In response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s criticism of Obama’s budget, Sen. Bernie Sanders called out Ryan’s Koch fueled class warfare.
Here is the video courtesy of The Ed Show:
Transcript via MSNBC:
SCHULTZ: Let’s turn to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, member of the Senate Budget Committee. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. Here are some of the highlights and the headline should I say of the president’s budget. $350 billion to encourage job growth. That is a stimulus package. It would implement the Buffet Rule, repeal bush tax cuts for the wealthy, also tax dividend income over $250,000 as ordinary income, it would end oil subsidies and reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. What is good about the budget, senator, what do you like or don’t like?
SANDERS: All of that stuff is good stuff. Look, the fact of the matter is the United States today has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major company. The wealthiest people are doing well, they are effective tax rate is lowest in decades. If we are serious about two things, Ed, number one the need to create millions of jobs, making investments, in our energy system, transforming energy, rebuilding infrastructure it is totally appropriate that we ask the wealthiest people in the country to pay more in taxes and that is where the buffet rule comes in. Second of all what the president has said, most Americans agree, we have to end the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the country, he’s absolutely right on that. Thirdly, what he also said is that we have to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies. We have had companies in recent years, ExxonMobil making billions in profits, paying nothing in federal income tax, that is absurd. I think all that stuff is right. We have to reduce the deficit, we have to create jobs and the wealthiest people in the country should be asked to play a role until that.
SCHULTZ: Senator, these numbers, do they add up, would it reduce the deficit over the next ten years? Would it do four trillion over the next decade?
SANDERS: From what I understand it would. I would go further in one area, Ed. we need tax reform, corporate tax reform, what the president is saying he wants to make it budget neutral. He wants to end some of the loopholes and exemptions and he wants to lower corporate tax rates. I think you have so many outrageous loopholes, you have a situation where we’re losing $100 billion every single year, because of the tax havens, I think we can raise substantial revenue while we make a simpler, more progressive corporate tax code.
SCHULTZ: We know Paul Ryan’s budget would cut taxes for the wealthy and end Medicare as we know it. Today he called this budget dishonest. What is your reaction to that?
SEN. SANDERS: Well, I don’t think it’s dishonest. I think it is a serious budget, trying to deal with the issue of fairness. I think clearly what Ryan is about is continuing the Republican effort to engage in class warfare. Who in their right minds could support a proposal which says more tax breaks for the wealthiest people and yet we’ll cut Medicare and Medicaid in drastic form.
Did Sen. Sanders suggest that Paul Ryan might be out of his mind for floating a plan that would cut taxes on the wealthy while at the same time killing Medicare and Medicaid as they exist today? Sanders was correct. Rep. Ryan is class warrior. What Sen. Sanders didn’t mention is that Rep. Ryan is a regular attendee of the Koch brothers’ twice annual retreats. Ryan is a Koch whore of the highest pedigree, and his budget plan reflects the Koch agenda.
Sen. Sanders did something rare on the mainstream media air waves. He told the truth about Paul Ryan. The corporate media has turned Ryan into a sacred cow of sorts. When they need someone to hold up as an intelligent not insane conservative, they trot out Paul Ryan. However, the truth about Rep. Ryan is that beneath his polished tone is Republican who is just as radical as Michele Bachmann. (Remember, Bachmann supported Ryan’s budget during her brief presidential campaign).
Bernie Sanders wasn’t just challenging Paul Ryan’s budget. He was challenging the Koch Brothers. Sen. Sanders was standing up for an America which values good jobs for working Americans, safe bridges and roads, fairness in our economic system, and a safety net that takes care of those who need it most. By hammering Paul Ryan, Sen. Sanders was going after the Koch vision for America.
The one thing that we all can count on is that as long as leaders like Bernie Sanders continue to fight, the Koch takeover of our government will never be completed.