WASHINGTON, April 13 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today on President Barack Obama’s speech on the budget deficit:
“The very serious deficit crisis that we are in today is the result of the severe recession caused by Wall Street greed, two unpaid-for wars, huge tax breaks for the rich, the bailout of giant banks, and an unfunded Medicare Part D prescription drug program written by the insurance and drug companies.
“Meanwhile, while the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations are doing extremely well, the Republicans want more giant tax breaks for the very rich as they move to balance the budget on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the children and by cutting environmental protection and infrastructure. This is morally unacceptable and very bad economics.
“President Obama is right in suggesting that any serious effort toward deficit reduction should require shared sacrifice and that the pain should not simply be felt by working families and the most vulnerable people in our society.
“During the coming weeks I will be working with members of the Senate and the House on a deficit reduction proposal which cuts spending in those areas of government which are wasteful and unnecessary, while at the same time asking the wealthiest people in this country and the most profitable corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes. I am especially interested in ending those loopholes which allow corporations and the wealthy to shelter income in tax havens overseas, costing the U.S. Treasury an estimated $100 billion a year in revenue.”