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Quoting Bernie Sanders from his many stump speeches and debates:
"So here's a promise that I make to you: Number one, at the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country. And one of the reasons for that is that instead of having high rates of youth unemployment, we are going to have education and jobs, not jails and incarceration. I want kids to be in school. I want kids to have the education they need. I want kids to have jobs, not just hang out on street corners with the potential to get into trouble."
Sounds great...those lines always get great applause. But is it realistic?
Slate, February 11, 2016: Sanders Is Delusional if He Thinks He Can Keep His Promise on Mass Incarceration
"What Sanders means by this is that under just four years of his magical leadership, the U.S. will bring down its jail and prison population by about 600,000 people. Where does that figure come from? Consider that the No. 2 spot on the list of countries with the most prisoners in the world right now is China, and it has about 1.66 million people behind bars. The U.S., by comparison, has about 2.3 million."
Consider that the federal prison system has only about 10 percent of those incarcerated, and even reducing that population is proving difficult with our current Congress opposed to setting anyone free. I think it is a very noble goal on Sanders part, and no doubt it has appeal to a large segment of the population, but for anyone that looks at the math, it is difficult if not impossible. Quoting the Slate article:
"If Sanders wants to release more than 500,000 people by 2020, he’s going to have to break them out personally. If he has a more efficient approach in mind, he needs to share it before he makes this ridiculous promise again."
I suppose the same applies to many of his other plans. I don't agree with the word "ridiculous" but I do have concerns that his "fuzzy math" on a lot of his proposals will hurt his campaign if he is ultimately victorious over Hillary. And even if he is elected, without a compliant Congress the goal is unattainable. President Obama found that out with plan to close Gitmo. Can Sanders do any better?