senate budget committee

So if the Democrats take the Senate, Bernie Sanders becomes head of the Senate Budget Committee? Which would make him the fourth most powerful individual in the United States.

Imagine how much we could get done with a Sanders-led Senate Budget Committee under a Democratic president who has already been forced to adopt most of his domestic policy in exchange for his endorsement.

If you really want to see the change we got behind Bernie for, get Clinton into the White House, and get Democrats into the House and Senate.

(Also keep in mind that this next president gets to decide what’s constitutional and unconstitutional for the next 30-50 years, as they will most likely get to appoint at least four Supreme Court Justices.)

Who the Heck is Bernie Sanders? A Primer.

When I first heard about Bernie Sanders, I really didn’t know who he was. I thought he might be some Libertarian Tea party guy coming in from the fringes. Or maybe a rogue Republican like Rand Paul. I was resigned to the idea that Hillary is the only Democrat contender, and therefore, it was going to be another business-as-usual campaign season that I’d try desperately to ignore.

But then I started seeing memes of things he was saying. Things I wholeheartedly agree with. Who the heck is this guy? Eventually, I saw so many of these that I decided to do a bit of research. That’s when I discovered that he’s a political unicorn. By all evidence of politicians before him, he shouldn’t exist. Yet, the evidence was solid. He’s the real deal.

Here’s what I discovered:

Before he started his political career, in the early 60’s, he was very active in the Civil Rights Movement and in college was a student organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He coordinated sit-in protests against segregation. He was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League.

His start in politics was in 1971. He was a member of the Liberty Union Party, which grew out of the anti-war and people’s party movements. He ran for senator in 1972 and 1974. IN 1974 he finished third, only 4.1% behind the victor. In 1979 he directed the American People’s Historical Society, where he made a documentary about Eugene Debs.

In 1981 he ran for and became mayor of Burlington, VT and won three more times, beating out both Democrat and Republican candidates. While there, he funded Community Trust Housing and his administration sued the local cable company and won reduced rates for customers.

After four terms, he didn’t run and taught political science at Harvard and Hamilton College.

In 1990, he ran for Congress as an Independent and won with 56% of the vote. He described himself as openly Socialist.

He voted against the use of force in Iraq in 1991 and 2002 and opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has been very vocal against the Patriot Act. When it passed, he sponsored several amendments to curtail the power of the act and voted against every reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

He repeatedly called for an investigation into the Bush administration for their actions leading up to the Iraq war and for the illegal leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent.

In 2005 he proposed an amendment to disallow the gov’t from obtaining people’s library and book buying records. He consistently voted against every attempt to censor or surveil the internet.

He ran for Senate in 2006 and beat Republican Rich Tarrant by a 2-1 margin. He was re-elected in 2012 with 71% of the vote. During this time, both the NAACP and the NHLA gave him voting scores of 100%.

He very vocally opposed bailing out the banks and inspired many online petitions to oppose the same.

In 2015 he became the ranking minority member of the Senate Budget Committee and presented a report aimed at rebuilding the middle class, raising the minimum wage, and increasing Social Security payments.

On April 30, he announced his run for President, refusing any SuperPAC funding, saying  "I don’t believe that the men and women who defended American democracy fought to create a situation where billionaires own the political process.“ Elizabeth Warren, who chose not to run, openly endorses Sanders. After four days, his campaign raised $3 million, all from small individual donations averaging $43.

In the last month, he has drawn larger crowds than every other candidate, regardless of party.

His platform includes:

Income and Wealth Equality

Raising taxes on capital gains and the wealthiest 2% of Americans, which he would use to lower the taxes of middle and lower classes.

Introduced legislation to break up the "too big to fail” banks.

Opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would dwarf CAFTA and NAFTA.

Rebuilding America’s infrastructure of bridges, roads, and creating a modern rail system on par with what is in Europe and Japan, which would create millions of jobs.

Introduced legislation to aid the creation of worker-owned co-ops, something he’s openly supported since 1976.

Eradicating student loans by making public universities tuition-free.

Seriously tackling global warming by transforming our energy from oil and fossil fuels to sustainable energy like wind, solar, and hydro energy.

Ending wiretapping and other forms of mass surveillance.

Increasing benefits for veterans.

Creating a true universal health care system on par with that of most of Europe.

Creating a guaranteed paid family, sick and vacation leave, including 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Calling for police accountability.

Also, he’s a non-practicing Jew (atheist), and is strongly in favor of separation of church and state.

Creating equality of pay for women.

To back all of this up, and show that he doesn’t just give lip service, but actively fights for these things, throughout his career he has sponsored the following (this is a short list of just a few. Go to govtrack.us to see everything he’s sponsored):

S. 1719 Low-Income Solar Act
S. 1631 Keep Our Pension Promises Act
S. 1564 Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act
S. 1373 College For All Act
S. 1364 Medicaid Generic Drug Price Fairness Act of 2015
S. 1206 Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist Act
S. 922 Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act
S. 731 Social Security Expansion Act
S. 2905 Carbon Pollution Transparency Act of 2014
S. 2901 10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2014
S. 2450 Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014
S. 2422 Ensuring Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014
S. 2411 United States Employee Ownership Bank Act
S. 1982 Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014
S. 1583 Mental Health Support for Veteran Families and Caregivers Act of 2013
S. 1581 Survivors of Military Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Act of 2013
S. 1168 Restore Our Privacy Act
S. 332 Climate Protection Act of 2013
S. Amdt 210 Requires Labels on Foods with Genetically Modified Ingredients
S. 329 Sustainable Energy Act
S. 3433 Clean Coasts and Efficient Cars Act of 2010

He also co-sponsored these (a partial list, full one at votesmart.org):

S. 2578 Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014
S. 2223 Minimum Wage Fairness Act
S. 2199 Paycheck Fairness Act
S. 815 Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013
S. 47 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
S. Amdt 3058 Expands TRICARE Coverage of Autism
S. Amdt 3018 Prohibits the Indefinite Detention of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents
S. Amdt 2156 Increases Funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
S. Amdt 2111 Prohibits Pharmaceutical Companies from Delaying the Release of Generic Drugs
S. Amdt 2108 Prohibits FDA Approval of Genetically Engineered Fish
S. 2230 Establishes a Minimum 30 Percent Tax Rate for High-Income Taxpayers
S. Amdt 3989 Debit Card Fee Regulations

This track record of fighting for civil rights, equality, sustainability, fairness, and overall humanity proves he is for real. He has never been for sale. He has never wavered in doing right by all of us. He supports everything that most of my friends support. His words and his voting and sponsoring record aligns consistently.

No other candidate, in this or any other election, has had a level of integrity, consistency of vision, and progressiveness that even approaches Bernie Sanders. They had nice words, but their records did not match those words, and therefore we ended up fooled again.

Every other candidate either wavers their position with public opinion, takes corporate funding, or their words do not match their record, which itself often fluctuates with political winds.

Please, try to find some dirt on him. Find evidence of wrongdoing. Show accusations of corruption. Find a scandal. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

In the meantime, consider this: just once, wouldn’t you like to cast your vote for someone who has always supported the things you support? If the above isn’t the kind of thing you support, then by all means, vote for someone else. However, the vast majority of my friends are in alignment with the same values Bernie Sanders has always had.

If he loses, what we’ll be left with is the same crap we’ve had all our lives. A President that panders to corporate interests and is for sale. Just once, let’s support real hope, not a campaign slogan of hope.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee

“This chart demonstrates that revenue has to be part of the solution to the deficit. It shows that the last five times the budget was in surplus (in 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001), revenue was near 20 percent of GDP. Revenue is now at 15.4 percent of GDP, near its lowest level in 60 years.”

Sources: OMB, CBO

anonymous asked:

So what are the good things about Bernie Sanders? (I just wanted a list of all the good things about him, so I could show someone it)

His main issues he is focusing on are:

Campaign finance: Limit corporate and interest-group spending in campaigns.

Sanders proposes a Constitutional amendmentthat would effectively reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling and ban corporations and nonprofits from unlimited campaign expenditures. The independent senator would also require disclosure of any organizations spending $10,000 or more on an election-related campaign.

Climate change: Charge companies for carbon emissions

Considered to be a “climate change hawk,” Sanders argues that shifting global temperatures are a significant threat and caused by human activity. He has sponsored a bill which would charge companies for their carbon emissions and use some of the money raised to boost renewable energy technology.

Education: Two years free tuition at state colleges. Reform student loans.

Sanders would provide $18 billion to state governments to allow them to cut tuition at state colleges by 55 percent. And he would allow anyone paying off a student loan currently to refinance at a lower rate.

He also believes in ENDING standardized testing, and doing away with common core.

Federal Reserve and banks: Break up big banks. Open up the Fed.

Sanders would divide large banks into smaller entities and charge a new fee for high-risk investment practices, including credit default swaps. In addition, he believes the Federal Reserve is an opaque organization which gives too much support to large corporations. His pushed for a 2011 audit of the Fed and he would use the Fed to force banks into loaning more money to small businesses. Finally, he would ban financial industry executives from serving on the 12 regional boards of directors.

Guns: A mixed approach. No federal handgun waiting period. Some protection for gun manufacturers. Ban assault weapons.

In the House of Representatives, Sanders voted against the pro-gun-control Brady Bill, writing that he believes states, not the federal government, can handle waiting periodsfor handguns. Soon after, he voted yes for the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that included an assault weapons ban. He has voted to ban some lawsuits against gun manufacturers and for the Manchin-Toomey legislation expanding federal background checks.

Health care: Change to single-payer government-provided health care

Sanders voted for the Affordable Care Act, but believes that the new health care law did not go far enough. Instead, he espouses a single-payer system in which the federal and state governments would provide health care to all Americans. Participating states would be required to set up their own single-payer system and a national oversight board would establish an overall budget.

Immigration: Offer path to citizenship. Waive some deportations now.

Sanders generally agrees with President Obama that most of the undocumented immigrants in the country now should be given a path to citizenship. He voted for the senate immigration bill in 2013, which would have increased border security and issued a provisional immigrant status to millions of undocumented residents once some significant security metrics had been met. In addition, Sanders has supported President Obama’s use of executive orders to waive deportation for some groups of immigrants, including those who were brought to the United States as children.

Taxes: Raise some taxes on the wealthy. Cut taxes for middle and lower class.

The current ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders wouldnearly double taxes on capital gains and dividends for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. In addition, this year Sanders asked President Obama to use executive action to close six tax deductions benefitting corporations and hedge funds. The Vermont senator would use some of the revenue gained from higher taxes on the rich to lower taxes for middle and lower class Americans.

Iraq, Islamic State and Afghanistan: Opposed the Iraq war. Calls for troop withdrawal as soon as possible.

A longtime anti-war activist, Sanders voted against the Iraq war resolution in 2002. He has regularly called for the U.S. to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as possible. Regarding the Islamic State, Sanders has said the U.S. should not lead the fight. In general, he believes the U.S. should focus less on international conflict and more on the domestic needs of the middle class.

A living wage (he did the following while he is senator): 

  • Proposed a national $15 per hour minimum wage.
  • Introduced a budget amendment to raise the minimum wage.
  • Introduced the “Workplace Democracy Act” to strengthen the role of unions and the voices of working people on the job.

Reforming Wall Street:

  • Introduced the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,” which would break up the big banks and would prohibit any too-big-to-fail institutions from accessing the Federal Reserve’s discount facilities or using insured deposits for risky activities.
  • Led the fight in 1999 against repealing the Glass-Steagall provisions which prevented banks (especially “too big to fail” ones) from gambling with customers’ money; is a co-sponsor of the Elizabeth Warren/John McCain bill to reinstate those provisions.
  • Has proposed a financial transaction tax which will reduce risky and unproductive high-speed trading and other forms of Wall Street speculation; proceeds would be used to provide debt-free public college education.
  • Is co-sponsoring Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s bill to end Wall Street’s practice of paying big bonuses to bank executives who take senior-level government jobs.
  • Introduced a tax on Wall Street speculation to make public colleges and universities tuition-free
    Supports capping credit card interest rates at 15 percent.
  • Sponsored an amendment calling for an audit the Federal Reserve. The audit found that far more had been spent in the Wall Street bailout than previously disclosed, and that considerable funds had been spent to bail out foreign corporations.
  • Warned about the risks of deregulation eight years before the fiscal crisis of 2008.
  • Has proposed limiting the ability of bankers to get rich from taxpayer bailouts of their institutions

He also marched with Martin Luther King JR, and organized sit ins to protest against segregation.

OH! And he has supported equality, womens rights, and ending the war on drugs since before 1972!

This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.
—  Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senate Budget Committee, Nov. 18, 2011
washingtonpost.com
An interview with Bernie Sanders: Deficit Hawk
Sanders says he has known Elizabeth Warren since before she was Elizabeth Warren.
By https://www.facebook.com/kelsey.snell.3

Sen. Bernie Sanders has become a surprise hit on the campaign trail as he competes to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee by running against the establishment and promoting a liberal agenda.

He’s a longshot to unseat front-runner Hillary Clinton for the slot, but Sanders (I-Vt.) is using the race to draw attention to issues he’s been highlighting for years.

Long before Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) came on the scene, Sanders was pushing for stronger regulation of Wall Street, higher taxes on the rich and dramatically lower defense spending.

This year, he climbed the party ranks to become the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, a position that gives Sanders greater voice in the debate over how Washington spends money and taxes citizens.

Sanders recently sat down with The Washington Post to talk about his role on the committee, why he says he’s a real deficit hawk and the economists who would have his ear if he were to win the White House. What follows is a transcript of that interview edited for length.

A lot of people are still angry about the primaries and that is understandable. The power structure of the Democratic Party didn’t give us a fair chance and many of you feel like Bernie Sanders gave up too soon.

He didn’t give up. If Hillary Clinton wins he will become the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. That’s a big deal, he’ll be one of the most powerful people in congress, and congress is where the real change happens. I would have loved a Bernie Sanders supreme court, a Bernie EPA, a Bernie Department of Justice, and all of those things would change the country for the better. Bernie Sanders as chairman of the budget committee is honestly almost as influential. 

Bernie will hold the purse strings, he gets to shelve bills in committee, and ultimately has a HUGE say in what we spend our money on. Obviously, his power is limited, but because of the work we put in, our movement has some legitimate power. If you think the Democrats are beyond saving that’s understandable, but our movement is in a better place now than it was a year ago. Bernie will have a real position of power if Hillary Clinton wins and we can enact some real change. We can’t do that splintered though and in my opinion, the best way to do that is influencing Hillary Clinton through a more liberal congress with more liberal commitments. And the best way to do that is support Democrats up and down the ticket.

We have a real chance to sway one of the biggest institutions in the world, but it’s going to take some work, we can’t just build something that big and long lasting. We have real influence if we keep pressuring, it’ll take time, but it’ll work. It’s worked for the Civil Rights Movement, it worked for women’s rights, it worked for the labor movement, it worked for the LGBTQ community. In all of those areas we still have work to do, but progress is a long fight and we have to keep moving forward. Luckily, in my opinion, we have a very clear path.

anonymous asked:

Just a question, since you support Bernie Sanders, do you have a basic understanding of economics? Because I know Bernie doesn't and 99% of his followers don't

Really, you know for a fact that Bernie Sanders - a man who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years and is currently serving his second term as a United States Senator, who is a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, who was a professor of political science at Harvard - doesn’t have a basic understanding of economics? You must know a lot of things that we mortals don’t. Why don’t you run for president?

These 11 States now have More People on Welfare than
they do Employed! Last month, the Senate Budget
Committee reports that in fiscal year 2012, between
food stamps, housing support, child care, Medicaid and
other benefits, the average U.S. Household below the
poverty line received $168.00 a day in government support.
What’s the problem with that much support? Well, the
median household income in America is just over $50,000,
which averages out to $137.13 a day. To put it another way,
being on welfare now pays the equivalent of $30.00 an hour for a 40-hour
week, while the average job pays $20.00 an hour.