The Sagamore

The Case Against Sanders

Jesse Lamba, Contributing Writer

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Bernie Sanders should not be president of the United States. His glaring lack of command and distance from reality set him apart as an uninformed, second-rate candidate. Sanders’ radical socialist policies and pricey wishlist would essentially kill economic growth and serve only to increase the $486 billion deficit. According to a Wall Street Journal study, cumulative spending for Sanders’ wishlist would total over $18 trillion over the next decade. The American people deserve better.

One of Sanders’ most significant economic proposals is to end free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among others. Free trade agreements such as these support over 140,000 small and mid-sized businesses across America. NAFTA alone has created over 14 million new jobs since 1994, increased American exports, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce credits NAFTA with increasing U.S. trade in goods and services with Canada and Mexico by $1.2 trillion in 2011. There are 14 other free trade agreements, each providing important benefits for the US economy. Clearly, there is an important correlation between economic growth and free trade.

Universal Healthcare. These two words are ones that electrify Sanders supporters, leading them into unimaginable fantasies about what the American healthcare system could become. However, a closer look reveals the catastrophic effects of a single-payer system. Take Canada for example. All of its citizens are entitled to health insurance and preventive care regardless of medical history, personal income or standard of living. This sounds great on paper right?

A Canadian think tank recently calculated that residents of our northern neighbor have to wait an average of two months to get an MRI. To receive orthopedic surgery, many Canadians have to wait for almost a year. No wonder hundreds cross the border each year to receive medical treatment in America. Medical innovation and research have also dropped off considerably, by 29 percent to be exact. Sanders’ new system wants to ‘stand up to drug companies and negotiate fair prices.’ Companies will have little incentive to develop new technologies or drugs because the government will immediately establish price controls on their services. While the healthcare system needs reform, it does not need Sanders’ help.

America is a nation of immigrants and reforming the current system could provide opportunities for new families and create a brighter future for the American economy. Our border needs to be more secure than it is now in order to prevent drug trafficking, illegal immigration and other unlawful activity. Bernie Sanders is soft on immigration and that is costly to American taxpayers.

Robert Rector, MA, Senior Research Fellow in Domestic Policy at the Heritage Foundation, and Jason Richwine, PhD, Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation conducted a study on the costs and benefits of illegal immigrants in America. The study found that “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers…”

Instead of providing illegal immigrants with government benefits, we should allocate this funding elsewhere (i.e. to veteran’s care and infrastructure). Sanders also states that his plan for reform will “pave the way for a swift and fair legislative roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants.” Currently, there is a backlog of law-abiding, tax-paying legal immigrants waiting to become citizens. How is this policy fair to legal immigrants who want to become a part of American society? Instead, we should streamline the immigration process for all immigrants and address the issue of amnesty and asylum on a case by case basis. The United States should enforce its immigration laws while allowing immigrants the chance to improve their lives and live out the American dream.

America is great because of competitive capitalism. It spurs on innovation and economic growth. The very workhorse that drives this great country forward is currently under attack. The key to solving America’s problems is not by coddling the less fortunate; rather, it is by providing them with the opportunity and freedom to succeed (i.e. a proper education, an end to discrimination based on gender and race and equal opportunities at the workplace). The United States of America is great and will continue to be great as long as Bernie Sanders does not become the President.

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The Case Against Sanders