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Means Testing: Sanders vs. Warren on the Single Most Important Policy Idea for Progressive Success

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/15/means-testing-sanders-vs-warren-single-most-important-policy-idea-progressive


An excellent article because of its rational points which also have heart. Thank you, Robert Mc Chesney. The US American way has always been one of robbing Peter to pay Paul then Paul to pay back Peter. Enough!

It drives up the costs of the program and people become infuriated having to fill out forms and prove they are eligible.–This is also so dehumanizing. Bernie, I am too low income to donate but you have my vote in Vermont’s open primary.


warren is a corporatist.


And let us not forget drug testing and other degrading requirements that have been used to stigmatize the poor in this country. Neoliberals in both parties are to blame.

Good article. Makes you wonder if Warren is setting us up or being used by the elite to run another Hope and Change swindle. Bears watching.


Its not just the GOP that promotes means testing for earned benefits, Obama’s ACA added income based surcharges to Medicare. Irrespective of your opinion of the ACA, such provisions are examples of things that drive divisive politics that enable the escalation of Trump and his GOP successors who will invariably be worse than he is.


Such a good educational article. How little of these types of analysis is out there for the general public.

“The introduction of means testing creates a layer of bureaucracy to monitor who is eligible and ineligible for the social program. It produces a completely useless and unnecessary bureaucracy to eliminate fraud.”

Exactly. But, let’s not also forget that these layers of useless bureaucracy contract out several of their services, especially IT to the private sector i.e. it’s the private sector that gets public benefits.


Can not say YEP too many times in response to this article. He has it exactly right. When you scratch beneath the surface Warren is just another Republican.

I mentioned an example of a friend in the US who had an Aunt who under memes such as “mean testing” had her entire lifes savings stripped away by the Government for her medical bills not covered by Medicare before they would move in to help. They left her in penury and now pretend they help.

Excellent article.


Ah, library professors we need more of them, thanks prof. McChesney for some
progressive warning posts and there are a few serious others. Both Sanders and
Warren are falling short on the socialist direction toward government regulation and
supervision of private capital–not necessarily to throw it out altogether, but make it
work for us all, or throw it out altogether.
Berny’s F-35 fighter jet plant is an infection of the military-industrial complex and America’s
permanent wars will continue if he’s elected with this albatross.
Warren has the expertise and knowledge to nationalize the finance industry, but instead
she’s calling herself a “capitalist to the bones.” I mean are we heading for that “slippery slope”
you mentioned?

I tend to think it goes much deeper. It ties EGO (am I good enough) in knots that generate ‘wanna be’ sycophants who do not quite understand that this the institutionalized version of trump grift.
Just ask yourself:
Why, when workers are those at least 50% responsible for creating production value, are they so profoundly manipulated with the use of ‘memes’ that constantly excavate the divide between producers and ‘owners’? This is the extension of the swamp that needs to be dealt with, IMHO.

Co-ops are more than just a store. They are a store of value, values, sustainability, conscience, consciousness, networking … Co-ops are a model of capitalism that capitalism itself, due to its legacy of predation and criminality, is totally blind to.

Municipal and community seating of internet services!!


You people and your Russia conspiracy theories…

; )


Hey - I almost turned worker cooperatives into coops - cluck that!


HA! Good one, “X”!

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Just to keep this factual: Bernie does not have a F-35 plant, nor does Vermont.

A squadron of F-35s will be stationed at an airport in Burlington, where other fighter jets have already been stationed for a long time. Bernie was not going to singlehandedly stop the F-35 program, which is a boondoggle to say the least. If the F-35s were not going to be stationed in Vermont, they would certainly be stationed elsewhere. Sadly, even a anti-military bleeding heart like me understands the obligation that senators have to bring home the pork.


“Substantive” was the first word that came to mind as descriptive of Chesney’s article, ie, “having a firm basis in reality, therefore important, meaningful, or considerable.” It doesn’t mean I’m about to pick fights with the primary campaign leaders as much as expecting definitive answers to new questions posed. There is no tentative republican party candidate less qualified to occupy the White House than
el presidente’ pigface. But let’s say an even worse candidate would carry out his predecessor’s intention to destroy planet Earth.


Bernie or bust!

Things may have to get worse before they get better.

“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than give up any material part of their advantage”.

John Kenneth Galbraith


You may be right, but I’m not yet convinced. Corporate American definitely doesn’t like her and that alone makes me curious to hear her out. In any case, she’s no Bernie!

Chomsky is big on cooperatives, therefore so am I.

The biggest threat to Bernie is perhaps the MIC, so therefore Bernie must be careful. But make no mistake, Bernie has devoted his entire career to ending MIC influence in D.C. And by the way, there is no F-35 plant in Vermont.

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They definitely would rather have her over Bernie. She is much more malleable for the corporations and thus less trustworthy for the people


I definitely agree with the author that means testing for eligibility is a bad idea for the reasons cited - the universality of programs is important for a democratic system. However, I think that a progressive benefits formula is still important for programs where the benefits are calculated as a percentage of contributions like with Social Security. People that barely make enough to sustain themselves during their working lives shouldn’t be put in even more dire straits during retirement.