"We must address the very serious problem of a $16 trillion national debt and a $1 trillion federal deficit," Sen Bernie Sanders said in a column published Tuesday by Politico. But with just weeks to go before the election and a lame-duck session of Congress, he criticized the "horrendous ideas" offered by self-styled deficit hawks. The same people who took us into two wars without paying for them, gave tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations without worrying about all the red ink and then passed a prescription drug program without letting Medicare bargain for better prices now want working families to bear the brunt of deficit reduction. They want to make significant cuts to Social Security, increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and throw millions of families with children off of Medicaid. That's not all. They want to lower the top tax rates for the rich to about 28 percent. And, despite a virtual tripling of the U.S. military budget since 1997, they want to increase defense spending.
"There are fair and sensible ways to reduce deficits," Sanders wrote, "but balancing the budget on the backs of the weak and vulnerable while lowering tax rates for the rich and increasing military spending are not among them."