Bernie Sanders to propose ‘war tax’ amendment to GOP budget that’s bad for middle class

Sen. Bernie Sander (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is not a fan of the Republican budget that is working its way through Congress. The self-described democratic socialist believes the GOP budget helps the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor.

"The rich get much richer, and the Republicans think they need more help," Sanders said on the Senate floor on Monday. "The middle class and the working families in this country become poorer, and the Republicans think we need to cut programs they desperately need."

The ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee has made his dislike for the GOP budget proposal abundantly clear through his remarks and statements.

"Clearly in the eyes of my Republican colleagues, the wealthy and the powerful and the big campaign contributors need even more help," Sanders said, noting that “corporate America is enjoying record-breaking profits.” Because of that, the GOP budget "will do nothing to address the massive income equality that this country faces,” he added.

The full Senate is set to take up the budget this week, after it passed out of committee on Thursday. Sanders has been berating the proposal since then.

“Instead of being honest and upfront about their goals, the Republicans have used a number of budgetary gimmicks to cover-up the devastating impact that their budget will have on the lives of ordinary Americans,” Sanders said in a Sunday statement. “I find it particularly offensive that Republicans, who are demanding massive cuts in Medicaid, education, nutrition and health care in order to move toward a balanced budget, have no problem adding $38 billion to the deficit through the off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. That is hypocrisy pure and simple.”

The Vermont senator is expected to propose a war tax amendment to the budget, which would raise taxes on millionaires to finance US military operations, The Hill reported.

“This is an issue that I and others intend to raise forcefully during this week’s debate on the Senate floor. I strongly expect that there will be amendments demanding that Republicans tell us how they will pay for another war,” Sanders said in a Friday statement.

The independent politician claimed that Republican tricks include using the Overseas Contingency Operations fund to significantly increase defense spending; masking the consequences of their policies by calling things “unallocated” cuts and “government-wide” savings; using made up “dynamic” numbers; and dismantling healthcare reform, but retaining the savings and revenues that support the Affordable Care Act.

He also slammed the GOP budget for making student debt worse, ignoring President Barack Obama’s proposals to better educate young students after high school and not asking corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

“While the rich get richer and corporate profits soar, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages,” Sanders said in a statement on Friday. “Despite that, this morally repugnant Republican budget protects those on top who are doing the best while attacking the needs of the most vulnerable – working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.”