Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The U.S. Representative for the state’s at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007, he is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history and a member of the Democratic caucus. He ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president and is running again in 2020.
A progressive and self-described democratic socialist, Sanders is known for his opposition to economic inequality. On domestic policy, he broadly supports labor rights, and has supported universal and single-payer healthcare, paid parental leave, tuition-free tertiary education, and an ambitious Green New Deal to create jobs addressing climate change. On foreign policy, he broadly supports reducing military spending, pursuing more diplomacy and international cooperation, and putting greater emphasis on labor rights and environmental concerns when negotiating international trade agreements. Commentators have variously described his political philosophy as aligned with New Deal policies and social democracy, as distinct from true socialism—characterized by the social ownership of the means of production—and have noted the strong influence his views have had on Democratic Party politics since his 2016 presidential campaign.
Sanders was born into a working-class Jewish family and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. He attended Brooklyn College before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student, he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality as well as for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, he ran unsuccessful third-party political campaigns in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981 and reelected three times. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, representing Vermont’s at-large congressional district; he later co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He served as a U.S. Representative for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006; he was reelected to the Senate in 2012 and 2018.
Some people have the misconception that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to “give away free stuff.” Here is how Bernie Sanders plans to pay for his proposals. He is running for president in 2020.
Bernie Sanders’ Proposals
Bernie Sanders is running for president again in 2020. Since he has announced one of the annoying critiques coming from the “Anti Bernie” paid opposition camp is “How is he going to pay for it?” as if no one in the government ever has to write a plan to pay for anything. Well, Sanders has laid this plan out many times over the last 4 years. Let’s discuss in detail how taxing the Ultra- Rich like we did to make this country grow in the first place, will help save this democracy.
Rebuild America Act
Rebuild America Act – Legislation introduced by Senator Sanders to rebuild America’s crumbling network of roads, bridges, and transits systems and other infrastructure projects.
It is a five-year plan that would cost $1 trillion. To pay for it, Bernie Sanders proposes Taxing Corporate Offshore Income which is estimated to generate $100 billion per year.
College For All Act
College For All Act – Legislation introduced by Senator Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jaypal (D-Wash) that would make public colleges and universities tuition-free for working families and to significantly reduce student debt.
The cost is estimated to be $75 billion per year. To pay for it. Senator Sanders proposes a Wall Street Speculation Tax which is estimated to generate about $300 billion per year.
Politifact seems to think it would not work, but does mention that “the federal government would fund two-thirds of that cost using a tax on Wall Street trading, but participating states would have to kick in the remaining costs.” – Politifact
Social Security Expansion Act
Social Security Expansion Act – Legislation introduced by Senator Sanders and Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.) which would expand Social Security benefits and strengthen the retirement program for generations to come.
It is estimated to cost $1.2 trillion over 10 years. To pay for it, Sanders proposes to “Remove payroll tax cap for earnings above $250,000” which would is estimated to generate the $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
Employ Young Americans Now Act
Employ Young Americans Now Act – In today’s America, unemployment among young people is higher, especially among young people of color, more than any other demographic. Bernie Sanders believes that all young people should be given the opportunities to get a proper education, be employed, and earn a sustainable income.
It is estimated to cost $5.5 billion over 2 years. To pay for this, Senator Sanders proposes closing the carried interest loophole, which is estimated to generate $15.6 billion over 10 years.
Paid family, medical, vacation leave
Offer 12 weeks of paid family, medical, and vacation leave – Millions of employees in the U.S. lack access to paid time off for vacation, illness, or care of a family member including a new child.
Also, 40 percent of American workers lack access to even basic job protections would be provided by the Family Medical Leave Act because there are less than 50 employees working for their employer.
Senator Sanders proposes 10 days paid vacations for those who have worked for an employer for at least one year. The act would apply to employers that have at least 15 employees.
It also allows for at least 12 weeks of universal family and medical leave.
The Family Act was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Senator Sanders is a co-sponsor.
To pay for this, it is proposed to have an additional 0.2% Payroll Tax, which is estimated to generate $319 billion over 10 years.
Keep Our Pension Promises Act
Keep Our Pension Promises Act – Legislation introduced in 2017 by Senator Sanders and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) to protect pensions for up to 10 million retirees and workers.
The Act reverses a provision passed in 2014 that could cause deep pension cuts for millions of workers and retirees in multi-employer pension plans.
It is estimated to cost $29 billion over 10 years. To pay for this, Senator Sanders proposes closing tax loopholes on estate taxes and artwork, which would generate that $29 billion over 10 years.
Responsible Estate Tax Act
Responsible Estate Tax Act – Legislation introduced by Senator Sanders that amends the Internal Revenue Code. The Act, with respect to estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, revises estate tax rates.
It would impose increases taxes for estates valued at over $3.5 million and a maximum tax rate of 55% for estates over $50 million.
Imposes a 10% surtax on estates over $500 million. Reduces the basic estate tax exclusion amount to $3.5 million. Increase to $3 million the reduction of valuations of farmland for estate tax purposes and adjusts such increased amount for inflation after 2014.
It also would increase to $2 million the maximum estate tax exclusion for contributions to conservation easements.
There is more in the proposal, it sounds good, but since I am personally not a realtor or housing market savvy, I don’t understand some of this and the other things included in the proposal.
It includes a progressive estate tax on inheritances over $3.5 million, and closes the estate tax loopholes, which is estimated to generate $214 billion over 10 years.
End Polluter Welfare Act
End Polluter Welfare Act – Tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies are costing hundreds of billions of dollars. The End Polluter Welfare Act is estimated to cost around $110 billion over 10 years which is legislation that would close tax loopholes and eliminate other subsidies for oil, gas, and coal industries.
By ending tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies, it is estimated to generate $135 billion over 10 years.
Medicare for All Health Care Plan
Medicare For All, Making Healthcare a Human Right – Legislation introduced by Senator Sanders for Universal Healthcare as a single-payer healthcare plan. If Bernie Sanders has his way, it will indefinitely end the for-profit healthcare insurance system.
The way Senator Sanders sees it is that many other developed countries all have far more affordable healthcare than the U.S. because of Universal Healthcare.
It is estimated to cost $1.38 trillion per year. To pay for it, Sanders proposes a 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers, a 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households, progressive income tax rates, taking capital gains and dividends the same as income from work.
Also by limiting tax deductions for the rich, adjusting the estate tax, and savings from health tax expenditures. This is estimated to add up to $1.39 trillion in the needed revenue to pay for it.
It is now clear that Senator Bernie Sanders is not “giving away free stuff” and does have valid proposals and ways to pay for it all. It is better to not look at it as giving away free stuff, but instead as giving the people back what has been taken away from them. The American people paid into this system, are owned for their investment and it is long overdue.