Joseph Reisert’s Feb. 6 column (“The unsustainable national debt”) is another conservative deception. He implies that Bernie Sanders has no plan to pay for his proposals, yet anyone can google Bernie’s plan and see the cost of each proposal and how it would be paid for.

Reisert slips in the term “welfare state” to both promote conservative austerity and denigrate public assistance programs, claiming they are causing unsustainable national debt. But the truth is that assistance programs are budgeted and paid for.

What is not paid for are two wars at $4 trillion. The financial crisis bailout cost taxpayers another $23 trillion. Corporate subsidies over a decade are a trillion dollars. Bernie’s plans are not so expensive after all.

While the welfare state is made up of blood-sucking corporate officers, Reisert claims that we are subsidizing today’s voters by borrowing from tomorrow’s voters. How misleading to blame ordinary voters for corporate welfare. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.”

Conservative pundits whine about excessive spending while beating the drums of war and tax cuts, when the real problem is falling contribution from large corporations and the wealthiest. The tax rate for the largest corporations has been cut from 11 percent in 1979 to 6.4 percent in 2011, and many don’t pay any tax. History proves that when rates are high, businesses have to invest in the economy to lower tax bills. When rates are low they grow through mergers and hoard cash, which is at a record $1.73 trillion, causing budget deficits.

Austerity creates a downward spiral and ruins societies. History proves that New Deal investing in the people worked, industry favors do not. Bernie’s proposals include investments in the economy which will create millions of jobs, giving consumers, the true drivers of economic activity, the money to stimulate the economy.

Brad Sherwood

Waterville