Bernie Sanders in his own words

Agenda for America: 12 Steps Forward.

  1. Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure
  2. Reversing Climate Change
  3. Creating Worker Co-ops
  4. Growing the Trade Union Movement
  5. Raising the Minimum Wage
  6. Pay Equity for Women Workers
  7. Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers
  8. Making College Affordable for All
  9. Taking on Wall Street
  10. Health Care as a Right for All
  11. Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans
  12. Real Tax Reform

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The video clips above and below are from an 8.5-hour speech given by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2010 on the tax bill agreed to by President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress.

The President agreed to continue the Bush tax cuts for upper-bracket income earners and the freeze discretionary spending. In return, the Republicans agreed to continuation of tax cuts for the middle class and to extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.

Click on The Congressional Record for the full transcript of his speech.   It’s a bit long to read in full on-line, but it has been printed in book form.  The Rochester (NY) Public Library has a copy, and maybe a public library near you does also.

Bernie Sanders says many of the same things that I have been saying on this blog, but he came to his understanding of these issues long before I did.

He is concerned about the plight of American workers and the middle class, the abuses of the American financial oligarchy and the dangers to the United States and the world of our militaristic foreign policy.

A lot of the things he is saying would have been considered just common sense in the 1950s—strong labor unions, a public works program, a meaningful minimum wage, affordable college education, defense of Social Security, a high marginal tax rate for the upper income brackets, avoiding foreign wars.

But the country has changed so much, and the conventional wisdom have changed so much, that these views are truly radical.   Putting these measures into effect would not be a major social upheaval.   But the power of the upper 0.1 percent of rich people, and their resistance to change, is so great that it would take a major social upheaval to put these measures into effect.

He has been saying these things for a long time.  It took me a while to come to the understanding of how things work that Sanders had when he came to Congress in 1990.

I think what he says makes sense.  Evidently other people do, too.

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Dear America: Meet Bernie Sanders.  Properly, this time by Emil Melia for The Observer.

Why Bernie Sanders Is the Perfect Candidate for This Moment in American Politics by Theo Anderson for In These Times.

The 2016 Stump Speeches: Bernie Sanders by Doug Muder for The Weekly Sift.

Inside the Mind of Bernie Sanders: unbowed, unchanged and unafraid of a good fight by Paul Lewis for The Guardian.

Bernie Sanders Family-Friendly Agenda Crushes the Competition by Matt Bruenig for The New Republic.

Actually Bernie Sanders Isn’t a Crackpot—He Favors Policies the Majority of Americans Want by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship for Mother Jones.

How Mainstream Is Bernie Sanders? by Gaius Publius for Down With Tyranny!

Bernie Sanders vs. the billionaires by Andrew Prokop for Vox.com.  [Added 6/27/2015]

Bernie Sanders’ Biggest Problem – And His Plan to Fix It by Jonathan Allen for Vox.com.  [Added 6/27/2015]

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On the other hand—

Bernie Sanders a Virtual Unknown Among Black Voters by Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin for The New York Times.

Bernie Sanders Walks a Fine Line on Gun Control by Jessica Taylor for National Public Radio.

The right-wing political record of Bernie Sanders by Tom Hall for the World Socialist Web Site.

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