Every once in a while, Bill Maher tip toes out of the progressive box and makes statements or asks questions that stun his audience and the media.

Reacting to Bernie Sanders’ agenda and its estimated $18 trillion price tag, Maher challenged him by asking how America will pay for his radical agenda.


After beginning the interview by stating that he doesn’t think “most Americans realize that they’re already socialists,” Maher challenges Sanders’ the top 1% can pay for everything under the sun premise.

Marlow Stern reports:

“The tax revenue that we would get just from taxing the people who I think your fans think you’re talking about, the people who own a yacht, does not come close to covering what you want to pay for,” said Maher.

“Not true. Not true,” a clearly-thrown Sanders fired back. “What I’m saying is there have been articles out there that have been really unfair and wrong. For example, what they are suggesting is that if we move to a Medicare-for-all single-payer program, which guarantees healthcare to all people, it would cost a lot of money. That’s true. But what they forget to tell you is it would be much more cost-effective than this dysfunctional system we have right now, which is the most expensive per capita on earth.”

“But it couldn’t even work in your home state of Vermont!” Maher said. “They were going to institute it, and the governor said it’s going to cost too much money. We just can’t do it. It would be the entire budget. That’s true.”

“No… Well, it’s not…,” a shaken Sanders replied. “I’m not the governor from the state of Vermont, I’m the senator from the state of Vermont…”

Considering that even Obama’s comparatively tame agenda can’t be paid for by taxing only the rich (the middle class is taking hit after hit), Sanders’ insistence that the top 1%—and maybe “little bit lower than that, but not much lower”—seems fanciful at best.  Maher is right to call him on it.

However, it should be noted that Maher begins this interview by telling Sanders:  “I want to help your campaign. I want to see you get the nomination. I want to see you be president.”  So while it may seem that Maher is opposed to Sanders’ proposals, he’s not.  He just has the sense to realize that the idea that taxing the top 1% will pay for Sanders’ socialist wonderland is faulty and suggests that one way to “undemonize” socialism is to acknowledge that fact.


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