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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Let`s turn to Senator Bernie Sanders tonight from Vermont.
Senator, good to have you with us.
Does this come out of right field, so to speak? Is this the wrong way
to go on Social Security?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, it certainly is the wrong way
to go on Social Security. As Durbin just pointed out, Social Security has
a huge surplus. It has nothing to do with deficit reduction. We have ways
to make sure that it`s solvent for the next 75 years. You do not have to
cut benefits for seniors and for disabled veterans.
Ed, what is not widely pointed out -- and tomorrow I`ll be holding a
press conference with all of the veterans organizations, the DAV, the
American Legion -- the chained CPI would make major cuts for people who
have lost their arms and legs in Iraq and Afghanistan, widows and orphans.
Furthermore, what I would say is, if you saw the poll today in the
"Washington Post," the people of this country are very clear.
Overwhelmingly they say do not cut Social Security. Do not cut Medicare.
Do not cut Medicaid. And yes, to the tune of 74 percent of the people
responding in that poll, ask people making more than 250,000 dollars a year
to pay more in taxes.
The president has got to listen to the American people and stand firm
against the bullies in the Republican House.
SCHULTZ: Here is House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today. Listen
to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Yes, the Democrats will stick
with the president. Maybe not every single one of them. But on the CPI,
since you bring it up, the chained CPI, the president -- the details of
this are not all ironed out. But they all mitigate for helping the poorest
and neediest in our society, whether they`re SSI recipients, whether
they`re 80 and older, or whether they`re truly needy in between.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senator, she says other factors mitigate the impact of the
CPI change. And she would have the votes. Any circumstances under which
that you could support it?
SANDERS: No. I have a lot of respect for Nancy Pelosi. I think she
is dead wrong on this issue. Listen, the AARP, the National Committee to
Preserve Medicare, the AFL-CIO, the veterans organizations, the vast
majority of the American people are saying you do not balance the budget on
the elderly. People who are making 15,000, 16,000 dollars a year, who are
struggling to keep themselves alive should not be taking cuts when we have
growing wealth and income inequality in America.
Yes, the wealthiest people and the large corporations who are doing
phenomenally well are going to have to start paying their fair share of
taxes.
SCHULTZ: President Obama`s plan would bring in 1.2 trillion dollars
in revenue and extend unemployment benefits, which is pretty important.
Are these and other aspects of the president`s counter-offer agreeable with
you? I mean, certainly the unemployed are going to need some help. And we
still have millions of people who are out of work in this country.
What about that? There are some good things to this, but is it worth
the gamble?
SANDERS: Obviously we want to do everything we can to protect the
unemployed. But what we also have to understand, Ed, and also what is not
talked about enough is a s a result of I think the weak negotiating on the
part of the White House in 2010 and 2011, we have already cut 1.5 trillion
dollars in programs.
And up to this point, the wealthy haven`t paid a nickel more in taxes.
So I don`t think it`s a question of, you know, a little here and a little
there. People on top doing phenomenally well. Middle class disappearing.
Millions of people living in poverty. I think the president will have the
support of the American people if he stands tall, if he stands strong and
demands justice and fairness in terms of how we do deficit reduction.
SCHULTZ: What about Boehner`s plan to pass an extension of the Bush
tax cuts for everyone below the one million dollars mark.
SANDERS: No.
SCHULTZ: Is that something you could possibly support? Of course,
the president wants to move to it 400,000.
SANDERS: No. That`s wrong. It simply does not bring in enough
revenue. And it would necessitate even more cuts.
SCHULTZ: Two fifty is the number for you? You want the Bush tax cuts
gone?
SANDERS: Absolutely.
SCHULTZ: OK. Senator, good to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time. There is a lot more coming up in the next half hour
of THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.

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