Bernie Sanders Is Embracing Socialism in His 2020 Presidential Bid
Candidate: Bernie Sanders
State of Residence: Vermont
Campaign Website: https://berniesanders.com
Short Bio: Bernie Sanders is serving his third term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2018. His previous 16 years in the House of Representatives make him the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Born in 1941 in Brooklyn, Sanders attended James Madison High School, Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago. After graduating in 1964, he moved to Vermont. In 1981, he was elected (by 10 votes) to the first of four terms as mayor of Burlington. Sanders lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Hamilton College in upstate New York before his 1990 election as Vermont’s at-large member in Congress. The Almanac of American Politics calls Sanders a “practical and successful legislator.”
Throughout his career he has focused on the shrinking American middle class and the growing income and wealth gaps in the United States. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Sanders in 2014 passed legislation reforming the VA health care system. Congressional Quarterly said he was able “to bridge Washington’s toxic partisan divide and cut one of the most significant deals in years.” Today, Sanders remains on the veterans committee and was tapped by Senate leadership to be the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. He also serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, where he has focused on global warming and rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
He is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he has championed efforts to transform our energy system from fossil fuels to renewable power sources like solar and wind. He also sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he has fought for greater access to affordable health care and improved education programs from pre-K to college. [Official Senate Bio]
Fun Fact: Bernie Sanders is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. [CNN]
On the Issues
Health Care: Launch universal, government-provided health care. Sanders proposes a government-run health care system for all Americans. He was the lead Senate sponsor of the 2017 “Medicare For All” bill, which would launch universal health care and end employer-provided health insurance.
Sanders’ team in the past has estimated the plan will cost $1.38 trillion a year. Others estimate the program would cost more than twice that amount. Sanders would fund the plan through multiple sources: a 6.2 percent charge on employers, a 2.2 percent fee on most families, increased marginal tax rates for incomes $250,000 and higher, increased taxes on capital gains, and a larger estate tax for the wealthiest. Under the plan, the top individual income tax rate would be 52 percent. [PBS]
Trade & Agriculture: Sanders rolled out a proposal to help revitalize rural farming communities and break up big agriculture corporations. The comprehensive plan would enact “Roosevelt style trust-busting laws,” address climate change and propose job training and education for farmers. [Axios]
“I think we do need new trade policies that are fair to the working people of this country not just to the CEOs, but as usual, I think Trump gets it wrong in terms of implementation,” Sanders told the NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff in an interview.
Sanders, who has opposed many of the same trade deals Trump has, including the Trans Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement, said his policies are aimed at stopping companies from sending jobs overseas. [PBS]
Jobs/Economy/Taxes: Sanders has long said he supports raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. He recently proposed hiking estate taxes for millionaires and billionaires, including a top rate of 77% for estates over $1 billion. [Axios]
Sanders co-sponsored a bill in April 2017 that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15. In September 2018, he introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (Stop BEZOS) Act, which would tax companies for public benefits their workers accessed. [Axios]
In The News
Indian Americans are a sliver of the nation’s population but a growing political force. They have contributed more than $3 million to 2020 presidential campaigns — more than the coveted donors of Hollywood. On the Democratic side, they are largely split among three candidates who have... Read More
With Donald Trump’s impeachment as the prize that some Democrats covet, and others fear, Robert Mueller will finally sit down on Wednesday for five hours of questioning before two House committees. The reluctant witness won’t make it easy. So Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence... Read More
Joe Biden remains the top choice among Democratic voters in states that will hold early presidential primary and caucus contests in 2020, as four main contenders emerged as the top tier of the large field, a new CBS News poll showed Sunday. Biden had 25% support... Read More
LOS ANGELES — There is just about every shade of politics you can imagine represented by the people who run for president. There is Vermin Supreme, the perennial candidate who wears a boot for a hat and wants to give everyone free ponies. Or 89-year-old Mike... Read More
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have publicly ruled out a run for Senate next year. But some advisers to President Donald Trump don’t believe him. At the White House, some of the president’s top foreign policy aides see political mindfulness in Pompeo’s recent... Read More
WASHINGTON - Members of the New Democrat Coalition's Healthcare Task Force asked the House leadership on Wednesday to hold a floor vote on drug pricing bills with bipartisan support as early as next week. The request was made in a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy... Read More