During Tom Price’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Bernie Sanders rebuked his claim that we are a compassionate society.
“No, we are not a compassionate society,” Sanders said. “In terms of our relationship with poor and working people, our record is worse than virtually any other country on earth.”
This has been repeated over and over in the last decade. Rand Paul’s response to Sanders was a thing of beauty.
“One of the things that’s extraordinary about our country is just two years ago, in 2014, we gave away $400 billion — privately, not the government, individually — to churches and to charities,” Paul said. “We’re an incredibly compassionate society. This was misplaced in sort of the wonky numbers of this number and that number within health care how much we do help each other.”
“Not only do we help each other within our own county, I’d bet you most — half the physicians in my community in Bowling Green have gone on international trips and done international charity work and all that is lost in saying that we’re this heartless, terrible country, and I would just argue the opposite,” Paul continued. “I think the greatness of our country and the greatness in the compassion of our country — we give away more than the gross domestic product of most of these socialized countries around the world.”
There is a huge difference in what Sanders and Paul/Price are saying. Rand Paul’s expectation is that the government is small and that it taxes the people reasonably little. The people then, not the government, can choose to do with their money how they desire. Sanders, on the other hand, expects the government to provide services to the people, and to do so requires large amounts of taxes and government structure.
When Sanders, on Wednesday, makes the claim that we lack compassion for the working people and the poor, he is saying that the government doesn’t do enough for these individuals. When Paul and Price say that we are compassionate, they point to all the individuals and private institutions do and give to society.
If it is your expectation that the government should provide for the people, you would be right to think we don’t care. But then look at the $400 billion given to church's and charities that goes to help the people you think the government isn’t doing enough for. Maybe, instead of demanding that the government take more money from your fellow citizens, give your own money to these causes and make a difference.Permalink