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Politics Gavel in hand, Bernie Sanders lays out an unabashedly liberal economic agenda

02:51  19 february  2021
02:51  19 february  2021 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Sanders says Biden sees progressives as 'strong part of his coalition'

  Sanders says Biden sees progressives as 'strong part of his coalition' Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that President Biden "sees the progressive movement as a strong part of his coalition," even as recent debates over the federal minimum wage and coronavirus relief have revealed some divisions between liberal and more centrist Democrats. In an interview with The New York Times published Tuesday, Sanders, a leading voice on the left, said congressional Democrats are largely united with the Biden administration in efforts to respond to the health care and economic crises fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. The new Senate Budget Committee chair, citing the the large portrait of Franklin D.

Which is why Sanders ' economic agenda deserves attention. Critics who don't "feel the bern" can no longer dismiss him as an angry "communist" with no understanding of American values. His platform has already made ideas like Medicare-for-All mainstream and will no doubt be used by future leaders hoping to take it forward. 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights. Sanders says every person in the U.S. is entitled to a decent job and a living wage, quality healthcare, a complete education, affordable housing, a clean environment, and a secure retirement. "This is the richest country on Earth and we

Bernie Sanders formed a unity task force and rolled out a 110-page policy agenda that details what we may see in terms of Democrats' goals. Biden has proposed raising the top individual income tax rate to 39.6%, up from 37%. What wealthy investors should watch out for is a change to a tax code provision known as the "step-up in basis." This provision allows an individual to hold an asset for years, capture appreciation over time and then bequeath it to an heir at death. The owner's original investment in this asset — the basis — rises or "steps up" to the market value at death.

After three decades in Congress wielding influence as a left-wing outsider with a grass-roots following, Sen. Bernie Sanders has finally grasped institutional power on Capitol Hill — and he is moving quickly to use it.

As the new chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders has already played a key role in advancing President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, and he is now scheduling high-profile hearings on some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.

For the first, set for Feb. 25, Sanders has summoned the chief executives of some of America’s best-known companies to testify about the wages they pay their employees — speaking alongside some of their own front-line workers.

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Four prominent Democratic economists wrote a letter condemning an analysis that estimated the costs of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders ' economic plans, arguing the platform would "undermine the credibility of the progressive economic agenda ." Other liberal -leaning economists , including Paul Krugman, have criticized Sanders ' economic platform this week. Friedman's projections, which he laid out late last month, suggested that median incomes would soar by more than 20% and GDP growth could be as high as 5.3% annually under Sanders ' economic plan.

Bernie Sanders ’ massive tax and spending measures “add up” escalated on Wednesday with the release of a letter from four former chairs of the White House Council of Economic Advisers saying that the Vermont senator’s claims of economic benefit strain credulity. Sanders has been under fire from Hillary A number of prominent liberal economists have also sharply questioned a recent analysis by University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist Gerald Friedman that estimates that Sanders ’ overall spending and tax increase plan would reduce the unemployment rate to 3.8 percent and boost the

The hearing’s title — “Why Should Taxpayers Subsidize Poverty Wages at Large Profitable Corporations?” — reflects how Sanders intends to use his new gavel to promote an unabashedly liberal economic agenda, one that breaks with the Budget Committee’s traditional focus on the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.

Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said he sees his panel’s scope as touching on “every aspect of public policy — in fact, on every aspect of American life,” and he plans to focus on the plight of the working class amid growing inequality.

“They are living through an economic desperation the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression,” Sanders said in an interview. “So we are going to be a very active and aggressive Budget Committee, which is going to explore what’s going on with the working class and the middle class of this country and how we can successfully address the crises that they face.”

Is a supersized agenda the key to Democrats’ 2022 success — or their demise?

  Is a supersized agenda the key to Democrats’ 2022 success — or their demise? How can the party best limit backlash from voters?The progressive wing of the party has a long and varied list of things they want to get done with their newfound congressional majorities — tackling areas ranging from climate change to immigration to health care to voting rights to even adding states, among many others. Scrapping or otherwise reforming the Senate filibuster would likely be necessary to get many of these done. And some argue that, if Democrats want to keep their narrow congressional majorities in 2022, they need to get as much of this done as possible.

Contact Bernie Sanders on Messenger. We cannot turn our backs on families who are struggling in the midst of this deadly pandemic. People are hurting, and they are hurting badly. We need an aggressive agenda that recognizes and addresses the economic desperation being felt by so many millions of Americans today.

Bernie Sanders pointed out a way government can influence companies like Carrier to better for American workers. Jimmy Dore breaks it down. Subscribe Here ▶

[Study: Walmart and McDonald’s have the most workers on food stamps and Medicaid]

Other hearings are tentatively on the books: On March 17, Sanders is planning a hearing on income and wealth inequality, followed by a March 24 hearing on “making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes” and an April 14 hearing on the costs of climate change.

As chairman of a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee, he also plans to hold a hearing later this year on prescription drug prices.

It remains unclear whether the McDonald’s and Walmart executives Sanders has invited to next week’s hearing will appear. McDonald’s declined to comment, and representatives for Walmart did not respond to inquiries Thursday.

One top executive who has agreed to testify, according to Sanders’s office, is W. Craig Jelinek of Costco, which is known for paying its workers higher-than-average wages and benefits. Costco also did not respond to a request for comment.

Pointless infighting among progressives is becoming exhausting and harmful

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Senator Bernie Sanders , who spoke at a campaign rally in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Wednesday, said that the candidate with the most delegates from primaries should be the party’s presidential nominee.Credit Erin Schaff/The New York Times. And officials in the national and state parties are increasingly anxious about splintered primaries on Super Tuesday and beyond, where the liberal Mr. Sanders , of Vermont, edges out moderate candidates who collectively win more votes.

The monthslong nonaggression pact between the two leading liberals in the race, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders , ended this week. With tensions between their camps rising, do they clash directly tonight? At least one poll suggests former Vice President Joe Biden is gaining strength in Iowa, after avoiding direct conflict with his closest “President Kennedy knew that settling for half measures wasn’t good enough,” Mr. Sanders says, laying out a rationale for his unrelenting and uncompromising positions on “Medicare for all” and universal free college, as he pushes for the country to do “big things.”

Sanders said no matter who shows up, he is determined to highlight the ever-growing gap between the pay of top executives and their essential employees — and the effect those wages have on federal expenditures.

“Do they really think that the taxpayers of this country have to subsidize their workers in terms of food stamps, in terms of Medicaid or public housing, because they’re paying starvation wages? We are going to raise those issues,” Sanders said. “So I would suggest that they come and they take the opportunity to . . . defend what they’re doing.”

The Budget Committee hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building has rarely been a place of great televised drama. The panel’s gavel for decades has been swapped between chairs who saw their main task as casting a watchful eye on widening deficits and a growing national debt. Republicans have tended to focus on curbing government spending, while Democrats have urged the need to maintain revenue.

While Sanders has declared some concern about a national debt that has soared past $20 trillion, his greater worry is about an American underclass that the federal government is failing to help.

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His Republican sparring partner on the panel is Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who has been more prominent in recent years for his up-and-down relationship with former president Donald Trump than for economic policy matters. But Graham has shown a long interest in tackling the nation’s long-term fiscal trajectory, and he recently indicated he is relishing the opportunity to engage in broader debates over thorny issues with Sanders.

“It gives us a chance, I think, to talk about big things, and there’s going to be differences,” Graham said at a hearing last week. “One of my goals is to make sure that all these big things that we’re talking about other people paying for, that we have a sense of, you know, how do you pay for all this stuff.”

Sanders from 2013 to 2015 chaired the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, a panel with limited jurisdiction. Now Sanders’s grasp of true agenda-setting power is being celebrated by fellow lawmakers on the hard left, who are encouraged to have an ally — not a deficit hawk — in a key position.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Thursday that she has been speaking to Sanders multiple times a week about pending legislation — including a minimum wage hike that Sanders is working to shoehorn into the pandemic relief bill.

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“It’s just been great to have somebody chairing that committee who’s got power and who’s willing to call it like it is and say exactly why it’s so important that we deliver for people on these bold, populist, popular policies,” she said.

[Biden indicates he’s open to negotiation on $15 minimum wage]

One task that remains in doubt is whether the Budget Committee under Sanders will write a traditional budget — one that sets out long-term revenue and spending targets for the federal government. “I just don’t know the answer to that at this point,” Sanders said.

That core task is up in the air in part because Biden and Democratic congressional leaders are relying on special rules under the Senate Budget Committee’s purview to skirt a GOP filibuster and pass major legislation over the next two years — starting with the pandemic bill, known as the American Rescue Act.

The Senate earlier this month passed a stripped-down budget resolution that paved the way for that process, known as reconciliation, to move forward. Now, Sanders’s staff and aides from other congressional committees are working to convince the Senate parliamentarian that the wide-ranging proposals Democrats are eyeing comport with strict budget rules.

The process is expected to repeat later this year when Democrats embark on an even larger package that is expected to include trillions in new infrastructure spending.

Sanders declined to discuss how big of an infrastructure bill he is eyeing or how quickly it might move. Both of those parameters are subject to negotiation with more moderate Democrats. But he said he expected the legislation to address “structural problems” facing the country, including addressing student debt, remaking the federal tax regime and “transforming our energy system.”

To lay the groundwork for that effort, Sanders said, he plans to continue holding hearings on big issues and perhaps — pandemic willing — taking his panel on the road.

“I think it would be really interesting to go to communities around the country and hear from working people about what is going on in their lives and how the national priorities that we have now impact them,” he said.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the Capitol during the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump this month. © Katherine Frey/The Washington Post Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the Capitol during the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump this month.

Democrats vow to penalize big corporations that don't pay $15 minimum wage .
Top Democrats are drafting new plans that would penalize big corporations that pay their employees less than $15 an hour.Democrats led by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., vowed to pursue amendments to the existing relief package that would punish corporations that pay workers below a certain hourly rate.

usr: 18
This is interesting!