By Chrystal Coleman
San Diegans are ready for Bernie Sanders. On Sunday, June 7th locals assembled for the very first meeting of San Diego for Bernie Sanders 2016. The meeting room was at maximum capacity and the energy was electric. The goal of the group is to assist Senator Bernie Sanders, at a Grass-Roots level, in his bid to become the nextPresident of the United States. The brand new local group already boasts 400 members.
Why are Americans so excited about Bernie Sanders?
Sanders, unlike every other candidate, offers something rarely seen in politics: honesty, integrity, and consistency. Bernie Sanders is a true candidate for the American People. We have become used to politicians who pander, and flip flop on the issues but Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been consistently advocating for the average American over the course of his 40 year career in politics.
He is a champion for the working class and has emerged as a leading progressive voice on issues like campaign finance reform, tax reform, creating American jobs, advocating for families, expanding Social Security and curbing mass surveillance.
Campaign Finance Reform and Tax Reform
Sanders has long been in favor of overturning the disastrous Citizens United ruling. Sanders says,
“I think the decision of the Supreme Court will go down in history in Citizens United as one of the worst decisions ever. Free speech is your right to talk about any issue that you want. It is not your right to spend unlimited sums of money to control the United States government or state legislatures or governor seats all over this country. That is not what free speech is about.”
Sanders also wants to eliminate off-shore tax havens and subsidies for big oil, gas and coal companies.
He states that, “Each and every year, the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in tax revenues due to offshore tax abuses by the wealthy and large corporations.The situation has become so absurd that one five-story office building in the Cayman Islands is now the “home” to more than 18,000 corporations.”
Ending tax breaks and subsidies for big oil, gas and coal companies would reduce the deficit by more than $113 billion over the next ten years. “One of the first things that I would do as president, and what I am doing right now in this campaign, is to put together a strong, unprecedented grass-roots movement which tells Congress that they’ve got to start representing ordinary people, and not just the people on top. And what that means is, we need real tax reform, which says to large corporations they’ve got to start paying their fair share of taxes, [it] says to the wealthiest people in this country you cannot have an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers.”
Creating American Jobs
Sanders believes that we should invest in our country and put millions of Americans back to work by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure through a federal jobs program. Sanders has introduced legislation that would invest $1 trillion over the course of 5 years to modernize our country’s infrastructure and not only create, but maintain 13 million well-paying jobs.
“What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels,” Sanders said. “This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans. . . . You know, this country just does not belong to a handful of billionaires.”
Family Values Agenda
Sanders announced the Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act, a bill that would provide 10 days of paid vacation for employees who have worked for an employer for at least one year.
Additionally, Sanders called for 12 weeks of paid leave if an employee has a child, is diagnosed with cancer or any other serious medical condition and 7 days paid sick leave for short term illness, routine medical care, or care for a sick family member.
Sander says, “Simply stated it is an outrage that millions of women in this country give birth and then are forced back to work because they don’t have the income to stay home with their newborn babies.”
Sanders wants to protect our senior citizens by eliminating the cap on taxable income that goes into the Social Security Trust Fund so that millionaires and billionaires pay the same percentage of their income into social security as someone making $40,000.00 a year. Right now, someone making $112,700.00 a year pays the same amount in social security taxes as a billionaire. His plan would only impact the wealthiest 1.3% of wage earners. Everyone else would not see their taxes go up at all.
Protecting our civil liberties
Sanders voted against the Patriot Act and is a long term critic of the National Security Agency (NSA) for warrantless wiretapping and the collection of email, phone, and library browsing records of Americans without due process.
He has stated that, “In my view, the NSA is out of control and operating in an unconstitutional manner. I worry very much about kids growing up in a society where they think ‘I’m not going to talk about this issue, read this book, or explore this idea because someone may think I’m a terrorist.’ That is not the kind of free society I want for our children.”
It’s easy to see why the momentum is building so quickly for Bernie Sanders campaign, and since he doesn’t take corporate money it is up to us to help him win this election. He is absolutely on fire. Can you #feelthebern?