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Bernie Sanders’ Sad Attempt to Buy Off #BlackLivesMatter

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is trying to use taxpayer dollars to buy Sanders out of his problems with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Ever since he allowed a group of #BlackLivesMatter activists to take his microphone from him and take over his rally in Seattle earlier this month, he and other Democrats have been doing everything possible to cave to these radicals.


First, he gave them a microphone. Now, he’s offering $5.5 billion in stimulus-style taxpayer money to placate their demands.

Sanders is the progressive favorite, and in some polls, he’s beating Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. He’s a serious candidate for president, and even if he isn’t the nominee, other Democrats will mimic his proposals to engage and pander to their base.

But, let’s remember what brand of economics Sanders—along with apparently millions of Democrats—subscribes to. Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, claims that Americans have too many different choices and brands of deodorant and sneakers in our country, and that’s causing child hunger.

In an interview with financial journalist John Harwood, Sanders detailed his grievances with an overabundance of antiperspirants and footwear. "You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country. I don't think the media appreciates the kind of stress that ordinary Americans are working on."

The Sanders campaign, with this sort of “economic genius,” has decided that the way to cave to the #BlackLivesMatter movement is to spend billions for job programs that have no chance of accomplishing any long-term change for our at-risk communities. It is simply a feel-good progressive campaign message.

Temporary jobs and assistance programs simply won’t change the decades-long problems in black communities. The Democrats’ “War on Poverty” and “War on Hunger” have been total failures–with record black youth unemployment and almost 100 million Americans on food assistance programs today, the most in history. That doesn’t faze socialist Sanders, and he and his progressive allies now want more of the same.


Sanders says his $5.5 billion federal jobs program to provide benefits to unemployed youths will counter what he calls “economic violence” against people of color. But, what Sanders and the Left fail to acknowledge is that it’s the absence of a sheer number of adequate jobs that is driving the unemployment of youths–no matter someone’s race–and not the absence of government-funded jobs programs.

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that there are 47 different federal employment and training programs, with considerable overlap among them. The GAO said that "little is known about the effectiveness of employment and training programs we identified." Sanders wants to add to that mess.

American taxpayers have been taken to the cleaners and funded these sorts of programs since the 1960s, yet federal auditors still aren't sure whether or not they actually work. The federal government spends close to $20 Billion on current jobs programs with no known benefit, and many of these types of programs have been going since the 1930s.

Government employment programs don't fill any critical economic need that private markets don't already fill—that’s why these programs do not provide lasting help to those in need. They aren’t providing real jobs skills for the 21st century.

What has actually worked to empower the black community and would work again is broad tax reform and tax cuts. After President Reagan’s largest tax cut in American history in 1981, real median income among black families increased 17 percent from 1982 to 1989. During the same period, black unemployment fell faster than white unemployment, the number of black business owners increased by 40 percent, and the number of blacks enrolled in college rose 30 percent.


The Reagan plan had real results, not just billion-dollar promises. The Sanders plan is just a chance for progressive policymakers to look like they’re doing something for the black community, when they aren’t doing anything.

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