Bernie Sanders on the Republican policy proposals:
What about deficit reduction? Under President Bush the national debt almost doubled because of the war in Iraq, tax breaks for the rich, a Medicare Part D prescription drug bill written by the drug companies and the Wall Street bailout. None of these initiatives were paid for. I voted against all of them.
Now, with a $13.7 trillion national debt, my Republican colleagues suddenly have become very concerned about the deficit. Their solution: major cuts in programs that benefit working families – including Social Security, education, health care and the environment.
I disagree. We must move toward a balanced budget, but we should do it in a way that is fair. It is absurd that large corporations and wealthy individuals are avoiding about $100 billion a year in taxes by stashing their money in tax havens in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda. It is wrong that in 2005 one quarter of all large corporations, earning a trillion in revenue, paid nothing in taxes. It is laughable that last year, while Exxon-Mobil, the most profitable corporation in history, made $19 billion in profits, they not only paid nothing in taxes – they got a $156 million refund from the IRS. Further, we need to take a hard look at waste in all agencies of government – including the Defense Department’s $700 billion budget.