As Hillary Clinton continues to stumble, her leading opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, is having quite a run. Sanders continues to lead Clinton in New Hampshire, is running close in Iowa, raised nearly as much money as Clinton during the last quarter, and attracts Trump-like crowds at his events. And, if Joe Biden jumps in, splitting the Democratic establishment vote, he could become an even bigger threat to Hillary’s coronation. Maybe, then, it is time to take Bernie, as his campaign posters style him, seriously.

Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist,” but he is not a socialist in the Jeremy Corbyn “nationalize industry” sense. He’s more of a tax-and-spend politician — on steroids.
You recall the old saying, “Don’t tax you; don’t tax me; tax the fellow behind the tree”? Well, Bernie wants to tax you, me, the fellow, and the tree too. He famously delivered an eight-hour Senate speech calling for higher taxes. So far, he has proposed, among other tax hikes, increasing the long-term capital-gains tax rate from 23.8 percent to a whopping 39.6 percent. At the same time, he wants to impose a transaction tax on every stock trade, which would wreak havoc with the average American’s pension fund and 401(k). He would end tax breaks for the coal, gas, and oil industries, and end the rule that allows U.S. corporations to defer taxes on earnings of overseas subsidiaries. He would also increase the estate tax and lower the threshold at which it applies. In addition, he would levy a 12.4 percent payroll tax on all earnings above $250,000, without a corresponding increase in benefits.