The Democrats’ and Republicans’ mirror images made news for being themselves last week.
There is “almost the question as to why” cigarettes are legal in the United States, Bernie Sanders said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The remark came as Sanders explained his opposition to a proposed tax on sugary drinks in Philadelphia, which would fund pre-kindergarten education, reiterating that it is a “totally regressive tax” that results in poorer people paying even more in taxes if they buy a bottle of soda.
When moderator Chuck Todd asked him if he felt the same way about cigarette taxes, Sanders said he did not.
“Cigarette taxes are — there’s a difference between cigarettes and soda,” the Vermont senator said. “I am aware of the obesity problem in this country.”
Todd replied, “I don’t think Michael Bloomberg would agree with you on that one,” referring to the former New York mayor’s infamous effort to limit the size of sugary drinks sold in the city. (The state’s highest court in 2014 ruled that the city had overstepped its regulatory bounds by implementing the rule.)
“Well, that’s fine. He can have his point of view,” Sanders said. “But cigarettes are causing cancer, obviously, and a dozen other diseases. And there is almost the question as to why it remains a legal product in this country.”
I have a hard time believing Sanders opposes “soda taxes.” I do not have a hard time believing that Sanders would favor bans on cigarettes. I do wonder how potential Sanders voters in tobacco states feel about his position. I also wonder how banning cigarettes and legalizing marijuana, both of which are smoked, is logically consistent, as well as Sanders’ apparent amnesia over the most famous attempt to federally ban something bad for you if misused, Prohibition.
Meanwhile, there is The Donald, of whom The Daily Wire reports:
Thursday morning, asked on the Today Show whether he believed in raising taxes on the wealthy, Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for president, gave a reply that illuminated how much of a Democrat in GOP clothing the Orange-Haired One is, replying, “I do, I do.”
As time passes, Trump is becoming almost indistinguishable from Bernie Sanders. Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief saw this back in February, in a piece delineating how alike the two men were on numerous policies. For the sake of solely concentrating on their similarities vis-à-vis economic policy, here’s Shapiro’s section on that:
They’re both anti-establishment candidates who bash Wall Street. Here’s Trump from his victory speech last night:
It’s special interests’ money, and this is on both sides. This is on the Republican side, the Democrat side, money just pouring into commercials. These are special interests, folks. These are lobbyists. These are people that don’t necessarily love our country. They don’t have the best interests of the country at heart.
Here’s Sanders from his victory speech last night:
We have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California, and that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors, and their Super PACs.
Of course, when Trump says he believes in raising taxes on the wealthy, he also believes he will cunningly outsmart the system. As he said in January, “I mean, I pay as little as possible. I use every single thing in the book.”
Trump has boasted that his tax plan would help working people, but that simply is another Trumpian lie. As Robert Shapiro, chairman of economics and security advisory firm Sonecon, pointed out, “To the extent he says he’s fighting for working people, his tax plan refutes that — it’s a complete refutation. He’s fighting for himself, and those like him, at the very top of the income distribution. That’s what his policies do.” Shapiro added, “He’s actually going to provide a much larger tax break to hedge funds and private equity fund general partners than what the carried-interest loophole does.” …
Trump may say he’s for raising taxes on the wealthy just to curry favor with Democrats and establishment Republicans, but it simply isn’t true. And by saying he would do so, any credibility of Trump being a conservative is ripped to shreds.
Mick Staton adds:
I have argued for a long time now that Donald Trump’s “conversion” to Conservatism after a lifetime of being a Liberal Democrat was nothing more than a sales pitch to win him votes in the Republican primary. You don’t just change your mind on every single major political issue (abortion, gun control, taxes, health care, immigration, trade) and expect people to take your word for it.
Now, however, we see more of the real Donald Trump shining through as he is already abandoning conservative positions before he has even won the nomination. During an NBC Town Hall today, Trump made major moves to the left on two key social issues: abortion, and allowing transgender men to use the girl’s bathroom.
When asked about the current issues over the North Carolina law that requires people to use the bathroom based on the gender listed on their birth certificate, Trump sided with the Leftists and the Boycotters and declared that people should be able to use whatever bathroom they feel like. It is absolutely amazing that the “front runner” for the GOP nomination for President sides with the “Social Justice Warriors” against families. …
So for all of you who are supporting Donald Trump, are you now starting to wonder just what kind of President he’s going to be? Do you think he’s going to stand up for religious liberty? Do you think he’s going to put a hard core conservative on the Supreme Court? Seriously, ask yourself this question:
Did a 69 year old man who has been a Liberal Democrat all his life suddenly have a “Road to Damascus” conversion on every single important political issue we face today, right before he decided to run for President, or is a consummate salesman telling you exactly what you want to hear?