An Alternative Vision

Bernie Sanders Scoop, Summer 2004


Clearly, if we are going to make the changes desperately needed in this country we must build a strong, grassroots movement which is organized around a progressive agenda committed to peace, economic justice, environmental sanity and equal rights for all. Let me briefly describe some of the concepts that I am fighting for in Congress.


CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND ELECTION REFORM. The wealthy and large corporations cannot be allowed to continue to buy political parties and candidates. We must move to full public funding of elections. Same-day registration will encourage low-income people to vote, and stop the United States from having the lowest voter turnout of any industrialized nation on earth.

PROTECT AND EXPAND THE SAFETY NET. We must beat back the efforts to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and public education and the attacks on children and the poor. This country is wealthy enough so that every man, woman and child should be able to live in dignity and security.

REVISE OUR NATIONAL PRIORITIES. We should eliminate funding for wasteful and duplicative weapons systems and the $125 billion we currently spend on corporate welfare. We should increase funding for job-creating improvements in our physical and human infrastructure, as well as the needs of our elderly and children.

REFORM THE TAX SYSTEM TO MAKE IT FAIR. Over the last 20 years, the federal tax system has lowered taxes for the wealthy and large corporations, and raised taxes for the middle class and working families. In a nation which currently has the most unfair distribution of wealth and income in the industrialized world, we must fight for a tax system which is progressive and fair.

RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE. In 1996, against tremendous opposition, Congress raised the minimum wage from $4.25 an hour to $5.15. We must do better. The purchasing power of the minimum wage today is much lower than it was 20 years ago. Every American worker who works 40 hours a week must earn enough to live above the poverty line. That's why I have introduced legislation which would raise the minimum wage to a living wage.

A FAIR TRADE POLICY. We are losing millions of good-paying manufacturing and information technology jobs as corporations "outsource" to China, Mexico, and India where workers are paid substantially lower wages. We need a new trade policy which protects the middle class of this country, and not the CEOs of large companies. Legislation that I have offered would radically alter our role in the global economy - protecting the workers of this country and the developing world.

PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL. Against enormous and well-funded opposition, we must redouble our efforts to protect a woman's right to choose, support affirmative action and an end to discrimination against minorities and gay people.

NATIONAL HEALTH CARE. The health care crisis is getting worse, not better. More and more American lack health insurance; Medicare and Medicaid are under savage assault and millions of people are being forced into "managed care." Despite all this, the United States continues to have the most costly and wasteful health care system in the world. We must continue our fight for a single-payer national health care system which guarantees health care for all Americans. We must also take on the pharmaceutical industry which is ripping off American consumers and charging us the highest drug prices in the world.

Bernie Sanders page

Index of Website

Home Page