Unless the White House and Congress reach agreement on an alternative way to lower deficits, $85 billion in across-the-board spending reductions are due to take effect starting Friday. Sen. Bernie Sanders believes more revenue is needed to lower deficits. He noted that total revenue today amounts to about 16 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. That’s down from more than 20 percent the last time the federal budget was balanced when Bill Clinton was president. “There is nobody who believes the sequestration makes a lot of sense. The fact is that if we went forward in this way, the economy would contract. We'd lose about 700,000 jobs at a time when we're in the midst of a severe recession. We'd cut programs a lot of working families and low-income people need. I would hope that people get their act together and that we don't go over this cliff,” Sanders told Chris Jansing on MSNBC.
“The sad part here, Chris, is the American people are pretty strong on what they believe. And it’s not only opposition to sequestration. They understand that working families throughout this country are really hurting, that many large corporations - one out of four - don't pay a nickel in taxes. We're losing a hundred billion dollars a year through tax havens in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere, where corporations stash their money. The American people are not divided on the issue. They don't want to see cuts in Social Security, Medicare, education, and other important programs. They do want to ask the wealthy and large corporations to start paying their fair share. It's unfortunate that Congress is not listening.”