Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is perhaps the only honest senator other than Elizabeth Warren who has the audacity to serve the interests of the people. Even if he always looks like Doc Brown from Back to the Future or a guy who just discovered a massive government conspiracy, Bernie always tells it like it is and never sugar coats. As much as progressives want a Bernie presidential run to make Hillary less Republican-lite, he seems to shine most in the Senate.
Earlier this week, Senator Sanders brought his blunt and fiery rhetoric to a Senate Budget Committee hearing on President Obama’s budget proposal. Sanders, a ranking member on the Budget Committee, had a fantastic time decimating the tired and maddening myth that Republicans will give us all jobs if we just give corporations more tax cuts.
Here was Senator Sanders, courtesy of PoliticUsUsa:
Mr. Chairman: This is not just a moral issue, it is an economic issue. Seventy percent of our economy is based on consumer spending, and when working people don’t earn enough income, they are not spending money. They are not buying products or services. The “job creators” in this country are not the heads of corporations. They can’t sell products and services unless people have the income to buy them. The real job creators are those millions of Americans who every day go out and purchase goods and services – and if they don’t have adequate income, the economy suffers.
This simple phenomenon, that an economy cannot do well unless there is low-unemployment and decent wages, impacts not only the lives of ordinary people, but also our deficit and national debt — and important government programs like Social Security. In other words, if we are going to reduce the deficit, we have got to make sure that every American who is willing to work hard is able to get a decent-paying job.
The debate we are having this morning will have a profound impact on the lives of the American people. The Republican philosophy of cutting Social Security, cutting Medicare, cutting Medicaid, cutting nutrition programs for hungry kids, while providing huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires would move this country in exactly the wrong direction.
On the other hand, if we are serious about rebuilding the disappearing middle class, reducing income and wealth inequality, and strengthening Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid we need a budget that creates millions of jobs, raises wages, makes college more affordable, and demands that the wealthiest people in this country pay their fair share. In all of these matters, the President’s budget moves this country in the right direction.
Unless you willingly choose to listen to the foxbots and mannequins at Fox News, it’s painfully obvious that the Republican Party is the party of the Kochs. They’re pretty gangsta about it and no longer even pretend to give a crap about serving the people. Perhaps that explains why President Obama, despite losing the Senate to Republicans this past November, spoke vociferously for the middle class and middle class issues in his SOTU address. Even being the good version of Frank Luntz when he uttered the phrase “middle-class economics,” which was a deliberate attempt at debunking the “trickle-down economic” slogan.
When it comes to Bernie, the wilder his hair gets, the more serious an issue is about to become. And there’s no issue more serious to him than the continuous assault on the middle-class by Republicans in Congress. Bernie knows that a robust middle-class is what drives the economy, not a fat stock portfolio for the Koch brothers.