Bernie Sanders’ ideas are as ridiculous as Donald Trump’s

Bailey Ethier

What do arguably the most notorious American billionaire and the sole independent socialist in Congress have in common? A lot actually.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders have more in common than weird hair and being born in New York City in the 1940s — both have infeasible and ridiculous ideas for the nation.

For starters, Trump has repeatedly stressed that, if elected, he’ll make Mexico pay to build a wall along the border.

But with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration already saying they won’t pick up a tab of billions for any kind of wall, Trump’s plan to increase visa fees until Mexico agrees to do so is foolish. Why hamper one of the nation’s closest allies and trading partners?

Some voters such as Chris Lutsko, a mathematics senior and President of UT Students for Donald Trump, oppose Trump’s plan for a wall and base their support for Trump because of “the man, not the message, policies nor the experience.”

“If we put a bulldog businessman like Trump in office, he will get the job done,” Lutsko said. “He just will.”

In contrast, Sanders has staked a large part of his support on his plan to tackle college affordability and student debt. Jasey Patterson, a Sanders supporter and biology junior, said many of her high school friends couldn’t afford to go to college.

“It makes me sad that we live in a country where individuals who actually want to better themselves educationally can’t, simply because of financial reasons,” Patterson said. “Education should not be a debt sentence; it should be available to those who want it, not [only] those who can afford it.”

Equally infeasible is Sanders’ plan of eliminating tuition at four-year public colleges and universities in order to tackle the issue of student debt.

The average in-state tuition at public four-year colleges is just above $9,000, according to The College Board. With 13.2 million undergraduates at four-year public colleges and universities, that would require billions in tuition payment.

Sanders has said that these funds would come from Wall Street taxes and that states would provide about a third of the funds. Sanders’ proposals, including government-run health care, infrastructure improvements, the expansion of Social Security and free tuition, would cost around $18 trillion over the next decade. But the tax increases Sanders has laid out only show $6.5 trillion coming in over the next ten years.

While the budget deficit for the 2015 fiscal year was $435 billion, $48 billion less than in 2014, the U.S.’s debt is still approaching $19 trillion, and Sanders either needs to account for $11.5 trillion or scale back some of his proposals.

Trump and Sanders both have good intentions. Trump wants to “improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans,” and he sees a wall as a way to do that, and Sanders wants to create “the best-educated workforce in the world” by making college tuition free for students. But bullying our allies and adding to the nation’s debt isn’t the way to do so.

Neither Trump’s wall nor Sanders’ “political revolution” will “make America great again.”

Ethier is a journalism freshman from Westport, Connecticut. Follow him on Twitter @baileyethier.