The Boston Globe published a story about a politician buying votes, one voter at a time. But no, this is not a story about Mike Bloomberg. It is about Bernie Sanders.
I guess the article is trying to be sympathetic, showing us how someone who has fallen on hard times and has $3 to his name is going to vote for Bernie to get all his debts forgiven. And the reason for his hard luck isn’t him, it is the “recession.” That is the conclusion of the reporter but it is not backed up by any evidence in the article. Instead, his family has suffered because he had an abusive father who then died early. This left the family in dire financial straits and the 29-year-old protagonist has still not recovered.
Would people in debt like their debt to be magically forgiven? Sure, why not. Can their votes be purchased by politicians who promise to do so? Absolutely. And this is the socialist path to victory, which is why it is more effective during a recession than during an economic recovery.
When debts are forgiven, do you think these borrowers learn their lesson and don’t incur more debt that they can’t repay? (that is a rhetorical question.)
The debts that are “forgiven” don’t magically disappear. Someone or some entity loaned the money. And unless you want the public to lose confidence in our monetary system, those debts must be repaid by someone or some entity. In the Sanders plan, it is the U.S. taxpayer who assumes them.
But the agents of the taxpayers–the politicians–have already borrowed too much. Our total federal debt is now about $22 trillion. So we just pile this additional borrowing on, and hope that people don’t lose confidence in the monetary system because the debts became unmanageable or because people realize they may never be paid off, just assigned to the next group of taxpayers. And then, in some distant future, we hope that people don’t suddenly and unexpectedly lose confidence in the monetary system.
This is before our unfunded liabilities start to really kick in. We owe thousands and thousands of billions of dollars (trillions, to those who like to keep track of this stuff) in future liabilities that are growing and coming due. Each state has billions in promises it has made to government workers and former workers. The federal government is in the same boat. As the baby boomer wave retires, their government pensions and health care costs are theoretically funded but in reality are not funded. So future governments will have to cut promised benefits, or raise taxes, or both. Anything short of fulfilling the promises could cause people to lose confidence in the monetary system.
For example, in Massachusetts alone, the unfunded pension liabilities are estimated at $105 billion. (See https://www.policyed.org/pension-pursuit/pension-liability-state/map).
The federal government’s unfunded liabilities are in the $50 Trillion range. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States#Unfunded_obligations_excluded).
We will keep juggling this Ponzi scheme until…people lose confidence in the monetary system.
Allen Nitschelm is publisher of PublicEditorMA.com. He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles we publish.
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