HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher, who is supporting Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated that Sanders’ supporters “want the revolution, but they don’t want to acknowledge revolutions cost money” on Friday.
Maher began by pointing to a poll that showed that “a vast majority of Americans preferred lower prices over buying goods made in the US. He then stated, “See, this is the problem with Trumponomics. He wants us to be able to buy a $1.99 baseball cap, made in a factory in America, where people are being paid $30-an-hour.”
National Review writer Charles Cooke responded that it wasn’t just Trump, but a general problem in US politics, as demonstrated by deficits caused by people wanting more social services, but lower taxes.
Cooke then said, “And if you look at this election, you essentially have Hillary Clinton, who’s saying she’s not going to increase middle class taxes, which is where the money is, but she’s going to keep entitlements the same and probably add to them, and [Republican presidential candidate Texas Senator] Ted Cruz, who says he’s going to cut taxes, but not pay for it, and somehow, magically, with growth, we’ll make it up. Well, neither of those things is true, but that’s what’s happened for the last few decades.”
Maher then responded that Sanders’ supporters are also guilty of this. He cited a different poll showing that 66% of Sanders’ supporters wouldn’t pay more than $1,000 in additional taxes to pay for single-payer healthcare, something Maher said, “is very expensive.” He also pointed to the result from the same poll that only half wouldn’t pay more than $1,000 in taxes for free college.
Maher then remarked, “They want the revolution, but they don’t want to acknowledge revolutions cost money.”
CNN Commentator Van Jones later responded, “People say, ‘Oh these young people, they just want a bunch of free stuff.’ That is really unfair. Nobody says that NASA wants free space shuttles. Nobody says that the Pentagon wants free drones. What you have is a consensus that we all pay taxes, and then you figure out where the money goes. And what the young people are saying is, we’re spending money on dumb dumb wars. We’re spending money on prisons. stop spending money on that, and spend money on us. that’s fair.”
Maher agreed that this was fair, but there still might not be enough money to pay for what Sanders wants to do.
After Jones and Cooke debated whether, even with spending cuts, there was enough money to pay for Sanders’ policy proposals. Maher stated, “They couldn’t even get single-payer to work in Vermont. it’s very expensive. You know why? Especially Because no one will say, on the other side, to the suppliers, you have to control your cost. No one’s going to say that. And as long as they can gouge whatever they want, it’s a crazy system.”
Jones later asked, “Why do we have private insurance companies at all? … Shouldn’t insurance be for stuff that you aren’t sure about? For instance, you get car insurance, because you aren’t sure if you’re going to have an accident. You aren’t sure if your house is going to catch fire or get flood, you get flood insurance, fire insurance. You can be sure of one thing, at some point, you are going to get sick, and at some point you are going to die. So, we are all going to — why do we need insurance for that? Don’t you just need healthcare?
Maher added, “I think it’s even more basic than that. Why should life and death and sickness be up for the profit motive? It shouldn’t. That’s what every other country has figured out.”
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