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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 07:38 AM

 

Sanders: Government not a foreign entity, in a democratic society, is the people

WaPo: How Bernie Sanders would transform the nation

In the America that Bernie Sanders wants to create, tuition would be free for every student at every public college.

Which, of course, is another way of saying that the government would pay for it. To do that, the Democratic presidential candidate would spend $750 billion over 10 years, and raise the money with a new tax on Wall Street trades.

If he becomes president, Sanders would spend an enormous amount of money: $3.27 trillion. At the very, very least. But he is not just a big-spending liberal. And his agenda is not just about money.

It’s also about control.

The biggest pieces of Sanders’s domestic agenda — making college, health care and child care more affordable — seek to capture these industries and convert them to run chiefly on federal money.

“You’re not ‘turning to’ the government. You’re assuming that the government is some kind of foreign entity,” Sanders said in an interview. “The government, in a democratic society, is the people.”

And that still would be true if he became President Sanders. Republicans in the Congress would fight him fiercely. Democrats might not be much help. In fact, Sanders’s most recent Senate bills — legislation that would make college free and provide universal health care — attracted exactly zero Democrats as co-sponsors.

But he is certain that the government would become the major funder for the industry. That means child care for every American who wants it. And rules to make sure the money is well spent.

“The goal is to make it universal,” said Warren Gunnels, Sanders’s policy director. “Just like you make health care universal. Just like you make public colleges and universities tuition-free.”

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