WASHINGTON, Date -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today issued the following statement on a deficit-reduction proposal by a group of senators called the Gang of Six:
"While all of the details from the so-called Gang of Six proposals are not yet clear, what is apparent is that the plan would result in devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and many other programs that are of vital importance to working families in this country. Meanwhile, tax rates would be lowered for the wealthiest people and the largest, most profitable corporations.
"This is an approach that should be rejected by the American people. At a time when the rich are becoming richer and corporate profits are soaring, at least half of any deficit-reduction package must come from upper income people and profitable corporations. We must also take a hard look at military spending, which has tripled since 1997."
In an earlier press release Sanders stated:
In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it is imperative that we vigorously defend the American social safety net that is making life bearable for tens of millions of vulnerable Americans.
We must make it absolutely clear to President Obama and the Democratic and Republican Leadership in Congress that there must not be cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. At a time when the richest people in our country are becoming richer while the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing, we must not balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick and the children.
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Wealthy individuals, whose effective personal income tax rate is now the lowest in 50 years, must begin paying their fair share of taxes. Large corporations that make billions in profits and pay nothing in taxes must finally be denied the outrageous tax loop-holes they currently enjoy. We must also make significant cuts at the Department of Defense, whose budget has tripled since 1997.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. Decisions being made now will impact not only our lives, but the lives of our kids and grandchildren. This is a time to stand tall and fight back against the reactionary right-wing agenda.
Senator Bernie Sanders