.  Today, 50% of the cost of tuition at Illinois public universities goes to pensions.  This means half of the student loan debt goes only to support ex-university employees who no longer work and saved little for their retirement.  While this is the highest pension, the average is $71,600, and each retiree will receive $2 million in retirement.  In Illinois, from 2006 to 2015, the state added 8 billion new dollars to higher education, and every cent went only to pensions.

Socialism can be very expensive for the middle class and the poor. 

And while Bernie Sanders shakes his finger and looks so concerned about helping the poor and getting money from Wall Street, he is fronting for the dirtiest secret in American politics: that liberal progressive socialist democrats aren’t about helping the people.  Rather, they are all about getting wealthy from their scam, their big lie, that they are all about the people.  The truth is, as soon as they get into power, they pass laws to keep themselves in power.  They give contracts to their rich Wall Street friends (Chelsea Clinton worked for a hedge fund), then use your money in every conceivable way to make sure nobody can compete with them. 

The most startling aspect of all this is that the liberal media go along with it, refuse to expose the bonuses, refuse to expose the big pensions.  Only private watchdog groups, whose work rarely appears in mainstream newspapers, tell the facts about where the money really goes.  The major media outlets won’t give the big picture.  They won’t reveal the details about the nationally based exploitation of the middle class perpetrated by liberal Democrats and their wonderful programs. 

Democrats always promise to take from the rich, but for some reason your taxes go up.  The government workers get pay increases every year; their pensions grow; and you, without agreeing to this plan, are forced to pay for them.

And Bernie Sanders is behind this racket.  He practices it; he promotes it.  The greatest scheme of exploitation is not white privilege; it’s liberal socialist privilege. 

It may be difficult for Sanders voters to understand why, in states such as Illinois, half of their college tuition goes to pay for the pension plans of university professors and administrators who earn up to $750K a year.  It’s difficult to understand why they get these pensions when the vast majority of college graduates will be forced to save for their own retirements in order to supplement their small social security.  If graduates earning $60K a year can afford to save for retirement, why can’t university administrators who earn $100K to $400K a year save for theirs? 

Mr. Sanders should be asked to explain this.  He should be asked to explain how he talks about economic justice and income inequality when his party forces the middle class to pay outrageously high pensions to socialists.

Since this is an issue of income inequality, he should certainly want to talk about it.  Sanders and Hillary should both be expected to have a conversation with college-age Americans about this system of pensions and explain why they have to save for retirement while public university employees don’t.

When it comes to big pensions that exploit the working middle class and the poor, somehow Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton remain silent.  Their corporate greed and Wall Street rhetoric disappear.  It should make voters wonder if they want this system to continue.  They certainly can’t say it’s fair.

Voters must consider this fall whether they want their country – and the public pension system supported by Democrats – to continue to erode their incomes and standard of living or make the changes needed to make a college degree affordable.

Michael Bargo, Jr.


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