Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 28, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Letter to the Editor: Student responds to Sanders commentary

I am appalled to read Ryan King’s reasons on not voting for Bernie Sanders. King is free to vote for whomever, but his use of dismissive language (see: “give people a lot of free stuff…”) and specious reasoning deserve scrutiny.

King builds his case on statistics from the Tax Foundation, the ostensibly nonpartisan think tank largely funded by the Koch brothers and other conservative billionaires. Its research has been criticized by, among others, the Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman. While Krugman is a self-proclaimed liberal, the social scientist’s respected opinions are formed on the bedrock of his credibility. This is not the case for the foundation.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning site PolitiFact has criticized Sanders’ healthcare plan— rightly so— for vaguely set budgetary sources and healthcare quality standards. But the plan has yet to be formally analyzed by independent think tanks and/or academics, which is why we should not follow King’s example in jumping the gun and fearing a punitive tax increase. Instead, readers should consider Massachusetts’ Republican-led single-payer healthcare system as a successful example of Sanders’ mandate.

When King mentions Sanders’ electability, he neglects the (formerly Independent) candidate’s record in enacting bipartisan legislation in Congress for over two decades. That is more than can be said for King’s choice, Governor John Kasich, whose endorsements do not stray far from his home base of Republican Midwestern and Southern state-level colleagues. King’s preferred “dealmaker” Kasich has barred funding to crisis pregnancy centers, supports fracking in state parks and forests, and privatized prisons — all to close a supposed $8 billion state budget deficit. This amount, as the Washington Post Fact Checker has reported, is flawed, dated and is actually a significantly smaller number.

As a foreigner who is taxed without representation, I have no horse in this game. I do, however, take umbrage with flawed reasoning and illogical conclusions.