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Bill Maher: America Is ‘Already a Socialist Country’

By Michael Morris | October 19, 2015 | 11:02am EDT

On "Real Time with Bill Maher" last Friday, Bill Maher proposed to Sen. Bernie Sanders that socialism needs to be taught to Americans, suggesting that America is “already a socialist country.”

“[E]ven the Republicans are not for income inequality,” said Maher. “They hear that, but it doesn’t compute that that’s going to be solved by socialism. Socialism is the programs they already like. They like Social Security. That’s socialism. They like Medicare. They like the VA. They like the military. It’s already a socialist country.”

Below is a transcript of what Bill Maher and Bernie Sanders had to say:

Bill Maher: “We have to teach Americans what this is.”

Bernie Sanders: “Yes. We do.”

Bill Maher: “And I don’t know if we’re doing that yet. I don’t think most Americans realize they’re already socialists.”

Bernie Sanders: “In certain respects. Okay. Let’s start off with, it is not what we want to change. We want to deal with the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America. Very few people think it is acceptable or moral that the top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That we have seen a proliferation …”

Bill Maher: “But see, Bernie, you always say that, and I think, even the Republicans are not for income inequality. They hear that, but it doesn’t compute that that’s going to be solved by socialism. Socialism is the programs they already like. They like Social Security. That’s socialism.”

Bernie Sanders: “But here’s …”

Bill Maher: “They like Medicare. They like the VA.”

Bernie Sanders: “That’s right.”

Bill Maher: “They like the military.

Bernie Sanders: “That’s exactly right.”

Bill Maher: “It’s already a socialist country.”

Bernie Sanders: “But what we have to … no, it’s not a socialist country.”

Bill Maher: “It’s quasi.”

Bernie Sanders: “Quasi."

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