Holman Jenkins writes that Bernie’s socialism “perfects the strategy of denying the funding dilemma of the welfare state”:
In the 1940s, many Western societies began adopting single-payer health systems as a way to expand access to the relatively few things medical care at the time could do for patients.
This was an agenda that, for obvious reason, could appeal to both consumers and providers of health care.
We live in a different time. If the U.S. were to embark on a single-payer system today, asBernie Sanders proposes, it would not be doing so to expand access—though that slogan would still be used—but for a very different reason: to deny and limit care in order to control spending.
This agenda would be popular with neither patients nor providers, and therefore would be dead in the water—as liberal authorities, from the New York Times’s Paul Krugman toHenry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution, have suddenly discovered an urgency to point out to Democratic voters infatuated with Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Sanders knows it too. His socialism is farcical in a country that can’t afford the entitlements it already has.
The author later argues that the reason the Democrat Party remains silent on the Clintons’ corruption is that it’s a tacit agreement with them to remain silent on what the Clinton presidency was once about:
He enacted welfare reform. He spoke enthusiastically of fully funded personal Social Security accounts. He speculated about the possibility of converting Medicare into a means-tested program of private insurance vouchers.
This Bill Clinton you don’t hear from anymore. One could easily forget he’s not only the last, but the most prominent, of the once-numerous Blue Dog Democrats, who did not make a profession, as their party does now, of ignoring the long-term funding dilemma of the U.S. retirement programs.
Mr. Sanders, far from being a radical departure, is merely a perfection of what Democrats have offered since the Clinton era, namely denial.
Ignore the problem. If forced to acknowledge it, insist there’s no problem because the rich will pay. In the meantime, savage every reform proposal as an attack on “unmet needs.” Collect the political rents from serving as defender of every spending interest in our overcommitted republic.