It was like pulling teeth, but it happened just as I had hoped it would but not as I expected: Bernie Sanders finally coming clean (after denying it for years) that taxing millionaires and billionaires to pay for his dream of an unAmerican democratic socialist state wouldn't be enough; to fund it, pay for it, make it work exorbitant taxes on working middle class families would be necessary. This happened Wednesday night on CNN as Sanders was debating tax reform with the brilliant Ted Cruz - who outclassed The Bern at practically every turn, as he did in their last debate on healthcare (see).

What happened was this: after Sanders repeatedly ignored Cruz's assertion that he'd have to hugely raise taxes on the middle class to fund his big government programs something remarkable occurred that forced him to tell the truth: approximately 102 minutes into the debate Sanders was describing himself to Cruz as a Democratic Socialist in the Scandinavian sense: "I'm like the people of Denmark, Norway and Sweden" he proudly said. Then singling out Denmark as the best and most ideal of these states Bernie went through a short list of the socialist benefits the Danish people enjoy; mentioned were "guaranteed healthcare for all," "free pre-school education and child care," "free college tuition for all," and "more generous retirement benefits than Americans receive." Bernie then exclaimed that "the American people have a right to these things and that the rich should be asked to pay their fair share of taxes so they could have them." It was classic eat the rich class warfare Bernie treating success as an evil to be punished. But Ted Cruz shot back that to pay for those things which would cost trillions in this country the Scandinavians, and especially the Danes, pay significantly higher levels of taxes than U.S. citizens.
Then the moderator Jake Tapper interrupted the debate and introduced to Bernie someone from the audience with a question about what he said. The gentlemen, Jacob Kirkegaard, a citizen of Denmark and economist working for the Peterson Institute here in the states asked Bernie the following:
"Senator Sanders, you have at various times including just now expressed the belief that the US should look to Denmark and the Sc
andinavian countries for inspiration....But these countries tax and spend at twice the level of the US... heavily taxing everybody including the middle class not just the rich with, for example, consumption (VAT) taxes at 25% [making everything more expensive]. My sense is that you would like to spend as a Scandinavian but not tax as one."
Then Trapper brought out a chart similar to the one below showing democratic socialist Denmark as having the highest taxes as a percentage of GDP of ANY developed country. Indeed, at nearly 50% of GDP Danes are nearly taxed twice as much as Americans with a rate just under 26%. 
 The top ten highest taxed countries in the developed world include all five Scandinavian states: Denmark (#1), Finland (#4), Sweden (#7),  Iceland (#8) and Norway (#9).
In other words, according to Kirkegarrd, if Bernie Sanders is to completely level with the American people (which he hasn't done hiding what he doesn't want them to know) and be perfectly frank and transparent with them about Scandinavian socialism, and specifically Denmark (the best, according to Sanders, of the Scandinavian states), then he needs to tell the truth about Scandinavian taxation. He needs to say that Danish taxpayers, upper and middle-income folks, are taxed at twice the amount of their US counter parts. Indeed, Sanders needs to tell the public that to benefit from what the Danish people have, free single payer healthcare, free pre-school child care, free college tuition and the like, they need to adopt Denmark's tax code and accept the necessary economic and financial burden of having their taxes raised by nearly 100% - 26% of GDP to almost 50%.
In other words, if Sanders is to honestly sell Danish democratic socialism to America he has to say that not only the rich top 1% millionaires and billionaires have to pay their "FAIR SHARE" of taxes, but middle class working families and small business owners (no longer the wealthiest middle class in the world see) also have to pay their "fair share." After all, the primary moral purpose of socialism is to mostly benefit the HAVE NOTS (those less fortunate defined as poor with the least wealth) at the cost of the HAVES (middle and upper class income earners who own the most wealth). And unless the Haves take care of the Have Nots, offering them for free everything they pay for with the wealth that they work hard for and earn, they are heartless, greedy, uncompassionate bastards (see)."
*Oddly enough, if I may digress here for a moment, a 100% tax increase is what was required in Bernie's home state of Vermont to make single payer work in that state.   
Denmark has the highest capital gains tax in the developed world with Finland in 5th place, Sweden in 6th and Norway in 8th.
 Normally, when Bernie is faced with inconvenient facts, that make his Scandinavian socialism seem unrealistic, impractical and just plain dumb for America, he dodges them either artfully or ridiculously. But this time he couldn't do that. Confronted by a Danish economist (in front of a large TV audience) who knows the Danish economy better than he Bernie conceded that Kirkegaard was right. He conceded that nothing is free; that single payer, free college and the other programs have to be paid for by taxes collected by the government. Indeed, he conceded what Ted Cruz said earlier in the debate that to pay for his socialist state taxing the rich to death isn't enough; that confiscating 100% of their wealth (and causing a depression) would still fall far short of paying the high price of socialist paradise. In sum, Bernie finally publicly admitted to Cruz's delight that without tax hikes on the middle class the heaven of Scandinavia could never come to America.  
However, Bernie handled this by treating massive socialist middle class tax hikes as an investment with big short-term future returns for working Americans. He said that the return would be worth it and pay off big time in huge savings. He said that though a middle class family under his plan might have to pay $3000 or more in taxes than their paying now what they get in return are large reductions in healthcare, childcare, college tuition costs, etc. that exceed $3000 and would raise their net worth and standard of living making life better for all. In short, in Bernie's American socialist state there are only winners, no losers. Everyone prospers, everyone gains, society collectively is better off economically and financially. In short, TAX HIKES ON ALL = SOCIALIST PARADISE. 
  Now if there was any truth to this then Bernie would be right, and on to something good and worthwhile for all or most Americans. Indeed, only a fool would oppose paying more in taxes if it cuts his costs and makes him a wealthier person however slight - while benefiting the poor and improving their lives. In short, if Bernie was right Danish democratic socialism would be the best thing we could import from abroad.
But as Ted Cruz said in the debate typical of socialists Bernie was making promises that were unrealistic, far-fetched, that couldn't be achieved. Or, to put it another way: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM = LA LA LAND UTOPIANISM. Socialism in all its forms (communist, fascist, democratic) is based on false promises, false hopes, false dreams (going back to Marx) of an all caring, empathetic, compassionate government making a cradle to grave good life for all its citizens through the equitable redistribution of wealth. This is what Bernie and all socialists promise. But the promise is a BIG LIE. For as you will see below there's trouble, BIG TROUBLE, in Scandinavian paradise. 
Indeed, unfortunately what went unmentioned in the debate was the disintegrating state of Denmark's "model" socialist economy; and the worsening finances of its struggling middle class whose household debt is three times that of the US because of staggering higher taxes* and more expensive everything. For high taxes, as Obama economic advisor Christina Roma said, have a contractionary or diminishing effect on productivity and growth (see); and typical of high tax Scandinavian states Denmark has a low, pathetic, worsening trickle growth economy (worse than the US). Indeed, since the Great Recession of 2008 Denmark has had three recessions followed by terribly anemic recoveries (each weaker than the last). After the last recession in 2015 GDP for 2016 was under 1% at .7% (see chart below); so far in 2017 its slightly worse ( indicating a trend). With Denmark's government forecasting (actually understating) historic low growth in the years ahead its stagnating economy (like Sweden in the early 1990s) is clearly in steady decline and headed toward a crisis as its growth killing socialist tax policies catch up to it.
Indeed, Bernie Sanders and the pro-Scandinavian Left are using the failing, slowly collapsing socialist state of Denmark as a model for never-to-be-democratic socialism in the US. Common sense tells us (in short supply on the Left) that the enormous and growing private debt load carried by the Danes is evidence of how badly Denmark's social state is failing them. To make ends meet and buy the things (goods and services) they need and love (which are far more expensive than in the US) Danes are going deeper and deeper into financially ruinous crushing debt; and this completely, totally and absolutely erases all the cost saving benefits of single payer healthcare and other low-cost or no cost socialist programs. It's smoke and mirrors economic deception. One big slight of hand hoax. By making food, clothes, energy, TVs, computers, cars, homes* etc., artificially more expensive (with a 25% value added tax (VAT) and other government levies and fees (a 200% tax on new cars for example), Danes are driven deeper and deeper into personal debt to pay for these things.
*This over-taxation has led to Denmark having the lowest car ownership and home ownership of all western nations. And it has put farmers, manufacturing, and general merchandise businesses under because people do not have the money to buy in excess.
A graph showing Denmark's household debt to income ratio to be the highest in the developed world, and almost three times that of the US.
Indeed, it appears that Denmark is approaching the stage where socialist Sweden was in the early 1990s: an economically wrecking imbalance between a large, growing public sector (government) cannibalizing a shrinking private sector with diminishing productivity and growth. The Denmark socialist state by degrees is greatly damaging the goose that lays the golden eggs: free market capitalism. Like broken, busted, bankrupt socialist Greece Denmark is likewise collapsing in on itself; and like Sweden in the early 1990s to save itself from becoming like Greece or Venezuela it must downsize its over bloated government by slashing taxes, spending, regulations and pensions. But what is certain is that Denmark and the other Scandinavian states have no answer for these United States.


  1. Cruz quoted President Kennedy during the debate on tax cuts. And Sanders just stood there looking like the socialist dope he is

  2. I love how allowing folks to keep some more of the money they earned is viewed as theft by the crazy, crackpot Bernie-Warren wing

    Thing is the government doesn’t own your labor unless you are a slave of the state.

  3. “Do you think Americans are ready for a big tax hike like that?” Sanders answered, “If we can have sensible discussions like this, yeah I think they will be.” What an ass.

  4. Take away all or 90% of the wealth of the rich like Bernie “Old Socialist Fart” Sanders wants and what you would see is a HUGE loss in jobs and wealth among the less rich and middle and lower classes. The guy is totally economically stupid.

  5. Love the debate. Many knock-out blows by Cruz and definite avoidance by Sanders. He avoided every pressing question that dealt with results, as the Left always does, because they think they’re superior for having good intentions.

    1. Bernie’s way past delusional if he thinks Americans are willing to accept a 25%+ tax on EVERYTHING. But, that’s nothing new.

  6. Senator Cruz opened the debate with a one-minute statement predicting that Bernie Sanders would call for higher taxes on the rich. But Cruz then pointed out that there aren’t nearly enough rich out there to pay for all the “free” things Bernie wants to distribute.”

    Then, as Apollo pointed out, he conceded that the middle class would have to be taxed too. That right there destroyed his chances of being president.

    1. It was over for people with a functioning brain who use it for something other than to feed feelgood emotion and pleasure centers.

  7. I am not ready for that tax increase. Nor am I ready to trust The Government to be my sole option for health insurancne, and have the final say in what health care I actually get.

  8. Thought provoking piece Apollo. Bernie Sanders is a clever man, but otherwise a very ignorant man who promises a utopia that cannot be delivered to gain personal power. I believe that he paves the way for someone in the future who is similarly foolish, but offers a prettier package.


  9. The American Constitution calls for a LIMITED government. Socialists want government to control EVERYTHING.

    The American Constitution is based on the idea that property belongs to the person who has earned it. Socialists assume that all wealth is the property of the government, and may be distributed as those in charge see fit.

    This is why Democrats/Socialists hate the American Constitution.

      1. And he and his leftist ilk are wanting to make all of us Boxers.


        They are certainly trying.

  10. Didn’t see the debate yet. But lemme guess, Bernie kept saying “One Percent!”, and “Gimmie your s**t!”

  11. I’d vote for Sanders if life was free.

    The problem is life has a price and we all pay for it – that’s true whether its with cash or in some other form.

    Sanders problem is he doesn’t want to admit everything he proposes isn’t really free.

    Which is why I can never vote for him or embrace the philosophy he espouses.

    1. The scary part about Sanders is that it’s easy to outclass a socialist in a debate, but impossible to out-Santa Claus him in a campaign.

  12. Well states Apollo.

    We don’t live in the Garden Of Eden.

    Sure we could have all of our needs and wants covered, like Bernie Sanders wants to do, but I suspect we wouldn’t be happy.

    Mortality allows us to grow and thrive in a way we couldn’t do in a perfect world.

    I stipulate I have no idea if Heaven is an upgrade.

    But the human effort to implement it on earth has never worked out like people have expected

  13. Thanks Apollo.

    I watched the uploads of this debate on YouTube, the segments with Ted Cruz anyway, and I thought Cruz did a great job.

    He didn’t just articulate the colossal divide between a constitutional republic and socialism masterfully, he used charts and graphs from federal records to show how our economy surged under the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts and plummeted under the Carter and Obama tax hikes.

    1. You’re very welcome my friend. Cruz even educated everyone on the actual story of Robin Hood, who Bernie Sanders had earlier invoked to justify his position of taking from the rich. (Robin Hood actually stole from the tax collectors i.e. the government)

    1. …Give everybody a Medicaid card—we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation…

      GIVE is the operative term. Bankrupt us, yes. But, liberals will have susceptible voters believing that they will have “free” healthcare not realizing that the “freeness” will result in national value added taxes, huge nafional sales taxes, and higher income taxes to “pay” for it.

      More “free” stuff to buy votes.

    2. I used to know old time socialists like Bernie in college years ago. I’ll bet they, like Bernie, got into politics full time, or still don’t have jobs.

    3. Bernie’s Medicare For All would abolish private insurers which cover 180 million people. That’s 180 million losing their private insurance.

      1. On twitter Bernie always says “repeal and replace will throw 24 million off their health care”.

        So it’s hypocrisy x8 for him to promote his plan. Way worse than Obamacare.

      2. Union guys who gave up cash raises over three decades of negotiation in exchange for health benefits are going to be very, very displeased.

    1. We are $20,000,000,000 in debt and have $105,000,000,000 in unfunded liabilities. Anyone who thinks that socialist plans are a good idea is insane.

    2. Ted Cruz just chewed up Bernie!

      Bernie kept bringing up Medicare as the answer: Medicare IS UNDERFUNDED TO THE TUNE OF TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS!!!

      Get government out of healthcare!

      1. I kept thinking the same thing. Bernie kept saying we are “the richest country in the world” and yet we are $20 TRILLION IN DEBT !!!!! Actually it is more like $200 TRILLION when you calculate the net present value of all the unfunded liabilities (entitlements). That’s not rich, it’s a perfect storm for national collapse.

      2. Socialists believe the nation is wealthy until they run out of other people’s money.

        The leaders of Venezuela still think they have the money for national programs, even with their destitute situation.

    3. Crazy Bernie wants to expand Medicare into a single payer system that includes all Americans. Only problem is that Medicare is in debt for tens and trillions of dollars and is going broke. Sanders Medicare for All would speed up Medicare’s bankruptcy.

      1. True. Medicare is in debt to the tune of $27 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Adding millions more to Medicare would be a recipe for total fiscal collapse down the line. To cover this cost we would have to have a massive tax increase to the tune of 20-30% on top of our already bloated figures. Such a tax hike however is politically unpopular making Medicare for All an impractical solution to our healthcare problems

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