Bernie Sanders in Our Revolution

On Budget & Economy: 2008 Crash's foreclosures brought about by deregulation

As a result of the financial meltdown of 2008, more than 9 million American jobs were destroyed. Real unemployment skyrocketed to more than 17 percent, as more than 27 million workers were unemployed, under-employed, or had stopped looking for work altogether.

The American dream of homeownership turned into a nightmare of foreclosure for millions of households, as more and more people could not afford to pay their mortgages. This was bound to happen. For years, financial predators received fat commissions form lenders for steering Americans into the riskiest subprime mortgages imaginable--no documentation, no job, no income... no problem. And then, the banks bundled those mortgages, over and over again, into almost worthless and unregulated derivatives, until the house of cards collapsed.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 298 Nov 15, 2016

On Civil Rights: 1960s U. Chicago Congress of Racial Equality member

Ironically, while I took interesting classes and spent long hours buried in the library stacks on campus, much of my learning during my years in Chicago took place off campus--through organizations that I joined and activities in which I participated. While at the university, I became a member of the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL), the Student Peace Union (SPU), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Through these organizations, I learned to look at politics in a new way. It wasn't just that racism, war, poverty, and other social evils must be opposed. It was that there was a cause-and-effect dynamic and an interconnectedness between all aspects of society. Things didn't just happen by accident. There was a relationship between wealth, power, and the perpetuation of capitalism.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 18 Nov 15, 2016

On Civil Rights: Empower Native Americans to make up for abrogated treaties

Native Americans are the first Americans, yet they have for far too long been treated as third-class citizens--their needs are often ignored or dismissed. Time and time again, our Native American brothers and sisters have seen the federal government break solemn promises, abrogate treaties, and allow corporations to put profits ahead of the sovereign rights of tribal communities. Our treatment of Native Americans is a stain on our collective moral conscience.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 416-417 Nov 15, 2016

On Civil Rights: DOMA was homophobic even in 1996

In 1996, Bill Clinton signed the homophobic Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Hillary Clinton defended that decision for years and was very late in getting on board with marriage equality. The Clinton administration, with Hillary's support, also pushed "welfare reform" and mass incarceration policies.

My disagreements with the Clintons' centrist approach were based not only on policy, as important as that was, but on politics--how you bring about real change in the country. What kind of party should the Democratic Party be? The Clintons, over the years, received huge campaign contributions and speaking fees from powerful financial interests and corporate America. Whether it was on the campaign trail or in their private lives, they spent an enormous amount of time raising money from the wealthy and the powerful. In fact, in some circles they became known as Clinton, Inc.

To me, a very basic political principle is that you cannot take on the establishment when you take their money.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 51 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: End corporate tax dodging by shifting profits overseas

Corporate tax reform must start by preventing profitable companies from sheltering profits in tax haven countries like the Cayman Islands. In 2015, I introduced legislation with Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois to do just that.

The Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act would end the loophole that allows corporations to defer paying taxes on overseas profits. Instead, it would require corporations to pay U.S. taxes on offshore profits as they are earned. This bill would take away the tax incentives for corporations to shift profits and move jobs and factories offshore, by taxing their profits no matter where they are generated. American corporations would continue to get a credit against their U.S. tax liability for foreign taxes they pay, but they would have to pay the federal government the difference between the foreign rate and the U.S. rate.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 273 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: Too-Big-to-Fail means taxpayers insure megabanks

To create an economy that works for all Americans and not just a handful of billionaires, we have got to address the ever-increasing size of the mega-banks. And we must end, once and for all, the scheme that is nothing more than a free insurance policy for Wall Street: the policy of "too big to fail."

We need a banking system that encourages homeownership by offering affordable mortgage products that are designed to work for both the lender and the borrower. We need a banking system that is transparent and accountable, and that adheres to the highest ethical standards as well as to the spirit and the letter of the law.

Breaking up the big banks would reduce systemic risk in our financial system. It would also mean increased competition. Oligopolies--where the market is dominated by just a few economic actors--are never good for consumers. Smaller banks are more likely to offer affordable financial products that Americans actually want and need.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 307 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: Reform credit-rating agencies by separating from Wall Street

Leading up to the Great Recession, the three major credit agencies--Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch--would routinely give inflated AAA ratings to risky and sometimes worthless mortgage-backed securities and derivatives, even though the agencies knew the ratings were bogus. Without those AAA ratings, it is highly doubtful many investors--again, including pension funds and 401(K) administrators--would have ever bought them.

The reason these risky financial schemes were given such favorable ratings is simple: Wall Street paid for them. Rather than providing useful risk information to investors (which is the reason they exist in the first place), the credit-rating agencies were colluding with Wall Street, because that's where the money was.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 313 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: Corporate Media threatens our democracy

As A.J. Liebling wrote: "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." Today, a handful of multinational corporations own much of the media and control what the American people see, hear, and read. This is a direct threat to American democracy. It is an issue we cannot continue to ignore.

Media is not just about what is covered and how it is covered. More importantly, it is about what is NOT covered. And those decisions, of what is and is not covered, are made by human beings who often have major conflicts of interest.

As a general rule of thumb, the more important the issue is to large numbers of working people, the less interesting it is to corporate media. The less significant it is to ordinary people, the more attention the media pays. Further, issues being pushed by the top 1% get a lot of attention. Issues advocated by representatives of working families, not so much. This was, to be honest, not a new revelation to me. I had seen it for years as a congressman.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 420-421 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: A few giant corporations own the media

Most Americans have very little understanding of the degree to which media ownership in America--what we see, hear and read--is concentrated in the hands of a few giant corporations. In fact, I suspect that when people look at the hundreds of channels they receive on their cable system, or the many hundreds of magazines they can choose from in a good bookstore, they assume that there is a wide diversity of ownership. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

In 1983 the largest fifty corporations controlled 90 percent of the media. That's a high level of concentration. Today, as a result of massive mergers and takeovers, six corporations control 90 percent of what we see, hear, and read. This is outrageous, and a real threat to our democracy.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 438 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: It is time to break up largest financial institutions

Addressing Wealth and Income Inequality: This campaign is going to send a message to the billionaire class. And that is: You can't have it all. You can't hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities.

Reforming Wall Street: It is time to break up the largest financial institutions in the country. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments while expecting the public to bail it out. If a bank is too big to fail it is too big to exist. We need a banking system which is part of the job-creating productive economy, not a handful of huge banks on Wall Street which engage in reckless and illegal activities.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.124 Nov 15, 2016

On Corporations: Rigged economy makes America like a Banana Republic

There is something profoundly wrong when one family--the Waltons, who founded and own Wal-mart--has more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.

But it is not just a grotesque level of WEALTH disparity that we are experiencing. It is also horrendous inequality in terms of INCOME, the amount that we earn every year. Incredibly, in the last several years, 52 percent of all new income being generated in this country is now going to the top 1 percent.

When we were kids, we read about "Banana Republics" in Latin America and other oligarchic societies that existed in countries around the world, where a handful of families held almost all of the wealth & power. Fellow Americans, take a look around you. See what's going on in our country today. This obscene level of inequality is immoral. It is bad economics. It is unsustainable. This type of rigged and unfair economy is not what America is supposed to be about. And it's not what America used to be.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.208 Nov 15, 2016

On Crime: Real criminal justice/police reform also combats racism

In the U.S. today we have more people in jail than any other country on earth. We are spending $80 billion a year to lock up 2.2 million Americans, disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American. To my mind, it makes a lot more sense to invest in education and jobs than in jails and incarceration. It's time for real criminal justice reform.

Among many other struggles we must engage in to combat racism in this country, we must stop police brutality and the killing of unarmed African-Americans. This has emerged as one of the great civil rights issue of the early twenty-first century.

Too many African-Americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. Because of over-policing in minority communities and racial profiling, African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police than whites.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 375-7 Nov 15, 2016

On Crime: End the death penalty, like all other advanced countries

It is long past time for the United States of America to join almost every other advanced country on earth in abolishing the death penalty. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. It is applied disproportionately to people of color. It has been proven to not deter violent crime. The inevitable endless judicial appeals tie up the courts for years, at the taxpayer's expense. And far too many people are now thought, after they were put to death by the state, to have been innocent.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 383-384 Nov 15, 2016

On Crime: New model for police training de-escalating lethal force

We must come together with a sense of shared purpose and demand policies to transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of all our people, regardless of race, income, or national origin. We need a criminal justice system that not only protects our people from crime, but is based on justice for all, nondiscriminatory policies, and the understanding that the prevention of crime is a much worthier approach than punishment.

We must reexamine honestly how we police America, and the federal government can play an important role in establishing a new model police training program that reorients us in the way we do law enforcement. First and foremost, we must develop new rules on the allowable use of force. Police officers need to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people, especially people who have mental illnesses. Lethal force should be the last response, not the first.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 387 Nov 15, 2016

On Crime: How justice system treats blacks is a national disgrace

The African-American situation with regard to criminal justice was a national disgrace. Jails from coast to coast were filled with African-Americans, many of whom lacked decent education or job skills appropriate for the twenty-first century. Unbelievably, if present trends continued, one out of four black males born today would end up in jail.

During the campaign, I met frequently with members of the Black Lives Matter movement. This loosely knit organization was successfully educating the nation that in many black communities the police were not there protecting the people, but intimidating them. And time and time again, tragically, cell phone video cameras were recording horrific examples of extreme police brutality, the taking of innocent lives by overly aggressive police action.

There was no question that, as a nation, we had made great advances in civil rights. But there was also no doubt in my mind that much, much more needed to be done.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 82-3 Nov 15, 2016

On Crime: Black Lives Matter points out police brutality

[It's time to] end the absurdity of the US having more people in jail than any other country on earth. As the Black Lives Matter movement was pointing out, there were too many victims.

Many American, and not just African-Americans and Latinos, are becoming increasingly outraged by police brutality. They are rightfully tired of turning on the television and seeing videos of unarmed blacks being shot & killed by police officers. They want criminal justice reform. They want police department reform. And I agree.

The vast majority of police officers are honest and hardworking. But when a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. Further, police officers must be trained to understand that lethal force is the last response, not, as is too often the case, the first response. I promised that I would make sure that all killings that took place when people were in police custody or being arrested would prompt a Department of Justice investigation.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.143 Nov 15, 2016

On Drugs: We must end the "War on drugs"

Because of over-policing in minority communities and racial profiling, African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested than whites.

Of course, the intersection of racism and criminal justice is not limited to police violence. To my mind, an even bigger issue is the failed "War on Drugs," which has over the decades harmed millions of lives through the arrest and jailing of people for nonviolent crimes. The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased TWELVEFOLD since 1980, and this "war" has disproportionately targeted people of color.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, blacks and whites use drugs at roughly the same overall rates. However, blacks are arrested for drug use at far greater rates than whites, largely because of over-policing, racial profiling, and--according to the Department of Justice--the fact that blacks are three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop compared with white motorists.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 377-379 Nov 15, 2016

On Drugs: Opioid treatment instead of locking them up

We cannot jail our way out of health problems like mental illness and drug addiction. Our country is facing an opioid crisis, both in terms of prescription pain medicine abuse and heroin addiction. People are dying every day from overdoes. But the solution is not to lock up addicts. We have to treat substance abuse as a serious public health issue rather than a criminal issue, so that all people--regardless of their income--can get the help they need.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 381-2 Nov 15, 2016

On Education: Revolution needed in child-care and preschool jobs

When I talk about rebuilding America, I am not just talking about our physical infrastructure, about bricks and mortar--as important as that is. I also mean our human infrastructure, and meeting the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our country. The truth is that, as a nation, we do a disgraceful job in providing for our children. We not only have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major nation on earth, but we have a dysfunctional child-care and Pre-K system that has completely ignored the radical changes that have taken place in our economy over the last forty years.

At a time when nearly 60 percent of women are now in the workforce , we need a revolution in this country in terms of how we provide child care and Pre-K education. The bottom line is that we have got to make sure every family in America has the opportunity to send their kids to a high quality child-care and Pre-K program

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 255-256 Nov 15, 2016

On Education: College for All: $2 federal match for every state $1

A public education system that goes from kindergarten through high school is no longer good enough. If we are to succeed in the highly competitive global economy and have the best-educated workforce in the world, public colleges and universities must become tuition-free.

I outlined a simple and straightforward proposal that would make public colleges and universities tuition-free. This plan, the College for All Act, would allow all Americans, if they had the ability and the desire, to go to college regardless of the income of their families. It would also prevent them from going deeply into debt as a result of their education. The College for All Act would create a partnership between the U.S. government and states that would provide $2 in federal funding for every dollar a state spends on making public colleges and universities tuition-free for undergraduate students. The plan would also cover 100 percent of the costs of books and room and board for low-income students.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 339-49 Nov 15, 2016

On Energy & Oil: Cut carbon 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050

By combating climate change and transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy, we not only help lead the world in saving the planet, but we create an extraordinary number of good-paying jobs.

We have a short window of time to dramatically cut the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. I have laid out a plan to cut U.S. carbon pollution by at least 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels by establishing a tax on carbon, aggressively implementing energy efficiency efforts, quickly moving away form fossil fuels, and deploying historic levels of new renewable energy like wind, solar, and geothermal. This is an absolutely and necessarily achievable goal. It is also a huge opportunity in terms of strengthening our economy and creating jobs.

Energy efficiency truly is a win-win-win in the fight against climate change, in terms of reducing energy use, saving consumers money, and creating jobs.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 251 Nov 15, 2016

On Energy & Oil: Job training for transition to green energy

We have a national responsibility to make sure that livelihoods and families are helped, not hurt, by the transition to clean energy. That is why I introduced the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act--to provide comprehensive job training and benefits to workers as they transition to making the solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries of the twenty-first century. It will also direct resources to the most affected communities, particularly in Appalachian coal country, to clean up the disastrous environmental legacy of coal mining, and to build the infrastructure needed to attract new investment and revitalize local economies.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 253 Nov 15, 2016

On Energy & Oil: 2015 & 2016 were hottest years on record: debate is over

The debate is over. The vast majority of the scientific community has spoken. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating harm. It is absolutely imperative that we boldly transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. The future of the planet is at stake.

While carbon dioxide accounts for 81% of greenhouse gas emissions, it is not the sole problem. Methane, which is released during the extraction and combustion of natural gas, oil, and coal, accounts for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions. Nitrous oxide--a by-product of fossil fuel combustion--accounts for 6%.

The results of dumping these heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere year after year are frighteningly clear. The year 2015 was the hottest year on record, and 2016 is on pace to be hotter still. July 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded on the planet. Thirteen of the fifteen hottest years have occurred since the year 2000.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 355-7 Nov 15, 2016

On Energy & Oil: Massive and sustained investment in sustainable energy

We must currently make a massive and sustained investment in sustainable energy like winds, solar, and geothermal to make a seamless transition from dirty fossil fuels to a clean energy future.

One of the best ways to incentivize the development of renewable energy is by expanding federal investment and production tax incentives for building new energy-generation projects. The solar investment tax credit (ITC) is an up-front credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of building a commercial or residential solar project, and the production tax credit (PTC) is a $0.023/kWh credit taken over ten years by wind, geothermal, and closed-loop biomass projects based on the amount of energy actually produced.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 370-371 Nov 15, 2016

On Energy & Oil: Pushed energy efficiency block grants

As part of the 2009 stimulus package, working with Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, we passed funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. This legislation, strongly supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, has been one of the government's major efforts to combat climate change. It provided billions of dollars for communities all across the country to move toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy. In Vermont, a number of schools throughout the state were able to use that money to place solar panels on their rooftops. This not only cut carbon emissions, but saved schools money on their electric bills.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 45 Nov 15, 2016

On Energy & Oil: Inexpensive Venezuelan oil donated to low-income Vermonters

In mid-September, my campaign issued a very forceful response to an ugly and dishonest attack that came from the Clinton Super PAC run by David Brock, the former right-wing journalist. Brock had attempted to link me to the former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. My "crime" had been that I worked with former congressman Joe Kennedy and his nonprofit Citizens Energy Corporation to bring inexpensive Venezuelan heating oil into Vermont to help low-income people get through our cold winter. It was an attack. Our response: explain to our supporters what the Clinton super PAC had done, and raise money off of it.

In just forty-eight hours, as a direct response to that ugly attack, our donors contributed $1.2 million into the campaign, with an average contribution of $23. In an e-mail thanking our contributors I stated: "I hope that sends a very clear message that the American people are sick and tired of politics as usual and negative campaigning."

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.153 Nov 15, 2016

On Families & Children: American workers need a vacation

Moreover, when we are talking about a disappearing middle class, we're talking about millions of Americans working longer hours for lower wages. We're talking about millions of Americans who are overworked, underpaid, and under enormous stress. Some are working two to three jobs just trying to care for their families.

Today, largely because of the collapse of our middle class and declining wages, Americans are working longer hours than the people of any other major developed country in the G-7, which includes Japan, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.

That is why I have introduced legislation to require employers to provide at least ten days of paid vacation to workers in this country every year. This is not a radical idea. It is already being done in almost every country in the world, and it is one more way to demonstrate our commitment to family values.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 240 Nov 15, 2016

On Families & Children: Affordable housing underlies jobs, and child development

Study after study has shown that without stable housing, it is much harder for working people to hold down jobs and get the health care they need, and children are put at a profound disadvantage in terms of intellectual and emotional development and school performance. The very idea that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed evaporates in the absence of stable and affordable housing. We have to level the playing field. We have to build millions of units of affordable housing.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 255 Nov 15, 2016

On Families & Children: Real family values: time with newborn and sick relatives

The right has claimed the mantle of "family values" for far too long. When my Republican colleagues use this term they're usually talking about things like opposing contraception, denying a woman's right to choose, opposing gay rights, and supporting abstinence-only education. Let me give a somewhat different perspective on family values--on REAL family values.

When a mother cannot spend time with her newborn child during the first weeks and months of that baby's life, and is forced back to work because her employer doesn't offer paid family leave and she can't afford not to work, that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for.

When a husband cannot get time off from work to care for his cancer stricken wife or gravely ill child, that is not a family value. That is an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for. And it should be an embarrassment to anyone who claims to speak for family values in this country.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.235 Nov 15, 2016

On Free Trade: Corporate greed drives business abroad

Companies benefit in innumerable ways from being based in America, by using taxpayer-funded infrastructure, accessing the most highly trained and productive workforce in the world, using numerous government services, and so much more. They are proud to be American companies. That is, until it's time to pay their fair share of taxes.

And some of the worst offenders are the big Wall Street banks. In 2008, Congress passed a $700 billion bailout, paid for by American taxpayers. And the Federal Reserve gave the financial institutions $16 trillion in virtually zero-interest loans.

But just two years later, at a time when the nation was suffering from a huge deficit--largely created by the recession that Wall Street caused--the major financial institutions did everything they could to avoid paying American taxes by, among other things, establishing shell corporations in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 268-269 Nov 15, 2016

On Free Trade: American jobs must no longer be our number one export

Economists across the political spectrum--including the pro-NAFTA Peterson Institute for International Economics, which estimated that 39 percent of the growth in U.S. wage inequality is attributable to our disastrous trade deals--agree that "free" trade has contributed to rising U.S. income inequality. U.S. manufacturing workers who lose jobs to trade and find new employment are typically forced to take significant pay cuts. Three out of every five displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2014 took home smaller paychecks, and one out of three lost more than 20 percent of his or her income.

We have got to turn this around/ American jobs must no longer be our number one export. We must not only defeat the TPP, we must fundamentally renegotiate our failed trade agreements--including NAFTA, PNTR with China, and other existing trade pacts.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 295 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: Wall Street regulates Congress; do it the other way around

Today, the six major financial institutions in this country have almost $10 trillion in assets, equivalent to nearly 60 percent of our entire GDP. They issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards, underwrite more than 35 percent of all mortgages, hold 95 percent of all financial derivatives, and control more than 40 percent of all bank deposits. Meanwhile, their business model is based on fraud. It's time for real Wall Street reform.

Greed, fraud, dishonesty, and arrogance. These are the words that best describe the reality of Wall Street today.

Fortunately, the American people are catching on. They understand that there is something profoundly wrong when a handful of billionaires on Wall Street wield extraordinary power and influence over the political and economic life of our country. They understand that Congress does not regulate Wall Street--it is Wall Street that regulates Congress.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 296-297 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: Allow Post Offices to offer banking services

Today, rather unbelievably, there are millions of Americans who live in communities that are not served by regular banking services, places in which the giant banks don't think it's worth their time to invest. Well, what do you do if you live in such a neighborhood and need to cash a check? Where do you go?

You go to a payday lender, who will likely charge an interest rate of over 300 percent and trap you into a vicious cycle of debt.

One important way to provide decent banking opportunities for low-income communities is to allow the U.S. Postal Service to engage in basic banking services, which could include offering savings accounts, cashing checks, and wiring money.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 315-7 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: End private prisons; end profit of incarceration

Private corporations should not be making profits off the incarceration of human beings. But that is exactly what is happening today in our country, big-time. According to the ACLU, as part of the movement toward privatization that we are seeking in sector after sector, the number of adult prisoners housed in private prisons has jumped almost 1,600 percent since 1990. Last year, there were about 130,000 federal and state prisoners in private facilities.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 382 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: Ruling class wants a lack of political consciousness

In 2015 I traveled to South Carolina. In Columbia, we met with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Out of five hundred workers, most of whom were black, only a handful were registered to vote.

A young black man informed me that, to him and his friends, politics was totally irrelevant to their lives. It was not something they cared about or even talked about.

Frankly, this lack of political consciousness is exactly what the ruling class of this country wants. Meanwhile, people who work for low wages, have no health insurance, and live in inadequate housing don't see a connection between the reality of their lives and what government does or does not do. Showing people that connection is a very big part of what a progressive political movement has to do. How can we bring about real social change in this country if people in need are not involved in the political process? We need a political revolution. We need to get people involved. We need to get people voting.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 66 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: SuperPACs: manifestation of everything wrong with politics

Raising money is the ugliest part of modern American politics, and I personally hate to do it. As a result of Citizens United, a bad fund-raising process became much worse. Nowadays, a serious run for the presidency requires somewhere around $1 billion. As I've said many times, I'm going to do everything I can to bring about real campaign finance reform, overturn Citizens Untied, and move to public funding of elections. But that wasn't going to happen in this campaign.

As we contemplated the run for president, several things became clear in terms of fund-raising. First, I was not going to do what every other presidential candidate was doing, and that was to establish a super PAC. Super PACs, which allow for unlimited contributions from wealthy people, are the exact manifestation of everything that is wrong with politics today. The idea of establishing one was tempting, and easy to do, but I wasn't going to do it.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.113-4 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: Participation in politics as easy and convenient as possible

Democracy should be easy. It should be ingrained in the soul of every American. Getting involved, being active in the political process, knowing that your voice matters in life.

Democracy is the right of a free people to control their destiny. Not kings or queens or czars, but ordinary people who come together in a peaceful manner in order to determine the future of their society.

What, in our day, does democracy mean? To my mind, it should mean one person, one vote. It should mean an equal opportunity for all who wish to seek public office. It should mean that the wealthy don't have undue influence over the election process. It should mean that voting and participating in the political process is as easy and convenient as possible, and that barriers are not erected to prevent groups of citizens from exercising their right to participate. It should mean that poor people, old people, young people, and people of color are not discriminated against when they want to vote.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.185-6 Nov 15, 2016

On Government Reform: Automatic voter registration at age 18

We need to encourage voter registration, not make it a burden for voters. We should join other countries in making certain that every person is automatically registered to vote when he/she turns eighteen. Every person who moves to a new state should be automatically registered to vote as soon as he/she has a new postal address. The burden of registering voters should be on the state, not the individual voter.

We should make Election Day a federal holiday, or spread Election Day over a two-day weekend, to increase voters' ability to participate. Too many people don't vote because they simply don't have the time on the appointed day--and yes, some forget. Neither situation should disqualify them from casting a ballot. We must make early voting an option for all voters who need the flexibility. And we must make absentee ballot an option for all Americans who request them--with no tests or conditions that unnecessarily hinder voters from requesting and receiving those ballots.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.196 Nov 15, 2016

On Gun Control: Intervene with mental illness, to prevent mass shootings

On October 5, 2015, after yet another mass shooting, I issued the following statement:
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.157 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: Focus healthcare on health instead of profits

The United States must join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to every man, woman, and child through a Medicare for All single-payer system.

It has never made sense to me that our health care system is primarily designed to make huge profits for multibillion-dollar insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals, and medical equipment suppliers. Health care is not a commodity. It is a human right. The goal of a sane health care system should be to keep people well, not to make stock holders rich.

Our current system is the most expensive, bureaucratic, wasteful, and ineffective in the world. While the health care industry makes hundreds of billions a year in profit, tens of millions of Americans have totally inadequate coverage, and many of our people suffer and die unnecessarily.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 318-319 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: Don't ignore prescription drug affordability

When we talk about the high cost of health care, we cannot ignore the crisis of the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs. In America, people get much sicker than they should, and sometimes die because they cannot afford the medicine that they need. Sometimes, in order to pay for their medicine, they end up lacking the money they need to provide for other basic needs.

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most politically powerful industries in the country and spends endless amounts of money on lobbying and campaign contributions. The pharmaceutical industry has spent more than $3 billion on lobbying since 1998.

This is $1 billion more than the insurance industry, which came in second place in lobbying expenditures.

The pharmaceutical industry, because of its great power, rarely loses legislative fights. It has effectively purchased the Congress, and there are Republican and Democratic leaders who support its every effort.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 326-8 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: Lack of affordable dental care is part of healthcare crisis

When people talk about "health care", they are usually referring to a doctor's medical care. But health care is more than that. Largely ignored is the reality that we have a major dental crisis in this country. Tens of millions of Americans are unable to afford the dental care they need. They suffer with painful toothaches. They get teeth extracted because it's cheaper than getting the tooth properly treated, a plight I suffered when I was a young man. Without good teeth, people are unable to properly digest the food they eat, which can lead to other medical problems.

Bad teeth can not only lead to pain and illness, but it has an economic consequence. Try applying for a job when your front teeth are missing and you can't smile. Having bad or missing teeth makes it clear to the world that you are poor, which makes it harder for you to find employment, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty. And for kids, toothaches are one of the major causes of school absenteeism.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 329 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: Mental Health: people need more affordable treatments

There is the extraordinary crisis that we face in terms of mental health care. As I traveled around the country, it became clear to me that people were concerned about this issue. Whenever I talked about the need for a revolution in mental health treatments, it would get a strong response. People often knew someone--maybe themselves--struggling with drug addition or a serous mental disorder and unable to find help. The crisis in mental health impacts every area of our lives.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 330 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: Federally-run single-payer program with mental/dental

A federally administered single-payer health care program means comprehensive coverage for all Americans. This plan will cover the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing, and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics, and treatments. Patients will be able to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network and will be able to get the care they need without having to read any fine print or trying to figure out how they can afford the out-of-pocket costs.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 334 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: 1999: Took Vermonters to Canada for low-cost Rx drugs

One of my longtime fights has been against the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, which charges our people, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. In 1999, I became the first member of Congress to take constituents over the Canadian border to purchase low-cost prescription drugs. With tears in their eyes, working-class women, struggling against breast cancer, were able to purchase the same brand-name medicine they were using in Vermont for one-tenth of the price in Montreal. After my trip, many other members of Congress did the same thing. Over the years, millions of Americans have purchased affordable prescription drugs in Canada.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 43 Nov 15, 2016

On Health Care: Real issue is healthcare at all, for rural poor

In Mississippi I learned why health care must be a right of all people, and that must happen as soon as possible. I met with a group of African-American health care workers in the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson MS. They described the dismal health care conditions for poor people in that state and how there were entire counties there that had NO doctors. Think about it: In the USA, entire counties that have no doctors.

In Mississippi, it also turned out that many people, despite being poor, were ineligible for Medicaid because of stringent and unfair state requirements. My Republican colleagues in Congress tell me, over and over again, that we have the "greatest" health care system in the world. Really? In Mississippi, and in many other areas of the country, there are counties in low-income areas where thousands of people have no health insurance at all and, for those who do, there is no access to medical care at all. That system doesn't sound so "great" to me.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 57-8 Nov 15, 2016

On Homeland Security: Spending on military means fewer resources for people

How many cities of forty thousand, which is the population of Burlington, have a foreign policy? Well, we did. During my tenure as mayor we made the point that excessive spending on the military and unnecessary wars meant fewer resources to address the needs of ordinary people. Somewhere in the Reagan Library, or wherever these things are kept, there is a letter from the mayor of Burlington opposing the U.S. funding of contras in Nicaragua. The letter stated, "Stop the war against the people of Nicaragua. Use our tax dollars to feed the hungry and house the homeless. Stop killing the innocent people of Nicaragua."

As mayor of Burlington, I helped establish two sister-city programs. One was with the town of Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua. The other was with the city of Yaroslavl in what was then the Soviet Union. Both programs continue today.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 38 Nov 15, 2016

On Homeland Security: Care for our veterans, even if we disagree about wars

While serious people can have legitimate differences of opinion about when our country should go to war, there should never be a debate as to whether we fulfill the promises made to the men and women who served this country in the military. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide the best-quality care to those who have put their lives on the line to defend us. But we have often fallen short of that obligation.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 414 Nov 15, 2016

On Jobs: A job is more than income; it's how we relate to the world

In a modern democratic society, people have the right to a decent job at decent pay. Let's put the unemployed and underemployed to work transforming America.

A job is more than a "job". It is more than just making an income. A job is, in an important sense, how we relate to the world in which we live. Being a productive member of society, a contributor to the well-being of our neighbors and our community, gives our lives meaning, dignity, and satisfaction. In 1944, in his second-to-last State of the Union speech, FDR stated, "We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence."

If we are serious about reversing the decline of the middle class, we need a

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 241-2 Nov 15, 2016

On Jobs: Establish worker-owned cooperatives to counter corporations

We must develop new economic models to create jobs and increase wages and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations that ship our jobs to China, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives and majority owned employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Study after study has shown that employee ownership increases employment, increases productivity, increase sales, and increases wages in the United States.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 260 Nov 15, 2016

On Jobs: Middle-class wages have been in a 40-year decline

We need a new trade policy that creates decent-paying jobs in America and ends the race to the bottom. Corporate

America cannot continue to throw American workers out on the street while they outsource our jobs and enjoy record-breaking profits.

One of the major reasons the middle class has been in a forty-year decline, poverty has been increasing, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else has been growing wider is because we have been losing millions of jobs as a direct result of our disastrous trade policies. We must do everything possible to stop companies from outsourcing American jobs.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 280 Nov 15, 2016

On Jobs: $15 minimum wage, plus pay equity for women

Millions of Americans are now working for totally inadequate wages. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and must be raised. The minimum wage must become a living wage, which means raising it to $15 an hour over the next few years--which is exactly what Los Angeles recently did, and I applaud them for doing that. Our goal as a nation must be to ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty. Further, we must establish pay equity for women workers. It's unconscionable that women earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to men who perform the same work. We must also end the scandal in which millions of American employees, often earning less then $30,000 a year, work fifty or sixty hours a week--and earn no overtime.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.123 Nov 15, 2016

On Jobs: Minimum wage increase most helps minority workers

Raising the minimum wage would give a particularly huge boost to minority workers. Today, more than half of all African-American workers and nearly 60 percent of Hispanic workers earn less than $15 an hour. In addition, according to the most recent statistics, women make up two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers. Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would significantly boost the wages of more than 15 million women.

My Republican colleagues tell us that most minimum-wage workers out there are kids earning some pocket change. This is simply not true, and by perpetuating that lie, my colleagues are keeping tens of millions of working adults in poverty.

The average worker who would benefit from a $15-an-hour minimum wage is thirty-six years old with an average of seventeen years in the workforce. Less than 7 percent of workers who would receive a raise from this proposal are teenagers.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.218-9 Nov 15, 2016

On Principles & Values: 2016 campaign moved a generation of Millennials to the left

When we began our race for the presidency in April 2015, we were considered by the political establishment and the media to be a "fringe" campaign, something not to be taken seriously. When our campaign finally came to a close in July 2016, it turned out that the pundits had got it wrong--big-time. We had made history and run one of the most consequential campaigns in the modern history of the country--a campaign that would, in a very profound way, change America.

We received more than 13 million votes in primaries and caucuses throughout the country. We won twenty-two states. Importantly, in virtually every state, we won a strong majority of younger people--the future of America.

One poll response: "He's not moving a party to the left. He's moving a generation to the left." This campaign was never just about electing a president of the United States--as enormously important as that was. This campaign was about transforming America.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 1-3 Nov 15, 2016

On Principles & Values: 1981: elected as independent mayor of Burlington

In late fall 1980, "Run for mayor of Burlington as an Independent". Starting in the low-income and working-class neighborhoods, I knocked on as many doors as possible. The most important political work that can be done is making door-to-door contact, speaking directly to your constituents and answering their questions. We need a lot more grassroots politics in America.

The big breakthrough for us came late in the campaign, when we won the endorsement of the Burlington Patrolman's Association. They backed us because I promised to listen to the concerns of cops on the beat and to open serious negotiations with their union.

Election Day--March 3, 1981--was a day I will never forget. We won the working-class wards in the city by two to one. We lost in the wealthier neighborhoods. By the time the last ballot was counted, I had won by fourteen votes. So stunning was the upset that nine years later the state's largest newspaper would still be referring to it as "the story of the decade."

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 30-1 Nov 15, 2016

On Principles & Values: Greatness about how we treat most vulnerable, not wealth

The U.S. is the richest country in the history of the world. We are a nation of extraordinary wealth. If we judge a nation simply by how many millionaires it has, America would be number one--bar none. But that is not how we should judge a nation.

A great nation is judged not by how many millionaires and billionaires it has, or by the size of its military budget. It is not judged by the greed of its largest corporations. It is judged by how well it treats its weakest and most vulnerable citizens. A truly great nation is one that is filled with compassion and solidarity.

By that measure, we are not number one. In fact, the United States lags behind virtually every other major country on earth in terms of our social safety net and in how well we provide for the weak and the vulnerable.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 404 Nov 15, 2016

On Principles & Values: Our political revolution must continue

The fight for economic, social, racial, and environmental justice can never stop. The fight to defeat the greed of the billionaire class must continue.

I hope very much that my campaign for president will not be endlessly discussed from an HISTORICAL perspective, looking back. I hope that my efforts, and the incredibly hard work of hundreds of thousands of grassroots volunteers in every state in our country, will be seen as a turning point in American politics & blueprint for the future.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 445 Nov 15, 2016

On Principles & Values: Brother elected in England as Green Party member

My brother, Larry, six years older than me, introduced me to politics and a whole lot else. He has played an enormously important role in my life, and I am forever grateful for his love, counsel, and overall wisdom. For the last fifty years he has lived in Oxford, England, where he raised his family and worked as a social worker. Ten years ago he was elected to the Oxfordshire County Council as a candidate of the Green Party, and he was reelected for a second term. He is now active in efforts to maintain a strong National Health Service system in the UK.

While my parents were not particularly political, they always voted Democratic, as did virtually the entire

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 8-9 Nov 15, 2016

On Social Security: We have to do better on both SSDI and elder poverty

When people become old, they often become frail and sick. They are unable to work and earn an income. In a civilized society, the older generation--the people who raised us--are entitled, and allowed, to live out their remaining years in dignity and security. For millions of seniors, that is most certainly not the case. We must change that.

Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation's history. Before Social Security was signed into law, nearly half of our senior citizens lived in poverty. Today the elderly poverty rate is 8.8%.

Social Security is not just a retirement program. It is an insurance program that protects millions of Americans who become disabled. Incredibly, the only source of income for about 3 million persons with disabilities is a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit that averages just $35 a day. Today, 28.5 percent of disabled Americans are living in poverty. We have got to do a lot better than that.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 411-3 Nov 15, 2016

On Social Security: I helped create the Social Security Caucus

As a staunch defender of Social Security, I helped lead the fight against Republicans, and some Democrats, who wanted to cut this program--which is life and death for so many seniors and people with disabilities. Working with seniors' organizations, I helped create the Defending Social Security Caucus. The other senators in the caucus and I took on the Bowles-Simpson Commission, billionaire Pete Peterson and his organization, and a whole lot of other groups that wanted to cut Social Security in one way or another. In the end, barely, we managed to prevail--and Social Security was not touched.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 45 Nov 15, 2016

On Tax Reform: Tax code is rigged to favor top 2% of billionaires

For the past forty years, the billionaire class has rigged the tax code to redistribute wealth to the richest and most powerful people. At a time of massive wealth & income inequality, \we need progressive income tax reform based on the ability to pay.

On December 10, 2010, I spoke on the floor of the Senate for eight and a half hours, to express outrage at the proposed two-year extension of the Bush tax breaks for the top 2 percent. I thought it was profoundly unfair, economically unwise, and politically wrong to provide hundreds of billions in additional tax breaks to the wealthiest people while the overwhelming majority were still suffering through the Great Recession.

The Bush tax breaks were in place for more than a decade, and the private sector lost nearly half a million jobs and the deficit exploded. On the other hand, in 1993, when President Bill Clinton increased taxes on the top 2 percent, more than 22 million jobs were created, and we had a $236 billion budget surplus.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 263 Nov 15, 2016

On Tax Reform: 0.1% tax on Wall Street speculation

If we are serious about reforming our financial system, we have got to establish a tax on Wall Street speculators. We have got to discourage reckless gambling on Wall Street and encourage productive investments in a job creating economy.

By imposing a small financial transaction tax of just 0.5 percent on stock trades (that' just 50 cents for every $100 worth of stock), a 0.1 percent fee on bonds, and a 0.005 percent fee on derivatives, we would help tap the brakes on high-frequency speculative trading. And we would raise up to$300 billion a year, which I have proposed using to make public colleges an universities tuition-free. During the financial crisis, the middle class bailed out Wall Street. Now it's Wall Street's turn to help the middle class.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 312 Nov 15, 2016

On Tax Reform: 1980s: progressive property tax, plus Meals & Rooms tax

We became the first municipality in Vermont to develop progressive alternatives to the property tax. Every day, people flocked to the city in order to work, play and enjoy our active nightlife; it was right that they contribute to the city services they enjoyed. We established the first municipal Meals and Rooms tax in the state. After a court battle, the utilities were forced to pay for the damage done whey they tore up our streets for utility work.

We addressed the inequities in the city's relationship to our large, tax-exempt institutions. We managed to get a substantial increase in payments in lieu of taxes from the University of Vermont and the Fletcher Allen Hospital for police & fire services. The hospital also began to play a more active role in the health care needs of people in our lower-income communities. We also developed a plan that brought in more revenue from our municipally owned airport in South Burlington.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 35-6 Nov 15, 2016

On Technology: Drinking water infrastructure coming to end of useful life

According to the American Water Works Association, we need to increase attention to the serious water problems that we have: "Much of our drinking water infrastructure, the more than 1 million miles of pipes beneath our streets, is nearing the end of it's useful life and approaching the age in which it needs to be replaced. Delaying the investment we need--nearly $1 trillion--can result in degrading water service, increasing water service disruptions, & increasing expenditures for emergency repairs."
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 246 Nov 15, 2016

On Technology: We have significantly underfunded Infrastructure

For decades, we have significantly underfunded the maintenance and improvement of the physical infrastructure that our country depends on. We have given tax breaks to the wealthy rather than investing in our future. The United States now spends just 2.4 percent of gross domestic product on infrastructure, less than at any point in the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Europe spends more than twice our gross share of GDP on infrastructure and China spends close to four times our rate. Today, the United States' overall infrastructure ranks thirteenth in the world, down from seventh just a decade ago.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.245 Nov 15, 2016

On War & Peace: 1990: Tried to stop Bush's driving Saddam out of Kuwait

President George H. W.; Bush was determined to send in our military to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, which Saddam Hussein had invaded in August 1990. Almost all Republicans supported the war effort, as did a number of Democrats. I didn't. I had campaigned against going to war, and did everything I could to stop it.

I feared not only the immediate impact of the war, in terms of the death and destruction it would bring, but what it portended for the future. Would war, and more and more wars, be the norm in solving international conflicts in the future? The entire world was united against a small country with a weak army. Surely, I reasoned, there must be a way other than war to achieve our goals and get Iraq out of Kuwait.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 41-2 Nov 15, 2016

On War & Peace: Iraq War: worst foreign policy blunder in modern history

I was considered to be "vulnerable" on foreign policy. Hillary Clinton had been secretary of state for four years under President Obama. She had traveled the world, been involved in a number of important foreign policy decisions, and knew many heads of state personally. Therefore, according to the pundits, she was the "expert" on foreign policy. I was, presumably, the novice, and ill-prepared in that area.

Needless to say, that wasn't my view. Clinton, as a former secretary of state, had more hands-on experience in foreign policy than I did, that did not necessarily make her better qualified in that area. In foreign policy, judgment mattered, and on the most important foreign policy issues of our time, my judgment had been better than Hillary Clinton's.

I not only voted against the war in Iraq, I helped lead the opposition to what turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in American modern history. Hillary Clinton, as a U.S. senator from New York, had voted for the war.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.165-6 Nov 15, 2016

On War & Peace: Economic sanctions could have driven Saddam out of Kuwait

While it was obvious that Clinton, as a former secretary of state, had more hands-on experience in foreign policy than I did, that did not necessarily make her better qualified in that area. In foreign policy, judgment mattered, and on the most important foreign policy issues of our time, my judgment had been better than Hillary Clinton's.

Against a great deal of political pressure, I had voted against the first Gulf War. I was worried about the precedent that it was setting in using military force and believed that economic sanctions could have driven Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. I believed that war was unnecessary.

Yes, I was willing to concede that Hillary Clinton had more foreign policy experience than I did. No, I did not believe that her record made her better prepared than me to conduct U.S. foreign and military policy.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.165-6 Nov 15, 2016

On Welfare & Poverty: Burlington Community Land Trust for affordable housing

We developed some of the most innovative affordable housing concepts in the country. Against opposition from some members of the local real estate industry, we became the first city in America to fund community land trust housing. Through the Burlington Community Land Trust, working-class people were able to purchase their own homes at a lower cost than was available on the commercial market. The housing remains affordable in perpetuity because the owners must agree not to resell the property at market rates, accepting only a reasonable and limited return on their investment.

This community land trust concept has not only spread all across our country, but it has been adopted in other nations as well. The United Nations acknowledged the Burlington Community Land Trust as one of the most creative approaches to affordable housing in the world.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 37 Nov 15, 2016

On Welfare & Poverty: Grotesque inequality is unsustainable and immoral

There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. There is something profoundly wrong when, in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires at the same time as millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages and we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth. There is something profoundly wrong when one family owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans. This grotesque level of inequality is immoral. It is bad economics. It is unsustainable. This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about.
Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.120 Nov 15, 2016

On Welfare & Poverty: Senior poverty AND childhood poverty are increasing

At a time when millions of Americans are struggling to keep their heads above water economically, when senior poverty is increasing, when millions of kids are living in dire poverty, my Republican colleagues, as part of their recently passed budget, are trying to make a terrible situation even worse. The Republican budget throws 27 million Americans off health insurance, makes drastic cuts in Medicare, throws millions of low-income Americans--including pregnant women--off of nutrition programs.

Well, let me tell my Republican colleagues that I respectfully disagree with their approach. Instead of cutting Social Security, we're going to expand benefits. Instead of cutting Head Start and child care, we are going to move to a universal Pre-K system for all the children of this country. As FDR reminded us, a nation's greatness is judged not by what it provides to the most well-off, but how it treats the people most in need. And that's the kind of nation we must become.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.125-6 Nov 15, 2016

The above quotations are from Our Revolution
A Future to Believe In

by Bernie Sanders
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