Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders came to Carson City Monday to lay out his campaign platform – none of it especially new – but clearly described for a packed gymnasium at the Stewart Community Center.
Here it is:
* Too few at the top of our society have over half the money in the country. And it’s badly hurting the bottom half.
* We need to overturn Citizens United, which allows unlimited political donations – many of them anonymous.
* We need public funding for elections and anyone turning 18 is automatically signed up to vote.
* Our economy may look good on paper but it’s lousy for too many American families – some of them have two adults working more than one job. Half of our families live paycheck to paycheck. 500,000 Americans are homeless – 30,000 veterans sleeping on the street or in emergency shelters. Government is NOT working for all Americans.
* We need a $15/hour minimum wage. Not the $7.25 that’s been on the books for years.
* Equal pay for women.
* Expand labor unions.
* America has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the developed world.
* America needs universal child care so they get what they need and parents can work knowing their children are being cared for in stimulating environments.
* We need a better public education system. Higher pay for teachers. School systems that are behind the average, need extra funding. One trillion dollars from the country’s extreme wealthy should pay for it.
* Cancel all student debt and get the revenue from a modest transfer from Wall Street profits.
* Health Care should be a right, not a high cost burden on society. Health Care is free in much of the free world. Why not America? With the taxes America’s families pay, taxing the wealthy should help fund national free health care. It’s common in Europe.
* America’s health care should expand to cover dental care and eyeglasses. Taxes on the wealthy would easily cover it without the wealthy having to move out of their mansions.
* Greed should be removed from the medical industry. Drug prices in America are the highest in the world. Many nation’s pay 10% of what Americans pay for many drugs. $69 Billion in drug company profits are way too high. Medical care should include hearing aids.
* The way we create Medicare for All is to phase it in. First, those who are 55 and older, then a little later 45 and older, then 35 and older until everyone is eligible for Medicare. Between “some” taxes for medicare and the wealthy paying their fair share, America could catch up with what is far more reasonably priced medical coverage as we see in Canada and throughout Europe. Sanders says the first $29,000 in family income would be exempt from medicare taxes.
* Climate Change is a clear and present danger to every person on the Earth. We cannot turn our back on our kids and our grandkids. Scientists have under-estimated the speed by which climate change is taking control of our weather. Sanders says if we don’t do enough to reverse our use of fossil fuels the situation will become uncontrollable within ten years. Widespread disease, wild fires – especially along the U.S. West Coast, climate refugees due to drought, large international military conflicts, acidification of Earth’s oceans which will affect fishing industries. The world’s people need to tell the fossil fuel companies that their profits are not worth the decimation of humanity.
* We can create 20 Million new jobs fighting climate change using $1.8 Trillion dollars to get the job done. All our lives are worth more than $1.8 Trillion dollars.
* On the political front – Donald Trump is dividing the country and it must stop. We need to end racism and support immigration reform. We need to fix our criminal justice system. There are 400,000 people behind bars because they can’t afford their bail. We need to end private (for profit) prisons, end the war on drugs (it isn’t working) and legalize marijuana.
* We need gun reform. Establish universal background checks on ALL GUN SALES. Ban assault weapons and end gun show sale loop-holes.
* At the end, Sanders got a rousing standing ovation.
Sanders holds another Town Hall Rally tonight (Monday) at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center at 4590 South Virginia Street in Reno. Doors open at 4:30pm. Event starts at 5:30pm. It’s free and open to the public. Come early. Seats are limited.
Another presidential candidate, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, holds a rally TOMORROW NIGHT at TMCC in Reno at the Eardley Student Center. Doors open at 5pm. Warren takes the stage at 6:15pm.