Critique of the 2nd Democrat Debate, from all sides

By Suzanne Price – When Hillary spoke after the debate, she announced to the small gathering, “The other side (meaning the Republicans) does not want young people to be involved, they don’t want young people to register and vote, they don’t want people of color, they don’t want elderly people, they want to prevent you from voting because they are afraid of the way you will vote.”

That is not true. Hillary is flat out telling a ‘Lie’, she knows it is a lie. Republicans have never said any of that. But really, can we expect anything but lies from her? (Benghazi). The Left preaches these untruths over and over to their flock and are not questioned as to their validity.

The Republicans do want the young, do want people of color, do want the elderly to register and to vote. What the Republicans do not want, is for groups such as Acorn (who helped get Obama elected) and other left-wing organizations to allow them to abuse the system and have the young, the people of color and the elderly to vote more than once.

There are many take aways from Saturday night’s Democrat debate. But the question is, can America afford to have even one more term any democrat as President, especially now? I think not. Not if we are to remain a free nation. If they can not tell the truth while running for public office and they want that job, what could we expect from these three after being elected?

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders stretched the truth when facts are checked, and some reports claim Bernie Sanders actually won.

FactChecking the Second Democratic Debate

By Brooks Jackson, Robert Farley, Lori Robertson, D’Angelo Gore and Eugene Kiely – MSN

Summary

The three Democratic presidential candidates faced off on a Saturday night, and made several inaccurate claims:

  • Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said that in President Reagan’s first term, the highest marginal income tax rate was 70 percent. But Reagan signed a bill in his first year dropping that to 50 percent, and it dropped again to 28 percent in his second term.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the U.S. “has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth.” But Israel, Brazil and Chile have both greater income and wealth inequality, and more countries beat the U.S. in one of the measures.
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrongly said that wages “haven’t risen since the turn of the last century.” Real average weekly earnings of rank-and-file workers rose 7.2 percent since 1999.
  • Sanders repeated his talking point about billionaires paying “an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers.” That may be the case for some in those professions, once we factor in payroll taxes, but it’s not accurate for all.
  • When Clinton cited Princeton economist Alan Krueger’s support for her minimum wage proposal, O’Malley called him a Wall Street economist. He’s not.
  • O’Malley boasted that Maryland was “the only state” to freeze college tuition four years in a row. This year, Maine did so as well.

Analysis

Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley met at Drake University in Iowa for the debate, which was hosted by CBS News, KCCI-TV in Des Moines and the Des Moines Register.

O’Malley on Top Tax Rate Under Reagan

O’Malley said that in President Ronald Reagan’s first term, “the highest marginal [income tax] rate was 70 percent.” That was true only briefly. In Reagan’s first year in office, he signed a bill reducing the top rate to 50 percent. And in his second term, he reduced it again, to 28 percent.

O’Malley cited the top marginal tax rate during the debate to make the point that upper-income taxpayers should be paying more, and historically have.

O’Malley: And may I point out that under Ronald Reagan’s first term, the highest marginal rate was 70 percent. And in talking to a lot of our neighbors who are in that super wealthy, millionaire and billionaire category, a great number of them love their country enough to do more again in order to create more opportunity for America’s middle class.

As a matter of history, the top marginal tax rate of 70 percent was established in 1964, when Congress passed a tax cutbacked by President John F. Kennedy. In the decades before that, the top rate was much higher — hovering around 90 percent.

So 70 percent was the top rate when Reagan took office in January 1981. Eight months after taking office, Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which cut the highest marginal tax rate to 50 percent.

In his second term, Reagan signed a bill in 1986 that lowered the top marginal income tax rate to 28 percent.

Sanders Off on Inequality and Poverty

Sanders continued to peddle some false claims about U.S. inequality and child poverty:

Sanders: This country today has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth. …  We have the highest rate of childhood poverty. …

Regarding income inequality, we noted back in May that World Bank statistics list at least 41 countries with greater income inequality than the U.S. — including Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina.

And as for wealth inequality, the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent in the U.S. puts it in 11th place among 37 nations listed in the 2015 edition of the Global Wealth Databook. The top 1 percent in Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, China, Czech Republic and Israel each hold a greater share of their nation’s wealth, according to that publication.

Finally, the rate of child poverty is far worse in many other countries, including several with industrialized economies. The campaign told us the senator was referring to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but that report ranks the U.S. seventh in “relative childhood poverty” among the 38 countries listed.

Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria all had higher rates of child poverty than the U.S., in the OECD’s ranking.

It’s also worth noting that “relative poverty” is a measure of household disposable income relative to others in that country.

Clinton Wrong on Wages

Clinton erred when she said real wages haven’t risen in nearly 15 years.

Clinton: [W]ages adjusted for inflation haven’t risen since the turn of the last century.

That’s not true, according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Real average weekly earnings of rank-and-file workers were 7.2 percent higher in September than they were in December 1999.

Furthermore, real weekly wages have jumped 2.3 percent in the most recent 12 months alone.

Sanders on Truck Drivers’ Tax Rates

Sanders repeated one of his campaign trail talking points: “But we are going to end the absurdity, as Warren Buffet often remind us … that billionaires pay an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers.” That’s the case for some in those professions — compared with billionaires who earn their money through investments — but it’s not accurate for all. In fact, a truck driver would have to earn more than the median salary to pay a higher effective rate.

We previously ran the calculations for several different hypothetical nurses and truck drivers (and firefighters and police officers, who have also been part of this Sanders claim), comparing total effective tax rates, including payroll taxes, to what an investment fund manager would pay if only paying capital gains tax rates on earnings.

The billionaire fund manager would pay 23.8 percent — the top capital gains rate for income above $413,200 for individuals — and a 3.8 percent Medicare surcharge tax on investment income for those earning more than $200,000. A truck driver earning the median income for the profession ($39,520) wouldn’t pay a higher rate then the fund manager’s 23.8 percent.

demon debate

But if that truck driver earned a higher salary — such as the average pay in Peabody, Massachusetts ($57,250) — and was single with no dependents, he or she would pay an effective tax rate of 26 percent, higher than the fund manager. If that truck driver had one dependent child, however, the rate would drop to 21 percent.

As for nurses, the median salary is much higher — $66,640. A single nurse with no dependents would have a 28 percent effective tax rate with that salary. But once we add a dependent child, or a nonworking spouse, or both, the nurse’s rate sinks below that of the wealthy fund manager.

If the billionaire fund managers’ earnings were taxed at regular income tax rates, he or she would pay a higher rate. Most marginal income tax rates are higher than capital gains rates, with individual income between about $37,000 and $90,000 at the 25 percent rate for 2015. The top income tax rate is 39.6 percent, which starts after income surpasses $413,200.

Krueger Not a Wall Street Economist

O’Malley lumped Princeton economist Alan Krueger in with what he called “economists on Wall Street.” Krueger is not a Wall Street economist.

O’Malley made his remarks when he had a disagreement with Clinton over how much to raise the minimum wage. O’Malley supports raising it to $15 per hour. Clinton has proposed $12 per hour, and she cited Princeton economist Alan Krueger’s support for her proposal and concern for increasing the minimum to $15 per hour.

O’Malley: I think we need to stop taking our advice from economists on Wall Street …

Clinton: He’s not Wall Street.

O’Malley: … And start taking advice …

Clinton: That’s not fair. He’s a progressive economist.

O’Malley is wrong about Krueger’s background. It is entirely in academia and education.

Krueger graduated with a doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1987. “Since 1987 he has held a joint appointment in the Economics Department and Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University,” according to his biography on the university website.

Krueger also has held top positions in government, including chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama and chief economist at the Department of Labor under President Bill Clinton. His full curriculum vitae can be found here.

O’Malley’s Outdated Tuition Boast

O’Malley claimed that Maryland was the only state that went four consecutive years without an increase in college tuition. That’s no longer the case.

O’Malley: We were the only state to go four years in a row without a penny’s increase to college tuition.

Yes, as governor, O’Malley did sign bills implementing a tuition freeze at public universities in Maryland that lasted from 2007 until 2010. But Maine has now matched what Maryland once achieved.

In March of this year, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees again voted to freeze in-state tuition at its seven member schools. That means the school system has now gone four years without an increase in tuition at its public universities.

Sources

Geewax, Marilyn. “JFK’s Lasting Economic Legacy: Lower Tax Rates.” NPR. 14 Nov 2013.

Tax Foundation. Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library. The Second American Revolution: Reaganomics.

GovTrack.us. H.R. 3838: Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Credit Suisse Research Institute. “Global Wealth Databook.” Oct 2015.

World Bank. “GINI index (World Bank estimate).” Data accessed 15 Nov 2015.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “Chart CO2.2.A. Child income poverty rates, 2012.” Data accessed 15 Nov 2015.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National); Average Weekly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, 1982-1984 Dollars.” Data extracted 15 Nov 2015.

Robertson, Lori. “Hedge Fund Managers’ Tax Rates.” FactCheck.org. 8 Sep 2015.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014. 53-3032 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers. accessed 15 Nov 2015.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014. 29-1141 Registered Nurses. accessed 15 Nov 2015.

O’Malley for President. “Raise the Minimum Wage.” Undated.

Krueger, Alan B. “The Minimum Wage: How Much Is Too Much?” New York Times. 9 Oct 2015.

Princeton University. “Alan B. Krueger, Biography.” Undated.

 

Uneven Candidate Vetting, HRC Signed Form, Carson Attacked

Editor’s Note – Vetting the candidates is hard work, you really have to dig hard into the past and pick apart everything that person ever did or said, that is unless you are Obama or a Clinton according to most on the left in media.

Candidates often forget we have the internet, FOIA laws, and video, yet when a Clinton gets caught, we get crickets from the MSM. When someone on the right gets caught – hell hath no fury…

On a day when another Presidential candidate is being questioned about accounts he wrote about many years ago that some claim are not true, Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) seems to skate along with little to no scrutiny from the mainstream media over laws she is alleged to have broken as Secretary of State and the lies about that video.

Ben Carson Spars with Alysin Camerota over Vetting in lengthy interview
Ben Carson Spars with Alisyn Camerota over Vetting in lengthy interview – click image to view videos

Then today we see that HRC did sign a little piece of paper after all – one similar to the one that got General Petreaus in so much hot water, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement briefing form.

Of course we point out the hypocrisy that is evident, but when people like Charlie Rose are stunned by statements another candidate made on his show about HRC, he is stunned. However, no one is stunned when CNN went after Ben Carson, but Rubio’s factual statements about Clinton stun Rose?

How dare anyone point out the lies that are so obvious, the Queen is wearing no clothes? How do you not know this after three years and call yourself a journalist or anchor newsman?

HRC may be ‘too big to jail‘ but the American voter needs to know about the voracity and truthfulness of all the candidates, not just the enemy of the main stream media – those on the right. With almost daily revelations of just how corrupt HRC is/was, it is simply stunning that a CNN story can be so hot, yet a real hot issue is ignored.

The following revelation shows yet another facet of HRC, congenital liar. But politico tries its best to disprove what we all know, HRC regularly transmitted and received hundreds of “born classified’ information. It is really irrelevant whether they were ‘Top Secret” or not, the document referred to below, signed by HRC shows she knew what she was doing was wrong. Try spinning that Politico.

See Marco Rubio skewer Charlie Rose over the obvious:

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The families of the four who died in Benghazi deserve better, they deserve justice and so does the rest of America.

Clinton Signed NDA Laying Out Criminal Penalties for Mishandling of Classified Info 

Dem presidential candidate and top aides signed NDAs warning against ‘negligent handling’ of classified information

By  – Washington Free Beacon

As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.

WhatSCI.NDA

Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.

“I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation,” the agreement states.

Clinton received at least two emails while secretary of state on her personal email server since marked “TS/SCI”—top secret/sensitive compartmented information—according to the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general.

The State Department said in September that Clinton’s private email system, set up at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home, was not authorized to handle SCI.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner defended her unauthorized possession of SCI and her sending of emails containing classified information by claiming that the information was not marked as classified when it was sent or received.

The language of her NDA suggests it was Clinton’s responsibility to ascertain whether information shared through her private email server was, in fact, classified.

“I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI,” the agreement says.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NDA.

According to government security experts, the type of information that receives a TS/SCI designation is sensitive enough that most senior government officials would immediately recognize it as such.

“TS/SCI is very serious and specific information that jumps out at you and screams ‘classified,’” Larry Mrozinski, a former U.S. counterterrorism official, told the New York Post in August. “It’s hard to imagine that in her position she would fail to recognize the obvious.”

Additional emails on Clinton’s server contained information that was “born classified,” according to J. William Leonard, who directed the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office from 2002 to 2008.

“If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession,” Leonard told Reuters in August.

Clinton’s NDA spells out stiff criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure of SCI.” The FBI is currently investigating whether Clinton’s private email server violated any federal laws.

In addition to her SCI agreement, Clinton signed a separate NDA for all other classified information. It contains similar language, including prohibiting “negligent handling of classified information,” requiring her to ascertain whether information is classified and laying out criminal penalties.

It adds, “I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization” from the proper authorizes.

Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, Clinton’s two top aides, also signed copies of the classified information NDA.

Mills sent classified information to officials at the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2012, an email released by the State Department in September shows.

Mills’ NDA required her to inquire about the classification of information in her possession if she was unsure about its status. However, her attorney said that she “presumed” that the information she sent to the foundation was unclassified because it had been sent to her at her unclassified State Department email address.

New Hillary emails don't match her testimony – too big to jail?

Editor’s Note – It is clear that Hillary Clinton and her supporters have seemingly won a political victory but that does not erase the clear fact that she has lied, lied often, and lied about her lies under oath. Since Obama has ‘transformed’ the rule-of-law system we rely upon for a civil society and replaced it with rule by fiat and man, she may just get away with it.

We will never get closure on Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and so many other scandals if we allow this to continue. Is she ‘too big to jail’?

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently a candidate for president of the United States, thinks she has dodged the Benghazi bullet (opinions still vary on that one) she is still under investigation for burbling classified information on her email server, states a Friday story in the McClatchy DC. As the Weekly Standard notes, at least one recently released email did contain classified data because part of it was redacted due to its being classified.

But one national security attorney named Edward McMahon Jr, claims flatly that Clinton is “too big to jail” regardless of her guilt or innocence in the matter.

Honorable???
Honorable???

The theory is that high-profile defendants such as Clinton get off for the same type of behavior that lower level officials go to jail for. The idea may come as a surprise to Scooter Libby, an aide for Vice President Dick Cheney, who was prosecuted for revealing the name of CIA analyst Valerie Plame to the media.

General David Petraeus, a former CIA director, was forced to plead guilty to a misdemeanor on the charge of mishandling classified documents when he showed them to his biographer, who also happened to be his mistress.

FBI Director James Comey, a Republican, would be the official who would recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton. However Attorney General Loretta Lynch, an Obama appointee, would make the final approval. The situation sets up a nightmare scenario for the Democrats.

If Comey recommends an indictment and Lynch refuses, the charge of political justice follows as night follows day. On the other hand, if Lynch decides to indict, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency is, for all practical purposes, over.

The real nightmare kicks in if Hillary Clinton, under indictment, refuses to drop out, choosing instead to do what she always does and play the victim. In that case, Vice President Joe Biden, tanned, ready and rested, may not be able to pull the Democrats out of the fire. Hillary Clinton would make history as the first major candidate for president under criminal indictment. (Examiner)

If Americans blithely look the other way, and leaders do not restore the rule-of-law, why bother having any law? An oath was taken to faithfully execute the law, but that is now a mere oxymoron.

There are two videos to view, one on her discrepancies between her testimony and email releases, and also whether she is too big too jail:

State Department emails conflict with Clinton’s Benghazi testimony

By Catherine Herridge – Fox News

Newly released emails conflict with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, according to a review of the transcripts and public records. One of the conflicts involves the role played by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

Regarding the dozens of emails from him, which in many cases were forwarded to her State Department team, Clinton testified: “He’s a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest.

Some of it was, some of it wasn’t, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya.”

But a newly released email from February 2011 shows Blumenthal advocated for a no-fly zone over Libya, writing, “U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow. Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities.”

Re-examining Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony:

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The email was forwarded by Clinton to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan with the question, “What do you think of this idea?”

hillary-clinton-and-sidney-blumenthalA second email from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2011 also advocated for a no-fly zone, with Blair stating, “Please work on the non-fly zone, or the other options I mentioned. Oil prices are rising, markets are down. We have to be decisive.”

In the end, Clinton advocated for the no-fly zone and was able to gather support within the Obama administration to implement it.

In another email from March 5, 2012, Clinton appears to use Blumenthal as what is known in intelligence circles as a “cut out,” a type of intermediary to gather information, allowing the policymaker plausible deniability.

In this case, the emails focused on the increasingly chaotic and fragmenting political landscape in Libya after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power.

In the one-page document, Blumenthal writes that Jonathan Powell, a former senior British government adviser to Blair, is “trying to replicate what we did in Northern Ireland by setting up secret channels between insurgents and government, and then, where appropriate, developing these negotiations.”

This type of backchannel discussion helped bring about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

Clinton responded two hours later. “I’d like to see Powell when he’s in the building,” with her staff responding, “Will follow up.” In both instances, Clinton’s actions further undercut sworn testimony to the Select Committee that Blumenthal was “not at all my adviser on Libya.”

Another area of conflict involves security and aid requests. In an exchange with Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., Clinton told the House committee none of the requests for diplomatic security reached her.

“Too big too jail?”

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“That’s over 600 requests,” Pompeo said. “You’ve testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk; is that correct also?”

Clinton responded, “That’s correct.”

However, the State Department website, under a section on embassy security, states that the secretary has overall responsibility for the well-being of personnel on assignment.   The buck does not stop with “security professionals” as Clinton has testified.

It states: “The Secretary of State, and by extension, the Chief of Mission (COM), are responsible for developing and implementing security policies and programs that provide for the protection of all U.S. Government personnel (including accompanying dependents) on official duty abroad.”

Yet, the new emails show a request for humanitarian aid sent by the late Ambassador Chris Stevens did reach her desk. The Aug. 22, 2011 email from Stevens was circulated among Clinton staff and delegated for action in under an hour.

With the overthrow of Qadaffi, Stevens wrote that the Libyan opposition, known as the TNC, would soon release a statement saying it would “insure the delivery of essential services and commodities (esp. addressing the acute shortages of fuel, children’s milk, and medication for blood pressure and diabetes).”

Seventeen minutes later, Clinton responded, “Can we arrange shipments of what’s requested?”

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

While the request for humanitarian aid from Stevens did reach her office, during her testimony, Clinton emphasized, “Chris Stevens communicated regularly with the members of my staff.

He did not raise security with the members of my staff. I communicated with him about certain issues. He did not raise security with me. He raised security with the security professionals.”

The emails also further depict Clinton’s treatment of sensitive material. A February 2012 email shows Clinton sent an urgent message to an office manager that a white briefing book, used for sensitive and classified information, was left on her desk.

The office manager confirmed when it was correctly stored in the State Department safe.

The 7,000 pages released Friday leave no doubt that Clinton’s personal account mingled information now considered classified with the mundane such as social media requests and the taping of a television period drama.

On Feb. 1, 2011, Clinton sent a “Linkedin” request from a “Susan Kennedy” to a State Department IT specialist asking, “How does this work?”

An email from Feb. 23, 2012, from the State Department’s senior official on Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, called “Bingo!” is fully redacted, citing the B1 exception which is classified information.

And in January that same year, Clinton wrote to an aide, “I’m addicted to Downton Abbey which runs on Sunday night and reruns on Thursday at 8pmb. Since I missed it Sunday and will again tomorrow so wondering if we could tape a DVD for me.”

President Obama, meanwhile, is now under scrutiny after having told CBS’ “60 Minutes” he was not aware of Clinton’s personal account – even though the White House said Friday there are emails between the two, only they will not be available under FOIA requests until after Obama leaves office.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, when asked if he knew about Clinton’s use of a private email server, Obama twice said, “No.”

At this point, between 600 and 700 emails have been identified containing classified information. An intelligence official familiar with the review says there is no such thing as “retroactive classification,” the information is born classified, and the State Department only has the right to declassify information it produced.

While Clinton testified that 90-95 percent of her emails were captured by the State Department system, and nothing she sent or received was “marked classified,” the State Department said that estimate represents the campaign’s data and not their own.


Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary; Socialism,"It doesn't work"!

Editor’s note –  Fact check – Bernie Sander’s, currently 2nd place. He’s been a Senator for 16 years, representing Vermont.  A Socialist. Age 74.

Does Bernie Sanders know what it means to be a Socialist? Both Karl Marx (Marxism) and Adolf Hilter (Nazism) considered themselves Socialists, and Communism is similar.

Bernie Sanders’s Denmark Comments Show He Doesn’t Even Understand His Own ‘Socialism’

By Kevin D. Williamson – National Review

It had to be Denmark, didn’t it? If you are the sort of person who has better things to do — which is to say, a fully functioning adult who is not professionally obliged to follow these things — then you probably missed the exchange between Mrs. Clinton and Senator Sanders at last night’s debate, when she lectured him that the United States isn’t Denmark and he responded with a rousing defense of the Danish model.

Never mind, for the moment, that neither of these batty old geezers has the foggiest idea of what’s going on in Denmark, or in the other Nordic countries. Denmark, like Sweden before it, has been engaged in a long campaign of reforming its famously generous welfare state.

The country’s current prime minister is the leader of a center-right party, which, strangely enough, goes by the name “Left,” Venstre. (You might even call it libertarian; its former longtime leader wrote a book bearing the positively Nozickian title “From Social State to Minimal State.” ) Denmark has been marching in the direction exactly opposite socialism for some time.

Our friends at the Heritage Foundation rank its economy the eleventh most free in the world, one place ahead of the United States, reflecting Denmark’s strong property rights, relative freedom from corruption, low public debt, freedom of trade and investment, etc. Don’t tell Senator Sanders, but Denmark’s corporate tax rate is a heck of a lot lower than our own.

Senator Sanders is not very serious about imitating Denmark. Denmark has a large and expensive welfare state, which Senator Sanders envies.

He doesn’t envy the other part of that handshake: Denmark pays for that large and expensive welfare state the only way that you can: with relatively high taxes on the middle class, whose members pay both high income taxes and a value-added tax.

If Senator Sanders were an intellectually honest man, he’d acknowledge forthrightly that the only way to pay for generous benefits for the middle class is to tax the middle class, where most of the income earners are.

Instead, he talks about taxing a handful of billionaires to pay for practically everything. Rhetorically, he’s already spent the entire holdings of the billionaire class many times over. Sanders’s line of thinking seems to go: ‘Bankers, money, evil, greedy, Make Them Pay!’

But Senator Sanders does not seem as if he thinks a great deal about these things. He worries about the size of the holdings of our largest banks (I’d bet a dollar that he could not explain the difference between an investment bank and a commercial bank) and frets that six big banks have assets equal to 65 percent of U.S. GDP.

<> on July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.
<> on July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.

He does not consider that in Switzerland there are two banks whose combined assets are well more than twice Switzerland’s GDP, a reflection of the fact that the moneyed people and institutions of the world have a great deal of confidence in Swiss financial institutions, or that similar parties invest with American institutions for similar reasons.

And never mind that Denmark’s largest bank has assets totaling 1.6 times Denmark’s GDP — a lot more than the 65 percent split among six banks in the United States that so troubles Sanders.

Democrats are positively delusional about this stuff, talking about Glass-Steagall as though not repealing it would have changed one thing about the way business was done at a pure-play investment bank such as Lehman Bros. or Bear Stearns.

The policy is entirely unrelated to the problem, but neither the Democratic presidential candidates nor their voters understand the problem or the policy.

They know only that Copenhagen is lovely, and people like Senator Sanders enjoy citing its “example” while shouting such nonsensical sentences as “Free health care is a right!”

Denmark is on the mind of Francis Fukuyama, whose Political Order and Political Decay has now been issued in paperback, to the delight of cheapskate readers everywhere.

Fukuyama, borrowing from a group of developmental economists, introduces his readers to the phrase “isomorphic mimicry,” by which he means the error that poor and developing countries make when they adopt the formal institutions of the developed world in the absence of the underlying values, habits, and culture that make those institutions effective.

This is part of the problem he calls — surprise — “getting to Denmark.” Fukuyama: The problem is that Denmark did not get to be Denmark in a matter of months or years. Contemporary Denmark — and all other developed countries — gradually evolved modern institutions over the course of centuries.

If outside powers try to impose their own models of good institutions on a country, they are likely to produce what Lant Pritchett, Michael Woolcock, and Matt Andrews call “isomorphic mimicry”: a copying of the outward forms of Western institutions but without their substance.

(Here is the Pritchett-Woolcock-Andrews paper, which is well worth your time.)  

That isomorphic mimicry is a great stumbling block. We’re right now in the end stages of failing, spectacularly, in a project to impose liberal democratic institutions on a Muslim world that isn’t much interested in them, but some of our more energetic conservative interventionists still seem to believe that one day an Arab or a Chinese is going to happen across a copy of the U.S. Constitution and build a Connecticut in the Orient.

Cult is the first word in culture, which bears some consideration: The American revolutionaries emerged from a Puritan-Quaker culture shaped by the hardships of colonial life with the savage frontier in front of them and the Atlantic Ocean at their backs; the French revolutionaries emerged from a decadent Catholic culture shaped by court life and European rivalries.

Both parties cried “Liberty!” but one produced the Bill of Rights and the other produced the Terror. The cultural distance between 21st-century Anglo-American liberals and tribal jihadis in the Hindu Kush is rather greater than was the distance between Thomas Jefferson and the Abbé Sieyès.

Aping the superficial attractive forms of alien polities is not an error limited to the poor and the backward. Our progressive friends argued that Obamacare is just like the Swiss health-care system, which is generally quite highly regarded, and it is, with one important difference: Switzerland is full of Swiss people and the United States is not.

The Swiss health-care system turns out to be poorly suited for a country that isn’t Swiss. Any bets on how well the Danish welfare state is going to play in Mississippi and New Jersey? Progressives who imagine that Americans are one election away from getting to Denmark do not understand Denmark, or America, or much of anything.

— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent at National Review.

The Evidence Against Hillary Clinton Is Growing.

Editor’s Note – Benghazi update. The FBI’s probe has now expanded to include another Hillary Clinton private server.

Fresh evidence keeps sinking Hillary Clinton’s email defense

Hillary Clinton’s “there’s no evidence of that” line of defense over her email mess continues to crumble in the face of . . . new evidence.

For all her talk of how using a private email account for her work running the State Department was just fine, it’s now plain she left top-secret information vulnerable to hackers.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop ,Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop ,Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

More evidence is likely to come out. The FBI’s probe has now expanded to include another private server she used, a backup service with Connecticut-based Datto Inc.

And now the Associated Press has confirmed that her main server was the target of repeated cyberattacks from China, South Korea and Germany. And those came after she left office, when her team belatedly agreed to use some threat-monitoring software.

In other news, a FOIA request from the watchdog group Citizens United has uncovered the fact that Hill’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, was forwarding classified info to the Clinton Foundation — so staff there could support Bill Clinton’s work in Africa.

Add to this new details about Hillary’s emails with longtime aide Sidney Blumenthal — emails that somehow didn’t make it into the data she finally handed over once word broke that she’d failed to share her work product with the government.

Her extensive communications with him include the naming of a CIA source (obviously classified) as he pushed for action in Libya — action that would benefit his clients.

“It is curious Secretary Clinton took so much of her advice from someone who had never been to Libya, professed no independent knowledge of the country and who the White House blocked her from hiring,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who heads the select committee trying to finally get to the full facts on the deadly Benghazi attack.

Curious? Hey, in Clintonworld, blending policy with pocket-lining is routine — national security be damned.