Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Economic Agenda Puts Spotlight on Poor and Collapsing Middle Class

July 12, 2015

EDGARTOWN, Mass. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that he would take his presidential campaign to all corners of the country to highlight poverty in the United States and unite the nation behind ways to help working families and the collapsing middle class.

"The American people understand that establishment politics and establishment economics are not working for the middle class and working families of this country and they want real change. They want to end the absurdity of seeing the middle class in this country continue its 40-year decline," Sanders said in an interview on the CBS News program "Face the Nation."

He also detailed policy differences with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, another Democratic presidential candidate. "There are differences of opinion we have that should be the basis of reasonable discussion," he said, mentioning climate change, the need to break up big banks and their different votes on authorizing the war in Iraq.

Sanders also discussed many of the wide-ranging economic policies he already has detailed in legislation or in policy proposals.

He will soon introduce legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour so no one who works 40 hours a week will live in poverty.

He has proposed a $1 trillion investment in rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges to create or support 13 million jobs.

To address youth unemployment, he recently filed legislation with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to provide $5.5 billion for states and local governments to employ 1 million youth from ages 16 to 24 years old. According to Economic Policy Institute research conducted for Sanders, youth unemployment for high school graduates and dropouts is 33 percent for white youth, 36 percent for Hispanic youth and 51 percent for African-American young people.

As part of a "family values" legislative agenda, Sanders would provide affordable child care, paid family leave for parents to care for newborns and guaranteed vacation for workers.

To better care for seniors, Sanders has led the fight against efforts to cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age. Instead, Sanders has proposed expanding the program that has lifted millions of seniors out of poverty. He would strengthen Social Security finances for decades to come by applying the payroll tax to workers who earn $250,000 or more a year.

He wants equal pay for women workers who now make 78 percent of what male counterparts make.

To help students and our overall economy, he has introduced legislation to make four-year public colleges and universities tuition free so all qualified students, regardless of their income, may get a higher education.

To reverse the decline of American manufacturing and the flow of good-paying jobs to low-wage nations overseas, Sanders would reform trade policies that have shuttered more than 60,000 factories and cost more than 4.9 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs.

To provide better health care for more people at less cost, he would provide a Medicare-for-all, single payer health care system.

To better care for the sick and hungry, he would expand Medicare, Medicaid and nutrition programs that were first approved in landmark legislation signed by President Lyndon Johnson 50 years ago this month.

To address income and wealth inequality and pay for the proposals, Sanders would close tax loopholes, end the abuse of tax shelters in the Cayman islands and other tax havens, raise taxes on Wall Street speculators and raise tax rates for the wealthiest people in America.

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Economic Agenda Puts Spotlight on Poor and Collapsing Middle Class Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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