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Donkees's Journal
Donkees's Journal
February 4, 2019

Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialism FULL Speech - Georgetown Univ - Nov 19, 2015

“This speech is one of those defining moments in a presidential campaign,” said Mo Elleithee, the institute’s executive director and a 20-year veteran of national politics. “For weeks, Senator Sanders and his team have been signalling that he intends to have a thoughtful discussion about what it means to be a ‘democratic socialist.’ We are psyched he chose Georgetown as the place to have that conversation.”


People are not truly free when they are unable to feed their family. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are unemployed or underpaid or when they are exhausted by working long hours. People are not truly free when they have no health care.

So let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.

Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.

Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.

February 4, 2019

Flashback: Why Bernie Sanders Matters

Published on Jan 26, 2016
Marianne Williamson says why a political revolution is necessary in America, and why Senator Sanders is the perfect person to lead it.

Published on Jan 31, 2016
An open letter to Democratic voters in Iowa about the power of voting with your heart.
February 4, 2019

Sen. Sanders: ''It Was a Republican President Who Fought for the Estate Tax''

Published on Feb 1, 2019
It was a Republican president — not Bernie Sanders — who first argued for the creation of a progressive estate tax to reduce the enormous concentration of wealth. Mitch McConnell might want to listen.
February 4, 2019

Bernie Sanders's estate tax plan would reduce the federal debt and help even the playing field

By Editorial Board February 3 at 6:57 PM


IT WILL not be a question of whether prominent 2020 Democratic presidential candidates favor hiking taxes on the very wealthy. It will be a question of how they propose to do it. Sen.?Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last month suggested a wealth tax of 2 percent per year on fortunes of more than $50 million, an idea that is constitutionally questionable and logistically difficult. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) entered the scene Thursday with a better plan: substantially hiking the estate tax on huge inheritances, an alternative to taxing someone’s fortune during his or her lifetime.

Mr. Sanders wants to roll back the GOP reform — and more. He would insist that estates worth more than $3.5 million pay at least 45 percent on money over that threshold, with higher tax brackets scaled to the size of the fortune in question. The rate would be 77 percent — the top rate from 1941 to 1976 — on estates worth more than $1 billion. Because such a plan would spur estate planners to seek legally creative ways to avoid inheritance taxes, Mr.?Sanders would also close some loopholes currently used as tax avoidance vehicles. Mr. Sanders estimates that his plan would raise $315 billion over a decade.

That revenue is badly needed. Federal debt as a share of the economy has spiked. Rising generations face huge challenges paying for the health care and pensions of their retiring parents. Meanwhile, the very wealthiest Americans have done extremely well in recent decades, with a drift toward an ever-higher concentration of national wealth at the top. Weak inheritance taxes have contributed to this trend. Critics charge that the estate tax taxes income twice, first when it is earned and second when it is inherited. Yet it also serves as a backstop against avoidance of other types of taxation, in which the wealthy excel.

Rich heirs would still be rich after paying a Sanders tax. But their unearned head start over their less fortunate cohort would be shorter, and the government would have more resources to help promote opportunity for everyone else.


February 2, 2019

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Team Up to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

The two senators, both likely 2020 presidential candidates, are leading the charge to reduce drug prices in the United States

Published on
Saturday, February 02, 2019
by Common Dreams
byEric Jaffa


Sanders introduced three bills in January 2019 to lower prescription drug prices. The bills are for importation price limits in the U.S. based on what companies charge in other countries, and Medicare negotiation. Warren co-sponsored each of these bills.

In December 2018, Warren introduced a bill for the federal government to manufacture prescription drugs. Her bill didn’t get any co-sponsors, probably because of the timing. The Congressional term was almost over, and it’s impossible to co-sponsor a bill from a previous term. But Sanders supports Warren’s pharmaceutical manufacturing bill and he will co-sponsor her bill when she re-introduces it, says Warren Gunnels, his policy director.

Sanders’ importation bill is S.97 The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, which would "allow patients, pharmacists and wholesalers to import...from Canada and other major countries.” In 2007, similar legislation passed the Senate 63 to 28. Sanders noted at the time that millions of “Americans were going across the Canadian border to purchase safe and affordable medicine. The American people want action.”

Sanders’ international price-indexing bill is S.102 The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, which would require that drug companies charge similar prices in America as in other developed countries. Otherwise, “the drugmaker’s monopoly would be ended” and other companies could sell generic versions. According to Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, this would lower drug prices in the U.S. by 50%.

Sanders’ Medicare negotiation bill is S.99 The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act. Under current law, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration are allowed to negotiate. Medicare Part D isn’t. The result is that “Medicare Part D pays on average 73% more than Medicaid and 80% more than VA for brand name drugs.” The bill would fix that disparity.

Warren’s bill for the federal government to manufacture prescription drugs is S.3775 Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act of 2018. It would establish a federal “Office of Drug Manufacturing.” The office could manufacture pharmaceuticals when no company is making a needed pharmaceutical, and when only one or two companies are making a needed pharmaceutical and “the price is a barrier to patient access.”

Sanders and Warren both support the bills described above to address drug prices. Are there any differences between these Senators on drug pricing? Yes. Sanders is the only U.S. Senator who supports replacing drug patents with prizes for innovation. A company would be paid by the federal government for coming up with a new prescription drug. The amount of money would be based on how much the drug improves treatment and how many people would benefit. Then any company would be allowed to manufacture the drug.

Another difference between Sanders and Warren involves Medicare-for-All, which would have a tremendous effect on lowering drug prices by giving the government leverage to negotiate lower prices for everyone in the country. They both support Medicare-for-All Single-Payer healthcare. But Sanders talked about it in his stump speech for the 2016 presidential primary. Warren has yet to talk about it in her stump speech for the 2020 presidential primary, suggesting that Medicare-for-All, overall, is a bigger priority for Sanders than for Warren.

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