Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called on President Barack Obama to stand up for the middle class by not compromising with Republicans on the national budget.

"At a time when the richest people and the largest corporations in our country are doing phenomenally well, and, in many cases, have never had it so good, while the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing, it is absolutely imperative that a deficit reduction package not include the disastrous cuts in programs for working families, the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor that the Republicans in Congress, dominated by the extreme right wing, are demanding," Sanders said on the Senate floor Monday.

"Instead of yielding to the incessant, extreme Republican demands, as the President did during last December’s tax cut agreement and this year’s spending negotiations, the President has got to get out of the beltway and rally the American people who already believe that deficit reduction must be about shared sacrifice."

Sanders said any deficit reduction plan must rely on new revenue to decrease federal debt. He blamed the current deficits on the large defense budget, Wall Street bailouts and tax breaks for the rich.

"Republicans in Washington have never believed in Medicare, Medicaid, federal assistance in education, or providing any direct government assistance to those in need," he added. "They have always believed that tax breaks for the wealthy and the powerful would somehow miraculously trickle down to every American, despite all history and evidence to the contrary. So, in that sense, it is not strange at all that they would use the deficit crisis we are now in as an opportunity to balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor, and work to dismantle every single successful government program that was ever created."

Sanders also called on Americans to send a letter to Obama, urging the President to end tax breaks for the wealthy and eliminate tax loopholes that benefit large corporations.

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on June 27, 2011, below:

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