Outspoken socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lamented this week all the “talk about numbers” and “process” surrounding the Biden administration's mammoth $6 trillion budget proposal, arguing such needless deliberation ignores “the needs of working-class Americans.”
Rather than carefully considering spending trillions of dollars in taxpayer money, the senator proclaimed that Congress should just borrow the money now and figure out how to pay for it later.
Speaking with MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Sunday about the spending package, Sanders said, “One of the things that has bothered me in the last month or so is this: a lot of talk about numbers — $6 trillion, big number — a lot of talk about process. You know what there is not a lot of talk about? About the needs of working-class Americans and what we have got to do.”
Sanders went on to argue that with “real wages” in America today “lower than they were 48 years ago” and wealth disparity only increasing, Congress must act quickly to retain the faith of the American people. To do so, he argued, lawmakers must make gargantuan investments in progressive wish list items such as climate initiatives, free education, free health care, paid family leave, housing stipends, and more.
“First of all, you got to deal with climate. Right now, the West Coast is, you know, aflame in a sense,” he said. “It's record-breaking, heatwave, Australia, etc. We have got to deal with climate. And if we do not significantly invest in transforming our energy system, future generations will never forgive us.”
Bernie Sanders: People Are ‘Sick And Tired' Of Working For Inadequate Wages
“We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth,” he continued. “That is why we have to extend or make permanent the child tax credit, $300 per child for working-class families. Does anyone deny that our child care system is totally dysfunctional? We've got to deal with that.”
“In the richest country on Earth, you got to elderly people have no teeth in their mouth because Medicare does not cover dental, we don't cover hearing aids, we don't cover eyeglasses. We have got to do that. We have got to have universal pre-K. We have got to have a major housing bill … we got to make higher education affordable,” the lawmaker noted.
Near the end of Sanders' lengthy rundown, even Hayes appeared to grow weary.
The left-leaning anchor asked: “Is there some part of you that worries about a level of spending that is too much for the economy to deal with?
In response, Sanders trotted out his classic argument, asserting that the programs would be largely covered “by demanding that the wealthiest people and largest corporations start paying their fair share of taxes.”
But then the socialist lawmaker acknowledged that for the excess, borrowing and figuring out how to pay it back later will do, given the current low interest rates.
“Let me tell you, what I think most economists would agree with, and that is, at a time when we have record-breaking low interest rates, now is precisely the time to borrow and invest in one-time infrastructure projects,” he said.
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