Appearing on CNBC’s Kudlow and Company on Tuesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dismantled host Larry Kudlow’s proclaimed support for unfettered free market enterprise.
Sanders told Kudlow that after all the “ranting and raving” he had done “against government intervention and [extolling] the virtues of the free market,” he must surely be against the bailout. “No, I’m in favor of the bailout,” Kudlow said. “You’ve become a socialist overight!” Sanders responded, telling Kudlow, “Your version of socialism is to bail out the rich.”
Kudlow said that he’s in favor of government intervention “every 20 or 30 or 50 years.” Sanders responded:
Larry, if I ask you that the government should intervene like every other industrialized country does and provide health care for all people, you’d say ‘oh no!’ And if I ask you to support government intervention so that we don’t have the highest rate of childhood poverty in the world, you’d say ‘oh no!’ But when Wall Street screws up because of their greed, you say, ‘oh yes, it’s a great idea!’
Proving the Senator’s point, Kudlow ended the segment by stating: “You’re quite right, Mr. Sanders. Do we want a government-run health care system? I say no.” Watch it:
Sanders explained, “My own view is that it would be an obscenity for the middle class of this country – whose standard of living has gone down since Bush has been in office – to bail out Wall Street and the richest people in this country, who have seen a huge increase in their income and wealth.”
Sanders told ThinkProgress earlier this week that the “fiscally responsible way” to pay for the bailout is “through a progressive tax.” Sanders is proposing a “five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers,” which he says he would “yield more than $300 billion in revenue.”