In a new op-ed featured in The Guardian, Senator Bernie Sanders discusses the new Republican budget and tax proposals, which he calls “unfair” and “the Robin Hood principle in reverse.”
Sanders writes that after failing to pass a health care bill that would have been devastating for the over 30 million Americans that would lose access to health care, Trump and his administration are back, trying to make billionaires happy in other ways.
Now, they are pushing one of the most destructive and unfair budget and tax proposals in the modern history of our country – a plan that would do incalculable harm to tens of millions of working families, our kids, the sick, the elderly and the poor.
The Republican budget, which will likely be debated on the floor of the Senate this week, is the Robin Hood principle in reverse. It takes from those in need and gives to those who are already living in incredible opulence.
The Vermont Senator also refutes Trump’s claim that the budget would provide “big league” tax cuts for the middle class, writing “nothing could be further from the truth.”
With the proposed budget, nearly 80% of the tax benefits would go to the top 1% by the end of the decade, and 40% would go to the top one-tenth of 1%, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Sanders also stresses that the budget would cut important programs for working class Americans, such as cutting Medicaid by more than $1 trillion in over 10 years, and Medicare by $473 billion. Yet, according to a recent Pew Foundation poll, 85% of Republicans and 94% of Democrats want to maintain or increase funding for Medicare.
A recent Wall Street Journal and NBC poll finds that only 12% of the American people believe the wealthy should receive a tax cut; while 62% believe the wealthy should pay more in taxes.
Why are the Republicans bringing forth such an absurd budget that, in almost every instance, is diametrically opposed to what the American people want?
The answer isn’t complicated. Follow the money.
Sanders lists several examples of multibillionaires that use their money to corrupt politics, such as The Walton family of Walmart, who would receive a tax cut of up to $52 billion by repealing the estate tax, the Koch brothers, who would receive a tax break of $33 billion, and members of the Trump family, who could receive a tax cut of up to $4 billion.
Meanwhile, the budget cuts more than $100 billion from Pell Grants and other college student financial assistance programs, $4 billion from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and $6.5 billion from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
As Sanders says,
At a time when the middle class is shrinking and over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, this budget must be defeated and replaced with a plan that reflects the needs of the working families of our country, not just the wealthy, the powerful and large campaign contributors.