The need to create jobs and help working families still struggling to recover from a terrible recession are themes that Sen. Bernie Sanders hopes President Obama emphasizes in next Tuesday’s State of the Union address. The senator discussed his hopes for Obama’s second term in a Monday interview with PBS’s Tavis Smiley. On Wednesday, Sanders said Congress should block a U.S. Postal Service plan to stop delivering letters on Saturdays. And on Thursday, Sanders introduced legislation to help balance the budget and create American jobs by closing loopholes that let businesses shelter income in offshore tax havens. The senator discussed the Postal Service and tax havens in a Friday radio interview.
State of the Union
Looking ahead to next Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Sanders hoped that President Obama will address the decline of the middle class and the need to create jobs. “What I want to hear the president say is that at a time when our infrastructure is crumbling, at a time when we need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to deal with global warming, he is going to push major legislation in those areas to create millions and millions of jobs,” Sanders told Tavis Smiley in an interview Monday on PBS.
We Deliver (But not on Saturdays)
Sanders opposes a U.S. Postal Service plan to end Saturday mail delivery. “The postmaster general cannot save the Postal Service by ending one of its major competitive advantages. Cutting six-day delivery is not a viable plan for the future. It will lead to a death spiral that will harm rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service,” Sanders said. The House last year refused to consider a Senate-passed postal reform bill that Sanders helped draft. It would have changed a 2006 congressional requirement that the mail service pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. That unprecedented and unnecessary pre-funding requirement is responsible for about 80 percent of the Postal Service’s financial losses since 2007.
Stop Corporate Tax Dodgers
Sanders on Thursday introduced a bill to stop corporations from sheltering income in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens. The legislation also would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs and factories overseas. Sanders’ bill and a companion measure to be introduced in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky would yield more than $590 billion in revenue over the next decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. “This is a jobs issue, not just a tax issue … because what we`re doing is encouraging corporations to move their manufacturing plants, their offices to other countries where the tax rates are much lower,” Sen. Sanders said on MSNBC.
Speaking at a Thursday news conference on a new bill to shut down overseas tax havens, Sen. Bernie Sanders gestures toward a photo of a Cayman Islands building used by more than 18,000 companies to avoid paying taxes.