Sen. Bernie Sanders: Deficit caused by wars, tax breaks and Wall Street

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, November 17, 2011 22:59 EDT
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday urged the congressional debt committee not to propose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

“This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem,” he said to about 200 people packed in the Senate Budget Committee room.

“But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.”

Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also joined Sanders in the Senate Budget Committee room.

“So what we are here today to say to the super committee that is surrounded by lobbyists and big money interests, we want you to go forward and help us with deficit reduction but we want to do it in a way which is fair and responsible,” Sanders continued.

“When the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good, when the top 1 percent earns more income than the bottom 50 percent, and tax rates for the highest income people in real effective terms are the lowest in decades — we’re going to ask the wealthiest people to start paying their fair share of the taxes.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Sen. Sander’s office, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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