Trump and Sanders: Same Product, Different Packaging

The ostensibly right-wing Donald Trump and left-wing Bernie Sanders have more in common than both being populists. Pro-Trump Breitbart can be friendlier toward Sanders than toward Trump’s Republican opponents. Although that may be more due to their pugnacious poses than their policies, the similarities go deeper.

From liberal Vox:

Trump has also rejected the typical center-right view of government. He has opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and he has not fretted about debt and deficits. Instead, he has advocated massive government spending on infrastructure. He attacked Obama’s health care plan for subsidizing insurance companies and drug companies, and has joined Sanders and Clinton in calling for curbing drug prices. …

The Club for Growth, which backs free market candidates, explained its opposition to Trump by citing his support for “universal health care,” the idea that “government can take over companies,” his proposal to raise taxes on individuals with a worth greater than $10 million, and his proposal to impose a tariff on goods from China. In National Review’s brief against Trump, conservatives cited his support for “universal health care,” “his know-nothing protectionism” and “his plans for spending but no serious proposals for spending cuts or entitlement reforms.” …

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Sanders, like Trump, takes positions on specific issues that put him at odds with market liberalism. His proposals, whether or not they are immediately feasible, challenge an approach that prioritizes the private market. He unblushingly favors huge government spending — $1 trillion worth — on infrastructure and would pay for that and for free public college tuition by tax hikes on speculation and the wealthy that Clinton, for one, opposes. He wants Medicare for all, which would mean eliminating private health insurers except as they might supplement government programs.

Sanders opposes trade agreements that he believes encourage American companies to invest overseas rather than at home, and wants to close tax loopholes that would allow “corporate deserters” to avoid American taxes. Like Trump, he promises to be tough on China.

In August, Washington Free Beacon collected a list of policy similarities between Trump and Sanders, including these:

Both Trump and Sanders agree that Obamacare did not go far enough to provide Americans with fantastic healthcare. They would prefer a single-payer system, the likes of which, according to Trump, works “incredibly well” in countries like Canada and Scotland.

Both candidates have proposed plans to raise revenue by hiking taxes on the rich. Sanders wants to tax wealthy Americans at a 90 percent rate, but Trump is actually slightly more radical on this issue, having once proposed what would be the largest tax increase in American history. …

Campaign finance:
Sanders has repeatedly accused Republican politicians of being puppets of rich donors like the Koch brothers. So has Trump. Sanders believes that our campaign finance system must be reformed because rich individuals and corporations have too much sway in American politics. Trump not only agrees, he is a walking testament to that broken system.

Their Iraq War and gun rights positions have been virtually indistinguishable.

Hot Air adds this:

The two also agree on trade and, at times, on immigration. … Trump even acknowledged a crossover vote on trade between his supporters and Sanders’ supporters.

The bottom line is that Trump and Sanders are both aggressive proponents of Big Government. Both of these progressives present themselves as enemies of the establishment, but they do not want to reform and pare down the federal behemoth as Ted Cruz or Rand Paul would do. They want to take it over and then grow it even larger.

Separated at birth?

On tips from Torcer and JusttheTipHQ. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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