During Tuesday’s hearing in the Senate Health and Education Committee, Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos was grilled by committee member and failed Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. You can watch the video here.
Sanders starts out by saying that “many in this country” are worried that the US is devolving into an oligarchy; that is, a small group of wealthy people running the economy. It’s ironic, however, that Sanders would dare say such a thing when his preferred system of governance, socialism, in every country it’s tried in, turns into a few wealthy people running the economy. Look at Cuba. Look at Venezuela. Look at the Soviet Union. Look at North Korea. People starve and die in the system of governance that Sanders prefers, but I’m sure Americans are really worried that we’re devolving into an oligarchy.
He uses that ridiculous line to lead into his question of “How much money has your family donated to the Republican Party over the years?” After a non-answer by DeVos, he says “I heard that number was $200 million. Do you think that, if you were not a multi-billionaire…that you would be sitting here today?” I can only imagine what the spin would have been if a Republican had asked a female nominee the same question. DeVos was graceful in her answer that her work in empowering parents and students to make the best educational choices for themselves-especially low-income students-qualifies her for the position.
His next question revolved around his campaign stump-speech about free college. (A side note: I learned in 10th grade that nothing is free from my free enterprise class. Therefore, it’s logical to say that I was more economically literate at 16 than Bernie Sanders is at 75). DeVos comes back at Sanders with “We have to consider that there is nothing in life that is truly free. Somebody’s going to pay for it.” Sanders gets visibly upset and says “You’re right. You’re right, somebody will pay for it,” which brings him to the same line that Democrats have been using for years: that Republicans want to lower taxes for billionaires. Lest we forget, in 2014, 45.7% of the entire federal tax burden was paid for by the top 1% that Sanders loves to rail about, while the bottom 60% pay less than 2% of the overall burden. Sanders won’t stop until the United States is like France, which saw 10,000 millionaires leave the country under its Socialist President Francois Hollanade.
Also ironic is that Sanders comes back with “Should we make colleges tuition-free so that every family in America, regardless of income, will have the ability to have their kids get a higher education.” Sanders opposes school choice and is perfectly fine with students in failing K-12 schools be forced to attend them if their income isn’t high enough to afford a private school. He also hits her with “What are your proposals to make childcare universal?” and “There are countries in the world that provide families with free childcare, would you work with me in moving our government in that direction?” Her answered revolved around working with the Congress to pass affordable alternatives to Sanders socialist utopian ideas.
The hearing was essentially a lesson on socialism vs. free market ideals, and it’s important to remember that the socialist ideals garnered 13,000,000 votes in the Democratic primary in 2016. This is the man inspiring young leftists to get out and vote and act and run for office. This is the man who came close to becoming a major party nominee for President. The fact that he is thought to be relevant is frightening.
Even if you don’t agree that DeVos is the right pick for Education Secretary, you have to admit that her recitation of standard free market principles vs. the socialist Senator is pretty great.