Who Is Bernie Sanders? Senator Responds To Trump State Of The Union Address
Longest-serving independent in congressional history
Bernie Sanders has served the public as a politician since the early 1980s, first being elected as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, as an independent, where he served four terms. Though he currently sits as an independent, Sanders ran in 2016 Democratic primaries where he was defeated, some say unfairly, by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who went on to lose to Republican Donald Trump.
During his 2016 presidential run, Senator Sanders was noted for his ability to raise over $200 million in campaign financing, mostly from small, non-corporate donors, as reported by OpenSecrets.org. The organization characterized the seemingly wildly popular politician.
"What most distinguishes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from other presidential candidates is the fact that he’s a self-identified democratic socialist and represents his state as an independent, not a Republican or Democrat (though he caucuses with the Democrats). Sanders has concerned himself with middle class issues, the growing wage disparity and promoting renewable energy sources. Before winning his Senate seat in 2006, Sanders served in the House of Representatives for 16 years, making him the longest-serving independent member of Congress in history."
Even though he hasn't formally announced a 2020 presidential run, a recent poll featured by CNN saw Bernie Sanders beating Donald Trump in a hypothetical 2020 match-up, 55 to 42 percent.
In response to the president's January 30, 2018 State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, Senator Sanders was recorded sharing his thoughts.
The senator gave credit to the president for the current strength of the U.S. economy. Sanders pointed to record-low unemployment and soaring equity markets as evidence.
"That's the good news," Bernie Sanders said with frankness. "What President Trump failed to mention is that his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010."
He continued by underlining the fact that, since March 2017, the three most wealthy people in the United States saw their worth increase by "more than $68 billion."
"Three people: a $68 billion increase in wealth," the senator boomed. "Meanwhile, the average worker saw on increase of $0.04 an hour."
He continued, shining light on Donald Trump's past plans to "throw 32 million people off of the health care they had." Sanders took particular exception with the president simultaneously "raising premiums for older Americans."
Average worker up $0.04 per hour
'Wall Street thievery'
The senator explained that, while the Democrats have been able to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, three million fewer Americans have healthcare coverage, since the president took office.
Bernie Sanders again lauded the president, however briefly, and acknowledged his address words about the fact that Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other nation in the world.
"Yet, he has done nothing to allow Americans to purchase less-expensive prescription drugs from abroad or require Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which he promised he would do when he ran for president."
The New York native railed President Trump's tax legislation as bestowing 83 percent of its benefits upon only 1 percent of the U.S. population, adding $1.7 trillion to the deficit, and raising taxes for 92 million people.
"As president, not only has Trump not taken on Wall Street," Sanders was serious. "He has appointed more Wall Street billionaires to his administration than any president in history."
He went on to explain how the president has moved to "repeal the modest provisions" of Dodd-Frank legislation, which provide consumers with protections from "Wall Street thievery."
Sanders then held up that fact that President Trump's speech did address the plight of dreamers; he also held him accountable for causing it by repealing former President Barack Obama's executive order, in September 2017.
"We need to seriously address the issue of immigration, but that does need mean dividing families and reducing legal immigration by 25 to 50 percent," Sanders was adamant.
He then discussed the president's seeking of $25 billion in funding for a much-debated border wall with Mexico that he promised the southern-U.S. neighbor would pay for, while $1.5 trillion is needed to fund "crumbling" U.S. infrastructure.
"What Trump wants to do is to encourage states to sell their infrastructure to Wall Street, to wealthy campaign contributors, and even to foreign governments," Bernie Sanders said of the current administration's plans.
Who is Bernie Sanders?
© 2018 Stephen Sinclair