More from “President Sanders” [an op-ed by John Nichols of “The Nation” and “Nation of Change”]

 Sorry guys; I guess a bit too often, I just can’t help myself, I see something I really like , so I copy-blog.  Every time I hear Senator sanders speak, I get the same feeling of hope and good things in our future as I did whn Obama first emerged on the scene. Except this time, just maybe we wouldn’t be betrayed and let down for such a hard landing.  –  truthnreality

John Nichols

NationofChange / Op-Ed

Published: Thursday 18 August 2011

“While he is not running for the presidency, Sanders is delivering the sort of speeches—and outlining the sort of agenda—that could animate the stale and lifeless 2012 campaign.”

Sanders Says What Every Presidential Contender Should: America Needs a Bold Jobs Plan.

Bernie Sanders is not run­ning for pres­i­dent. Though he has ex­pressed frus­tra­tion with the di­rec­tion of the 2012 cam­paign—going so far as to sug­gest that Pres­i­dent Obama could use a pri­mary chal­lenge—Sanders will seek an­other term in the Sen­ate next year.

But while he is not run­ning for the pres­i­dency, Sanders is de­liv­er­ing the sort of speeches—and out­lin­ing the sort of agenda—that could an­i­mate the stale and life­less 2012 cam­paign.

In­deed, the Ver­mont sen­a­tor is mak­ing more fis­cal and eco­nomic sense than any­one who is run­ning—for ei­ther of the major party nom­i­na­tions in 2012.

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“While every­one un­der­stands that we have got to re­duce the deficit, the num­ber-one chal­lenge Amer­ica faces right now is a jobs cri­sis,” the in­de­pen­dent sen­a­tor de­clared, while de­cry­ing the fact that more than 16 per­cent of Amer­i­can work­ers (25 mil­lion Amer­i­can) are ei­ther un­em­ployed or un­der­em­ployed.

Putting the warped fis­cal and eco­nomic de­bates of a mo­ment of Tea Party ex­cess and De­mo­c­ra­tic de­nial into per­spec­tive, Sanders ex­plained that “cre­at­ing the mil­lions of new jobs that we des­per­ately need is not only vi­tally im­por­tant to our econ­omy but will be the means by which we re­duce the deficit over the long term. New jobs mean more gov­ern­ment rev­enue, which makes a lot more sense than hav­ing to spend bil­lions on un­em­ploy­ment com­pen­sa­tion, food stamps, and other pro­grams needed dur­ing a se­vere re­ces­sion.”

But Sanders was not just re­count­ing the de­tails of a cri­sis. He used the con­ven­tion ad­dress to out­line a bold, pro­gres­sive agenda for ad­dress­ing it. That agenda be­gins with a com­mit­ment to “re­build­ing the na­tion’s crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture, trans­form­ing our en­ergy sys­tem, and rewrit­ing our trade pol­icy so that Amer­i­can prod­ucts—not jobs —are our num­ber-one ex­port.”

“Every­one in Ver­mont and across the coun­try un­der­stands that we can put mil­lions of Amer­i­cans back to work re­build­ing the na­tion’s bridges, roads, schools, dams, cul­verts, rail sys­tems and pub­lic trans­porta­tion, among other vital needs,” said Sanders. “We must also trans­form our en­ergy sys­tem away from fos­sil fuel and into en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­able en­ergy. A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of jobs can be cre­ated through weath­er­iza­tion, and the man­u­fac­tur­ing of Amer­i­can-made wind tur­bines, solar pan­els and heat pumps. Also, we must make fun­da­men­tal changes in our trade pol­icy so that we re­build our man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. Cor­po­rate Amer­ica must in­vest in the United States and stop the out­sourc­ing of jobs to China, Viet­nam and other low-wage coun­tries.”

To raise rev­enues, Sanders would have the new Con­gres­sional “su­per-com­mit­tee” begin re­duc­ing by elim­i­nat­ing tax loop­holes for the wealthy and large cor­po­ra­tions and tak­ing a hard look at ex­ces­sive mil­i­tary spend­ing.

And, no, the sen­a­tor is not in­ter­ested in cut­ting Med­ic­aid, Medicare and So­cial Se­cu­rity—at all.

“So­cial Se­cu­rity has not con­tributed a nickel to the deficit, it has a $2.6 tril­lion sur­plus, and it can pay out every ben­e­fit owed to every el­i­gi­ble Amer­i­can for the next twenty-five years. It must not be cut,” ex­plained Sanders. “In­stead of bal­anc­ing the bud­get on the backs of work­ing fam­i­lies, the el­derly, the chil­dren, the sick and the most vul­ner­a­ble, it is time to ask the wealth­i­est peo­ple and most prof­itable cor­po­ra­tions in this coun­try to pay their fair share.”

That was not a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign stump speech. Sanders is run­ning for re-elec­tion for the Sen­ate.

But this is what every se­ri­ous 2012 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date—in­clud­ing Barack Obama—should be say­ing.

This story orig­i­nally ap­peared in The Na­tion.
Copy­right © The Na­tion – dis­trib­uted by Agence Global.

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