Politics Magazine

I Admire Bernie For His Honesty (And Political Bravery)

Posted on the 19 October 2015 by Jobsanger
I Admire Bernie For His Honesty (And Political Bravery) (This caricature of Bernie Sanders is from DonkeyHotey.)
Regular readers of this blog will know that I support Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. So you might ask yourself why I am writing about my admiration for her chief opponent.
First, I have always admired him. I think he's one of the two best politicians in Washington (with the other being Elizabeth Warren). But this time, I am talking about something he said on a national news program yesterday -- something you almost never hear from a politician, especially one that is in the middle of an electoral campaign.
While being interviewed on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, he admitted that he wanted to raise taxes (a small amount) on every working American. He was talking about a new payroll tax that he supports taking from every worker's paycheck. It would amount to 0.02%, and would be used to pay for a new program to guarantee a paid maternity leave program (which would let mothers take up to three months off after having a baby). The extra tax for someone making $400 a week ($10 an hour)  would be $8 a week. For someone making $1000 a week, it would be an extra $20.
You may not think that's a huge amount, but proposing ANY tax hike while running for political office is not something most politicians would do. Some of the Democrats will admit they support higher taxes (or closing tax loopholes) for the rich and corporations, and no Republican would ever admit to wanting to raise any kind of tax on anyone (no matter how badly it's needed).
But if there's one thing about Bernie, it's that he's honest -- maybe to a fault. Sanders seems to have a lot of faith in the voters. He believes they would vote for more taxes, if it is just explained to them why it is needed. I tend to disagree with him, and so do most people running for an elected office (which is why most would never even discuss raising taxes during a campaign).
I do have to admire Bernie's honesty though. It's a rare thing for a politician running for office.

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