Bernie Sanders: I’m more of a deficit hawk than many Republicans

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, February 16, 2012 17:41 EDT
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Senator Bernie Sanders screengrab
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Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Thursday told Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee they were hypocritical for vowing to reduce the federal deficit while supporting wars overseas and tax breaks for wealthy Americans.

The committee was holding a hearing on the President’s 2013 budget with Treasury Secretary Geithner.

“The reason I like being on the budget committee is I always find it extremely amusing about who poses as great deficit hawks,” Sanders said. “Many of the loudest voices about the serious crisis of deficit reduction are people who have more than anybody else grown our deficit. So, as a deficit hawk, unlike the people on the other side, I didn’t vote for the war in Iraq. I didn’t vote for that, but the deficit hawks voted for that. I don’t recall one question, ‘Mr. Chairman, how much is that war going to cost.’”

“The way I do arithmetic, if you give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country and you don’t offset it, you know what, it results in a significant deficit,” he continued. “I didn’t vote for that, I’m the deficit hawk.”

“I consider myself far more of a deficit hawk than many of my Republican friends, but I have to admit, that some of them are very serious about the deficit. Because their response about deficit reduction is to give even more tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations, and then at the same time slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and the other needs of working people.”

“So I would suggest there is a strong element of hypocrisy for those people who are willing to spend on wars, tax breaks for the rich, but then they really, really get tough in the middle of a recession on the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor,” Sanders concluded.

Watch video, uploaded by 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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