But only if you have time after Basket Weaving 230 and Queer Theory.

By now it is somewhat easy to pinpoint who exactly is behind the #FeelTheBern campaign pushing for a Sanders 2016 Democratic ticket; young (and old) white liberal anti-corporate activists with a populist rage who aren’t particularly familiar with how government works.

As someone who has attended a Sanders rally right in the heart of the nation’s capital, interviewed numerous “supporters”, and endured pressure from colleagues on social media to cave into supporting the candidate, I can say with confidence that the bastions of the Sanders campaign certainly do feel a strong connection with him and feel he is “the one” Why? Because he’s speaking on issues that affect young people – higher education, economic inequality, and racial injustice.

But Sanders grassroots plan to “change Washington” unfortunately falls short when it comes time to check back into reality.

Here’s why:

Congressmen, senators, and special interest groups introduce bills. In this country, we have a system that proposed bills need to go through (think of it as a dreaded obstacle course) before they are signed into law by the President. Historically speaking, roughly 90% of all bills do not make it to the Presidents desk, meaning they die on the floor. Recent numbers from the 112th Congress show that only 561 bills were passed of the 6,845 introduced (meaning 92% of all bills fell flat) Very dysfunctional, I know.

As you can already see, Sanders fantasy of “changing Washington” isn’t going to happen unless Republicans get what they want, or more.

Let’s look at three of the biggest issues that the Sanders campaign is focusing on radically reforming: economic inequality, racial injustice, and higher education. All of Sanders positions are from FeelTheBern.org

Economic inequality:

Sanders plan for dealing with economic inequality is simple in theory. Expand the social safety net, create more well-paying jobs, and reform systems that perpetuate inequality like a broken criminal justice system. His five step plan for this hits a massive barrier at step 2 where he calls for fixing the tax code for Citizens, Corporations, and Banks. Contrary to popular belief, both parties agree that the current tax code is in dire need of reform. In fact, it has been Republicans who have introduced several rational tax reform proposals in recent years such as the one linked above. Even the CHAIRMAN of the Ways and Means Committee (chief tax-writing committee), Paul Ryan, has introduced a comprehensive, fair, competitive, and simple plan which was voted down in the Senate by a vote of  57-40 (thanks, Democrats) If Sanders thinks that the super-rich, large corporations, and banks don’t already pay enough in taxes (keep in mind that the U.S. has the highest statutory tax rate in the free world) he has more problems than we thought. Either way, the ideological divide has always and will continue to win.

Racial injustice:

Sanders plan for actually dealing with racial injustice is quite blurry, but it includes a total rehaul of prisons, creating more well-paying jobs, and expanding social programs like nutritional assistance. For starters, government doesn’t “create jobs”, the private sector and free-market do. Even when avoiding recent anecdotal examples to support this, the Communists tried with their five-year plans, and it didn’t work. Corporations produce goods and services, not government. Sanders tax plan and desire for complex regulations of large corporations and banks would rather slow job creation. Now to his stance on a total rehaul of prisons. Sanders recently joined three House Democrats in introducing the “Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2015” bill aimed to ban private prisons by federal, state, and local governments. By proposing this, Sanders is ultimately duping his supporters into thinking that private prisons actually play a significant role in incarceration rates. According to Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report 2015, private prisons housed 141,921 (roughly 9%) of the total 1.57 million federal and state inmates in 2013. How does banning private prisons improve the livelihood of the remaining 91% in federal custody? By overcrowding them even more? Don’t expect Sanders to answer that. I urge those who disagree to follow this bill and see how far it gets in Congress. Lastly, Sanders stresses that safety net programs such as nutritional assistance (SNAP) are underfunded and should work to get families of color ahead. If you look at welfare spending graphs over the past 50 years, you see that spending on these programs has surged despite poverty rates hovering at around 15%, now with 46 million Americans living below the poverty line. President Obama has already drastically expanded both eligibility and spending in his FY 2011 budget. Sanders bland plan clearly need revising.

Higher education:

Sanders believes that all students deserve the opportunity to receive an affordable, quality education – like everyone and their brother. I urge all Sanders supporters to actually read his stance on education and see just how vague his positions are. He goes as far as to suggest that students should not have to reapply for financial aid every year. This may actually hurt just as many students as it could potentially help as federal student aid is adjusted year- to- year based on a family’s EFC (estimated family contribution) Sorry to anyone whose parent loses their job and can’t resubmit a FAFSA because of their prior year’s FAFSA information already being locked in. Republicans and Democrats both disagree on how to cope with the student loan crisis. This is nothing new. Sanders and liberal comrade Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have pled to get her budget amendment passed which would allow students to refinance their students loans at a lower rate. Sensible or not, it’s on Congress. Unfortunately, ideology wins here as well – not Sanders or any of his rhetoric.

  • BrendaStarr1953

    The problem with trying to educate people who have adapted a “mob-mentality” is that no one actually is willing to listen..or think. They don’t believe it is possible that all of their passion could be associated with ideals that cannot come true. They are having a Revolution. In their hearts and minds, they will win, they will take back the government and they may in fact pull off this election. Only then will they understand the error of their ways. When all hell breaks loose, when reality finally sets in, taxes surge, the stock market plummets, businesses close and unemployment rises, etc. Then some of them will understand. Others will continue to blame the 1% for their misfortune. Many of Sanders supporters don’t truly know what it means to pay taxes, raise a family, care for elderly parents, etc. I’m in my sixties and when I was young and in my twenties, I too wanted much the same things…and sadly, along with a Revolution comes anger, hatred, violence. Remember the Chicago Convention? I think we’re headed in that same direction.

  • Justin Bell

    They told us we couldn’t unionize not long ago. Said we were unrealistic, dreaming, delusional, we don’t deserve it. We’ll we fought for it; we were shot but we won that war. Now the pendulum is back on their side and scabs like you try and shoot us down with your biased, misleading, trivial articles. Time for change. Sorry, but be ready.

  • Jesse Liss

    ” His five step plan for this hits a massive barrier at step 2 where he calls for fixing the tax code for Citizens, Corporations, and Banks. Contrary to popular belief, both parties agree that the current tax code is in dire need of reform.”
    you say there is some “massive barrier” here but dont say what that barrier actually is…

  • CatinTx

    Could you be more condescendingly wrong? I think not.

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  • Bruce Hannah

    The plan is simple and it will put America back to work, restore the luster and our reputation world wide as a leader in industry, education and standard of living. lets get rid of the anything for a buck mentality that currently exists in America. The pharmaceutical bandids like Schelki need to be a thing of the past. big banks should not get subsidies from government so they can pay their CEOs 100 million dollar bonuses. I remember a time not long ago when banks paid interest on our money when we saved, checking accounts were free. Now they make 90 billion dollars a year on overdrafts they create and those of us trying to make ends meet pay the costs. i remember my first bank account and the idea was that if you just saved your money you could double it in as little as 12 years with compound interest at 5%. Now the service charges eat up any interest your money generates and you are mandated to have a bank account. The banking and industry have done a great job lobbying government to stack the deck in their favor. Its time to take back America and make America work for the people again. Lets vote for Bernie and Hilary and every other good Democrat to change things not just in Washington but throughout the entire nation. That is one thing that the Republicans are right about, we need to turn back the clocks but not on workers wages and benefits but on industries robbery of our great nation. Lobbyists are buying away our rights and our politicians are being bribed. Lobbying should be outlawed and no elected politician should be able to become a lobbyist for at least 10 years after they are out of politics.

  • Bruce Hannah

    the answer is simple get rid of the Republican obstruction in congress and the senate and lets elect and keep a Democratic majority. If you don’t want obstruction vote with the president, in this case bernie Sanders or Hilary Clinton. Otherwise we are going to see more of the same: tax cuts for big corporations the erosion of water, food and air safeguards, the removal of the social safety net and the eroding of workers benefits and wages. The Republican agenda is all about getting their benefactors more money and it has to come from those paying taxes, the middle class. Bernie and the Democrats can and will stop this and reverse course on the erosion of workers rights. They will also improve things for students , improve the infrastructure and reduce the deficit. How can the democrats do all they want to do and still reduce the deficit. Simple: The wealthy in America control 87% of the countries wealth and pay little in taxes. that means the working class controls 13% of the wealth in the country. currently that 13% is funding government at all levels. so if we just get rid of the Bush tax cuts, remove the ability of American citizens from having tax free havens in the carribean and Europe than we could start taxing that other 87%. This would remove the burden on the working class and share the tax burden for the country as it should be. No business thriving on the American consumer should be tax free. If you are making a profit, that profit should be taxed. Trillion dollar profits and multimillion dollar bonuses at taxpayers expense needs to stop.