Bernie Sanders (D)

Not me. Us.

An independent senator from Vermont determined to encourage economic, racial, social, and environmental justice for all.

Bernie Sanders is an iconic figure in the U.S Political ecosystem. He is an independent senator from Vermont who has helped push the Democratic Party leftward with revolutionary ideas like “Medicare for all,” a $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free public college. He served in the House of Representatives from 1990 to 2006 and was previously the mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

Bernie’s signature issues

Bernie considers the existing health care system as “dysfunctional” and is appalled by “the grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality.” He wishes to make America more inclusive and plans on making radical changes. He aims to –

  • Completely reshape and reform our immigration enforcement system, including breaking up ICE and CBP and redistributing their functions to their proper authorities.
  • Create a Medicare for All, single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.
  • Transform our energy system to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis.
Issues That Matter

Bernie Sanders’s political career reflects how much concern he is about income inequality. In his recent tweet, he said, “This is the richest country on Earth, and we have 40 million in poverty, 34 million with no health insurance and half our people living paycheck to paycheck,” he further added, “I refuse to accept that as normal.”

To bring the normalcy for common people, Bernie has outlined some steps to reform the economic policy of the United States.

  • Sanders aims to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans; he has decided to increase the marginal tax rate on income above $10 million.
  • Also, he proposes to raise tax rates on capital gains and other investment income. 
  • He pushes for reforming the Federal Reserve and controlling it to congressional audit, including by prohibiting executives of major banks from working on its board.
  • For economic security, he supports breaking up tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook. He pledges to enforce antitrust laws, particularly against agricultural conglomerates rigorously.
  • He promises to produce full employment by creating 20 million jobs via his Green New Deal climate program.
Health Care

Bernie Sanders promotes the idea that health care is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. In his 2019 speech, he said, “We say to the private health insurance companies: whether you like it or not, the United States will join every other major country on earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right.” 

  • Through the campaign, he proposes to provide every American health insurance under a government single-payer system.
  • To facilitate the students, he plans to cancel $1.6 trillion in student debt, which is held by 45 million people. This way, students can have the freedom to make better career choices. The plan would result in 
  • He says this would provide students the freedom to pursue careers of their choice, narrow the racial wealth divide, and boost the economy by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • Sanders aims to lower down the price of prescription drugs with 3 different bills that would permit the government to negotiate costs with Big Pharma, support patients to import drugs from abroad and peg prices to the median drug price in Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan, respectively.
  • Also, Sanders offers to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour and to double union membership during his first term in office. He wants to establish a federal jobs guarantee and work toward a full-employment economy. A job guarantee is an offer obtained from Modern Monetary Theory.
  • Sanders has offered a federal tax on extreme wealth. The rising wealth tax, which would apply to net worth of over $32 million, is suspected of raising an estimated $4.35 trillion over the next 10 years and chopping the wealth of billionaires in half over 15 years.
  • Also, he is clear to penalize companies whose highest-paid executives make approximately 50 times their median worker pay. Under the new Income Inequality Tax Plan. It would only apply to businesses that make annual revenue of over $100 million.
  • Alongside everything, Sanders has his own version of a Green New Deal. The objective is to reach 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030. 

Sanders is among those to scrutinize the obvious reluctance of the government to force more significant cybersecurity measures. Bernie expresses his concern not only about security but privacy as well.

  • Democrats are strict about comprehensive legislation that is yet to be enacted. Bernie believes in considering the need for cybersecurity and balancing it with protecting the rights and data of American citizens. 
  • Bernie supports considering the Protecting Cyber Networks Act; however, this bill has notable privacy concerns and has been subjected to political games instead of analysis.
  • He supports breaking up tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Like Sen. Warren, he stresses the need for public policy to address the incredible power of a handful of giant corporations in tech and other industries.
Criminal Justice

America is now the world’s leading jailer. It is being said because of the record of more than 2 million locked up people in America, which is more of Americans than any other nationalities on Earth. The stats do not include another 5 million people who are under the supervision of the correctional system.

Instead of spending $80 billion a year on jails and imprisonment, Bernie has planned to invest in jobs and education for our young people. Moreover, to reform the ongoing criminal justice policy, Bernie has outlined the following necessary plans:

  • Assure due process and right to counsel by enormously raising funding for public defenders and developing a federal formula to guarantee populations have a minimum number of public defenders to meet their requirements.
  • Sanders plans to cut the national prison population in half and end mass imprisonment by eliminating the death penalty, three-strikes laws, and mandatory minimum sentences, as well as developing the use of alternatives to detention.
  • He is aiming to reverse the criminalization of communities, end cycles of violence, provide support to survivors of crime. 
  • He wants to ensure law enforcement accountability and robust oversight. the list includes banning the use of facial recognition software for policing.

Education is one such field that is capable of forming the future of the whole world. In today’s time- education is unaffordable; should this mean the future that we are seeing is merely a fantasy? Bernie Sanders believes that the citizen deserves freedom – true freedom. He claims that a person is not truly free when he/she graduate college with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt.  

Bernie plans to end the racial and class disparities that persist throughout higher education. His education policy reform includes:

  • Bernie guarantees tuition and debt-free public colleges, universities, HBCUs, trade-schools, and Minority Serving Institutions to all.
  • Bernie has created a plan which would help eliminate all student loan debt for the approximately 45 million Americans who owe about $1.6 trillion. Alongside this, it aims to place a cap on student loan interest rates going forward at 1.88 percent.
  • Sanders’s plan includes an investment of $1.3 billion every year in private, non-profit historically black colleges/universities and minority-serving institutions.
  • Bernie has mentioned that he would like to finish equity gaps in higher education accomplishment. And assure students can cover non-tuition costs of attending school by developing Pell Grants to incorporate non-tuition and fee costs, tripling funding for the Work-Study Program, and more.

Bernie Sanders has been a strict critic of Trump’s presidency. When it comes to Immigration policy, Bernie claims that Donald Trump has used the demonization of immigrants for political gain. He believes America is a dream home to everyone, and thus, he wants to ensure that every immigrant who would step into America would help strengthen the country as a whole. While at the same time as a president, he would work in developing a movement to create an America where everyone shares in the prosperity that they and their ancestors helped build. His reformed immigration policies are:

  • A moratorium on all exiles immediately to end the expansion of the southern border wall, to stop the zero-tolerance policy on illegal border crossings and resulting family separations and child detentions. He wants to reverse restrictions on refugees and asylum seekers and close all for-profit detention centers.
  • He vows to decriminalize unlawful border crossings, making them a civil offense. He calls for the repeal of a 1996 immigration law that raised penalties for undocumented immigrants and developed federal deportation powers. 
  • Bernie supports keeping and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He promises to end the eviction of any undocumented residents who have lived in the country for 5 years or more.
  • He says he would raise the cap on refugee admissions and create a new program to accept at least fifty thousand climate migrants per year.
  • Sanders claims to enact policies to protect immigrant workers; this includes new penalties for employers who abuse or exploit them, improved enforcement of employers of undocumented workers, and work visas that give foreign workers more aid.

Bernie believes that while military force is required, it should always be a last resort. To support his statement, he further adds, We need a robust national defense infrastructure, but we should focus more heavily on diplomatic alternatives to war. 

  • Bernie states that maintaining a strong defense is a priority, but not the only priority. He plans to cut the excessive defense budget and spend that money on pressing domestic challenges.  
  • Bernie has appreciated the overall concept of drones but has also expressed critical concern at the lack of omission on the target vetting process, the death of civilians as corresponding damage, and the sometimes counterproductive result of drone strikes that may do more harm than good.
  • Bernie has clearly expressed his disagreement on militarizing space. Explicitly referencing Space Force, Bernie stated: “Maybe, just maybe, we should make sure our people are not dying because they lack health insurance before we start spending billions to militarize outer space.”
  • He claims American military intervention has caused incalculable harm, indicating U.S. involvement in Chile, Iran, Iraq, and Vietnam, among other countries.
  • He also assures to enact legislation to create a new, independent system for handling sexual assault cases in the military and equip survivors with additional support.
  • He vows to end the ban on transgender employees in the military.
Gun Control

Bernie believes that gun control is chiefly a state issue because attitudes and responses concerning firearms vary hugely between rural and urban communities. Although, Bernie considers there are situations where the federal government should mediate. In his recent interview, he said, 

“Folks who do not like guns are fine. But we have millions of people who are gun owners in this country — 99.9 percent of those people obey the law. I want to see real, serious debate and action on guns, but it is not going to take place if we simply have extreme positions on both sides. I think I can bring us to the middle.”

  • Bernie is among those Democrats who are in favor of the nationwide ban on military-style assault weapons. He has voted for nationwide extended background checks that address unsafe loopholes and a nationwide ban on high-capacity magazines of over ten rounds. 
  • Sanders believes that the NRA has a role to play in the corrupting influence on Washington. He highly criticizes the NRA for their lobbying attempts to oppose gun reform.
  • He agrees that the NRA is the largest pro-gun lobby in the United States. Politicians and their staffers regard the NRA to be one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. Bernie wants to eliminate the overall impact big money has on politics. 
  • He stated that governmental policies played a large part in ruining tens of millions of young people to a future of bitterness, misery, drugs, crime, hopelessness, and violence.” He explained that the severe policies introduced by the Brady Bill were not approaching the causes of violence. He said, “we can create meaningful jobs, rebuilding our society, or we can build more jails.”
  • In 1996, he voted against additional funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for investigation on issues related to firearms. However, then in 2016, he called for an increase in CDC funding for the research of gun violence.
Foreign Policy

Bernie Sanders has a vision for extricating the U.S. from wars in the broader Middle East. To tackle the security issues, he wants to reorient America’s foreign policy that would result in privileged diplomacy and collective work with allies over unilateral military action. 

His policies include:

  • Sanders commits to pulling out of the war in Afghanistan, which has persisted for almost 18 years without a resolution.
  • His foreign policy vision puts the “America First” policy that pledged to end U.S. involvement in pointless wars in the Middle East and elsewhere and instead invests that money in rebuilding America’s economy.
  • Sanders uses the current standoff with Iran to contrast his foreign policy outlook with Trump’s.
  • He is advocating for diplomacy over force, and for cooperation over unilateralism.
  • Sanders’s plan is quite the opposite of Trump’s “America First” worldview, as it envisions America leading within institutions and partnerships rather than going it alone.
  • Implement a foreign policy that focuses on democracy, human rights, diplomacy and peace, and economic fairness.
  • Allow Congress to reassert its Constitutional role in war-making so that no president can wage unauthorized and unconstitutional interventions overseas.
  • Follow the American people, who do not want endless war.
  • End U.S. support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which has created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Bernie Sanders’s campaign slogan, Not me. Us. indicates that he is part of things that are larger than himself. He has released a plan to remove the corporate money from politics and to end the corruption of national party conventions. He wants to reform public elections, ban advertising during presidential primary debates, institute a ban for former members of Congress, and senior executives.

His electoral policies include:

  • He aims to protect the integrity and transparency of federal elections by requiring disclosure of all contributions.
  • He wants to move to public funding of elections to promote a more even playing field where all Americans can run for office and not just those who are willing to take donations from corporations and wealthy campaigns and contributors.
  • He wishes to celebrate democracy by creating a holiday to encourage voter turnout for elections.
  • He wants to stop the gerrymandered redistricting that suppresses minority and lower-income voters.
  • Sanders wants to abolish super PACs, overturn Citizens United, and wants to make sure every vote counts.
  • His campaign is entirely funded by donors like us, which is precisely what he means when he says he’s building the largest integral campaign.
Cannabis & Marijuana

Bernie Sanders, in his rallies and campaigns, discussed a plan to legalize cannabis in all the states of the U.S. His plans are as follows:

  • As president, he wants to legalize cannabis in the first 100 days with executive action.
  • He wants to review all previous cannabis convictions at the federal and state level for resentencing/Vacate and expunge all past marijuana-related convictions.
  • He promises to ensure revenue from legal marijuana is reinvested in communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.
  • He wants to legalized marijuana does not turn into big tobacco.
  • Cannabis non-profits would be promoted while ensuring that Big Tobacco is excluded from participating in the rise of the U.S. cannabis industry.
Climate and Energy

Climate change is a global emergency. Sanders has come up with a plan to combat climate change to an extent and to minimize its effects. He supports the “Green New Deal,” which aims to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050 fully.

His plans to reform Climate & Energy include:

  • Sanders has promised to declare climate change a national emergency. He has called for $16.3 trillion over a decade to transition the U.S. to 100% renewable electricity and phase out traditional gasoline-powered engines.
  • Sanders (along with Senator Barbara Boxer) introduced the boldest legislation to combat climate change.
  • He wants to transform the energy system to 100 percent renewable energy. Alongside this, he wants to create 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis.
  • He wants to ensure a just transition for communities and workers. 
  • He plans to provide justice for frontline communities, especially under-resourced groups, communities of color, Native Americans, people with disabilities, children, and the elderly.
  • He aims to save American families money with investments in weatherization, public transportation, modern infrastructure, and high-speed broadband.
  • Commit to reducing emissions all around the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, re-joining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States leadership in the global fight against climate change.
  • He wishes to invest in conservation and public lands to heal our soils, forests.
  • Bring an end to the greed of the fossil fuel industry and hold them accountable for pollution caused by them.
Trade Agriculture

Bernie Sanders introduced a plan to help family farmers and rural residents, promising to break up corporate agricultural holding. He wishes to invest heavily in social and economic programs in struggling rural communities. “In rural America, we are seeing giant agribusiness conglomerates extract as much wealth out of small communities as they can, while family farmers are going bankrupt and, in many cases, treated like modern-day indentured servants,” he said. 

Under his presidency:

  • Sanders will eliminate the $1.6 trillion in student debt held by 45 million people. As a result, this would give students the freedom to pursue careers of their choice, narrow the racial wealth divide, and boost the economy by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • He has promised to cancel all medical debt.
  • Sanders called for fundamental changes to the American agricultural economy that would transition the nation’s food system away from the big agri-businesses that dominate much of the sector today toward a model built upon small, family farms.
  • He also called for a right-to-repair law granting farmers the ability to fix their equipment, which some farm manufacturers currently forbid them from doing.
  • He will see to it that factory farms remove their air emissions exemption and regulate them under the Clean Air Act as factories.
Social & Religious Issues

Bernie Sanders supports people’s right to assemble, practice freely, and express their faith. He advocates for the separation of church and state to protect both personal religious freedoms and civic equality. 

With Sanders as president:

  • Individuals will be allowed to express and practice their beliefs and values, even if they are in disagreement with public policy, but religious freedom is not a right to discriminate.
  • The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the fundamental right of Freedom of Religion. This right empowers Americans to choose to practice any religion or no religion and the right to express faith in a lawful manner.
  • He believes all people should be working to alleviate the suffering of others.

Bernie Sanders has released a plan to tax the wealth of millionaires and billionaires directly. His proposal would cut the wealth of billionaires in the United States in half within the next 15 years; eventually, this will close the gap in wealth growth between billionaires and the average American family. Sander’s tax reformation goals include:

  • His announcement of a proposed tax on companies with a significant difference between the CEO’s pay and the median salary of its workers.
  • The tax will apply to companies with revenue of more than $100 million, both private and public, where the CEO makes at least 50 times the median salary of the workers.
  • He stated that “An unmarried person with $16.5 million in wealth would pay a $5,000 tax, as would a married couple with $32.5 million in net worth”.