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Bernie Sanders: Walmart family’s ‘obscene’ wealth subsidized by taxpayers

By David Ferguson
Saturday, August 3, 2013 20:45 EDT
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Sen Bernie Sanders via screencap
 
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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appeared on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Saturday and scoffed at the idea that major corporations like Walmart can’t afford to pay their workers a living wage and that to raise the U.S. minimum wage would be bad for the economy.

Sanders said that the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population believes that the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is “obscene” and a “starvation wage.” He said that he hopes to mount a strong push in the Senate to raise the minimum wage and that if enough grass roots support builds around the country, “we can force the House to do the right thing.”

“We have to create millions of new jobs” to help the economy, he said, “but we also have to make the minimum wage a living wage.”

The Senator laughed when host Ed Schultz asked what he would say to people who insist that mega-corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s can’t afford to raise their wages.

“Ed, do you want to hear one of the great obscenities of our time?” Sanders asked. “The wealthiest family in this country is the Walton family. They are worth about a hundred billion dollars. That’s more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of the American people.”

“One of the reasons that the Walton family, the owners of Walmart, are so wealthy is that they receive huge subsidies from the taxpayers of this country,” he said. “When you pay, at Walmart, starvation wages, you don’t provide benefits to your workers, who picks up the difference? The answer is that many of the workers in Walmart end up getting Medicaid, they get food stamps, they get affordable housing paid for by the taxpayers of this country while the Walton family remains the wealthiest family in America.”

“If that is not obscene, I don’t know what is,” Sanders concluded.

Watch the video, embedded below via YouTube:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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