Sanders Statement on Obama Deficit Plan

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 - Sen. Bernie Sanders issued the following statement today on a deficit-reduction plan proposed by President Barak Obama:

"At a time when 25 million Americans don't have a full-time job and when millions of middle-class Americans have slipped into poverty, I am glad that the president has listened to the American people and will not balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor.  With the wealthiest people in this country becoming wealthier and large corporations enjoying huge profits, it is time that we end tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations and have them pay their fair share.

"President Obama is on the right path in calling for the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, for limiting deductions for those making more than $250,000 a year, and  for closing special-interest tax breaks.  

"He also is right in seeing that ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can save our nation an additional $1 trillion.

"I welcome the president's decision to let states seek health care waivers in 2014, three years earlier than under the health care law. This will give needed support and encouragement to Vermont as we seek to lead the nation in health reform.

"As chairman of the Defending Social Security Caucus, I am pleased that the president has listened to many of us in Congress and to people around the country and will not cut Social Security benefits or raise the Medicare eligibility age.  

"I do, however, have serious concerns about some of the president's proposals. For example, while it is true that middle class and working families need tax cuts, I disagree with taking the funds from Social Security.  If this part of his program were enacted, nearly $300 billion would be diverted from the Social Security Trust Fund over a two-year period."