Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Lays out Agenda for Working Families

November 20, 2015

CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday night outlined a bold plan to create millions of jobs, raise wages, provide health care for all Americans, lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, make college affordable, guarantee paid family leave, ensure pay equity for women and strengthen Social Security.

"We have an economy that is rigged. You have people working two or three jobs just to cobble together enough income to raise their families. While our people work longer hours for lower wages, 58 percent of new income goes to the top 1 percent," Sanders said at a town meeting here tonight at Burke High School.

"What we are looking at is a rigged economy," he added.


"Wages in America are just too low. Our job is to create an economy that works for working families, not just a handful of billionaires. My plan would make Wall Street banks, profitable corporations, millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes. My plan would provide living wages for working people and ensure equal pay for women," he said.

Under Sanders' plan:

  • At least thirteen million decent-paying jobs would be created or sustained by investing in a $1 trillion, five-year program to rebuild roads, bridges, railways, water systems and other infrastructure projects. This program would be paid for by closing loopholes allowing corporations to stash their profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens to avoid paying taxes.
  • Public colleges and universities would be tuition free. That would save middle-class families an average of $9,400 a year. The program would be funded with a tax on Wall Street speculation.
  • A Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care plan would save the typical family more than $5,000 a year by eliminating profit-making private insurance companies that charge steep premiums for policies with big deductibles and co-payments.
  • The minimum wage would be raised from $7.25 an hour today to a living wage of $15 an hour by 2020. That would directly increase the wages of more than 42 percent of American workers, including about half of African Americans and nearly 60 percent of Hispanics.
  • Provide pay equity for women workers who now make 79-cents for every dollar male workers are paid.
  • Allow mothers and fathers to receive paid family leave to care of a baby. Sanders has called for three months of paid leave if an employee has a child. He would also allow workers to take the same amount of paid time off if they are diagnosed with cancer or have other serious medical conditions or to take care of family members who are seriously ill. He's one of 19 Senate cosponsors of the Family and Medical Leave Act introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
  • Social Security would be strengthened and benefits boosted for millions of retirees, widows, widowers, orphans and the disabled. This would be paid for by applying the Social Security payroll tax on all income above $250,000.
  • Prescription drug prices, now the highest in the world, would be lowered by allowing Americans to import brand-name medicines from Canada and other countries and letting Medicare negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for better prices.
  • Too-big-to-fail banks would be broken up and Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law, would be restored.Sanders spoke to some 670 people in the high school auditorium on the first day of a three-day weekend swing through South Carolina, home to the first-in-the-South presidential primary next Feb. 27.

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Lays out Agenda for Working Families Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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