Friday, July 21, 2017

Man Set Foot on the Moon 48 Years Ago: We Can Do Better

It was 48 years ago this month that humans first set foot on the moon. Let's stop pissing around and claim the moon!

Just because we planted a flag on the moon does not mean we own it. If you think I'm wrong, show me your moon rock. We should be able to pick up a moon rock at Walmart by now. Instead we can go there and get mooned or buy a rock, or even Pop-Rocks, but not a moon rock. In fact, you might get thrown in jail for even having one because you must have stole it.

When the Apollo program was at its peak it employed 400,000 Americans. The Apollo Program cost roughly $22.9 billion US dollars, unadjusted. Adjusting for inflation, that makes the total Apollo Program cost $133 billion U.S. dollars in 2008. In 2008 the United States put out $16 trillion to avert finantial crisis. Now a little math:

$16 trillion / $133 billion = 120
120 x 400,000 (jobs) = 48,000,000 (jobs)


During the Great Recession unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009. I believe that if our nation had embarked on a national priority project of human colonization of the moon and Mars and mining asteroids we would have been far better off today, almost a decade later.



If our nation had invested in space colonization instead of crooked banks and Wall Street we would surely have at very least an operational base constructed on the moon. Tens of millions of people would have been employed to realize the ongoing goal. Educational assets would have been strengthened. The banks would have many billions of dollars being poured into saving and checking accounts by people who would have been working on the National Priority Project of space colonization. Those same workers would be buying houses, cars and all the other things a modern family would like to have. That means many millions more of jobs in supporting industries. All that economic activity from a $16 trillion National Priority Project of space colonization would have meant a booming stock market based on real wealth instead of inflated dollars.

Speaking of inflated dollars, that could have ended. If you're mining platinum from asteroids you may as well base your currency on that newly accessed precious metals wealth. We may have had coins made of platinum jingling in our pockets instead of the massively debased coinage we now rely on. No more fiat (worthless) currency.

How about them asteroids? If we had of been pushing for the utilization of those trillion dollar asteroids, we would have gained years of experience in manipulating them by now. That is a very important thing. We know that there are asteroids that are as big as Mount Everest crossing the orbit of our mother Earth. It is only a matter of time before one of them strikes home. When that happens, the human species is gone forever. If we were busy mining the asteroids, human extinction from a strike might be averted. We would learn how to steer them to any place we wished.

If we had not bowed down to the fear mongering passed out by the major financial organizations, and instead invested heavily in a powerful effort to colonize our planetary neighborhood, our technological base would be much more advanced than it is today. Proof of that is in the massive advancements in science and technology realized from the spinoffs from the Apollo Program.

Our people can scheme and plan for a future in a closed habitat, or we can break the bonds of our planetary captivity. One will most assuredly lead to our own demise as our systems get ever more unable to keep us alive on an increasingly hostile planet. The other choice is to go forth and take our rightful place among the stars. To have many 10's of billions of human beings not crowded together fighting for resources on this one planet, but rather spread out among the Earth, the moon, Mars and eventually to other star systems. All of those 10's of billions of humans enjoying the unlimited bounty the boundless cosmos provides.

An Undercurrent of Religious Fueled Hatred in our Nation

Remember that time the bakery didn't want to make a cake for a same sex couple? What would a real god (not possible) do?

There are people who believes that myths are real. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. What if there really is a god? Two men get married, and a bakery provides services because the law said they must. Then they all die and go before the god. The god throws the two men who expressed love into a pit of fire and brimstone, while allowing the bakery owners to stay in heaven despite their hating of persons. Give me a break! How freaking stupid is that notion? Only people who believe in myths can invent such convoluted bull crap.

I'll be quite honest with you. I personally don't want to marry the same sex as me, but could give a rats ass if anyone else does. Adam & Steve getting married has just as much effect on me as if Adam and Eve got married. Which is zero effect. That's right! No effect on me whatsoever.

I'll be quite honest with you on something else. There are a such a thing as militant atheists. I am not one of them, but have heard them say that Christianity, and all other religion, needs to be removed from humanity by whatever means. That includes extreme violence. I agree with them except for the violence part. I would rather people come around to reason by way of knowledge.

So what does a person like the young fool in the video prove? It proves that there is an undercurrent of religious fueled hatred in our nation. You can find many persons who embrace that reside within the Republican/Tea Party. This undercurrent of hate needs to be rejected with all vigor by all persons of reason.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Insurance Companies Have Ruined Healthcare

During the Obama administration the politicians found ways of bringing our government to a halt. Now that Trump is there with a GOP owned congress our politicians are finding ever more clever ways to grind our nation's business to a standstill.

The GOP says that the ACA is on a death spiral. The Dems say that the GOP are trying to coldly throw millions of folks off the health insurance rolls. Both of them lament the rising cost of premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Let's not forget the ever rising cost of prescription drugs. The Democrats and Republicans what to cover everyone, but both of the political parties are stuck with insurance company involvement. Nether of them are able to divorce themselves from the idea that people must have health insurance.

That's why the ACA is failing, insurance companies. The number one concern should be the health of the people. That concern has been and still is subordinate to insurance company profitability. There was a time in our nation when insurance companies and banks were thought of as crooks. Now they have their fingers in everything. Some of those things are of a nature that makes it counterproductive to involve private industry or a profit motive. Human suffering and healthcare are not conducive to a profit motive. The profit motive in health care causes human suffering, and that's counterproductive.

If we were a fly on the wall of an insurance company boardroom, what might we find? We might find a group of highly paid individuals making strategies on their profitability. Each of those board members are going to offer strategies that will enrich them in the end with higher paychecks or higher bonuses. Their primary concern is the bottom line. Their own bottom line, not your health or even your life. That's why throwing 25 million people off health insurance is not a problem. If that's what it takes to increase profitability, boardroom paychecks and bonuses, that's what they will lobby government to do,

The insurance companies lobby government in an effort to get legislation passed that will cause them to get an ever larger share of the GDP. As long as insurance companies rule healthcare in our nation, there are no incentives to cut costs. If 100% of GDP could be scooped up, that's what would happen with our system of healthcare. So we have people raising the price of a pill to $1000 each. We also get insurance company CEO's who bring in $66 million a year lavish bonuses, and denied coverage for the ones who most need it.

What we really need is for our elected officials to acknowledge the fact that mixing insurance and healthcare is a bad idea. As long as we have the political parties fighting for the insurance companies, it will be, and always is, the general population who will suffer with denied coverage, and pay the CEO bonuses with money that should have went to the care of some of our people.

Just like the police force and military, human healthcare is not amenable to private enterprise and a profit motive. As long as our elected officials continue to attempt to make a compromise with insurance companies and full coverage for all of our people, full coverage will not be realized. Full coverage will always be sacrificed in the name of insurance company profits.

This is why I believe we need a Medicare for all single payer system of healthcare. Insurance companies can go insure something else, like cars and buildings.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Not Money Keeping USA From Mars, It's Lack of Vision & Will

"The cost of a manned mission to Mars has varied greatly in recent years. In 2012, the head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Brent Sherwood, said it could cost approximately $100 billion over 30 or 40 years. Director of the Mars Institute Pascal Lee recently said it could cost up to $1 trillion over 25 years."



This is an example of how our leadership have let down the American people. Allow me to give my take on the matter at hand.

It seems that our lawmakers didn't mind putting out $16 trillion in 2008 to keep Wall Street speculators and crooked banks from going under. How many actual jobs that translated into is anybody's guess. Here says to put humans on Mars were looking at $100 billion to $1 trillion over the next 25-40 years.

People may wonder why I put those two together. The reason is this, during the height of the Apollo program, it employed 400,000 Americans. When we talk $100 billion or $1 trillion to get to Mars, it is not as if all that money gets transformed directly into space hardware. First it gets transformed into jobs, lots of them. Get it? Wall Street and Bank bailouts = "No Jobs", while space exploration and Mars colonization = "Jobs".

Remember, if you're old enough to, what happened during the 1960's. When the 60's started out our nation was behind in the "space race". Then when the 60s ended our nation was far away in the lead. The whole Apollo program cost about $110 billion. Could you imagine how far we would have been if instead of bailing out the banks and Wall Street, if instead our nation had invested all that $16 trillion bailout money into our nation's future by going balls to the wall Mars colonization, asteroid harvesting and moon mining? It has been almost 10 years past the time of the bail outs. If we had chosen a different path, we would have created millions of jobs, advanced our technology by leaps and bounds, opened up new territory and resources for our people, and maybe taken some of the environmental damage burden off our ecosystem. The banks would have been more stable because of all the people working on outer space projects, and the support jobs created because of it. Our civilization would have been far better off than we are now.

Instead of two ineffectual political parties battling it out over how to pay for health care, we would be telling the people it is no problem to pay. We'll just pay with asteroid platinum. Instead of worrying about having enough jobs for our people, we would be going to other countries and asking if they have qualified people to fill all the jobs we don't have enough people to fill.

Our problems are not going to be solved by looking inward. Our problems are not going to be solved permanently working within the closed system we are now in. The only way we are going to get out of the fix our species finds itself in it to look outward. $16 trillion would be a good start. Mars colonization, or at very least, moon mining would be starting project. We have to do it with the same urgency and devotion that existed during the Apollo era. Except this time we don't stop. There is no stopping once we start.

Monday, July 10, 2017

A True Progressive Political Agenda

I am of the opinion that the platforms by all the political are not progressive or revolutionary enough. With them, we are in danger of falling further into barbarism and decay. The only one that comes close to adequate is the Bernie Sanders platform, but even that falls short. It lacks long term vision. It does not go far enough to fix systemic problems with our civilizations functioning.

Instead of being a finger pointer and complainer only, I decided to take it upon myself to write a platform which would fix our problems for the long term. I adapted the Bernie Sanders platform because it already had a lot of excellent points. I didn't want to reinvent the wheel. I wanted to modify the wheel into something that would carry us through to the next century. So here it is. It is 94 pages long, so it may take a few minutes to read. Sorry for it being long, but this is the unabridged version. This covers everything from jobs, the environment, healthcare, natural resources and even the long term goal of causing the Human race to become a multi-planet species. It is the DSPOTUS Platform. Comments and ideas wanted and encouraged.

_______________Platform______________________

 DSPOTUS Platform 2016

Not official Draft in Work!

INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY

Our Nation the richest country in the history of the world. The Industrial and electronic era have produced wealth beyond our founders dreams. Wealth that all of our people should benefit from. Unfortunately for many, much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals.

The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time. Our nation is experiencing a second Gilded Age. We must find solutions to income inequality, and make mechanisms which will prevent a recurrence of this injustice. Our nation went through a period of great wealth and income inequality when our nation first became an industrial powerhouse. During that time they were called “Robber Barons”. Today they are called “The 1%”. We must correct this inequality for all time. We must not allow our people to suffer a third time. Indeed, never again shall we allow our people to live in want, in the midst of plenty.

America now has more wealth and income inequality than any major developed country on earth, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s.
 
The reality is that since the mid-1980s there has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the wealthiest people in this country. That is unacceptable and the people of the United States will not tolerate that situation, nor will they suffer it to continue.

There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
In these times an economy of exclusion and inequality has been created.

“Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” – Pope Francis

There is something profoundly wrong when 58 percent of all new income since the Wall Street crash has gone to the top one percent.
Despite huge advancements in technology and productivity, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages. The real median income of male workers is $783 less than it was 42 years ago; while the real median income of female workers is over $1,300 less than it was in 2007. That is unacceptable and that has got to change.

We have a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires at the same time as millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages and we have the highest childhood poverty rate of nearly any developed country on earth. This is intolerable.

People should not have to go hungry while surrounded by plenty. People should not be freezing to death, while houses set empty for years. People should not have to suffer criminals who bamboozle them out of their life’s savings.

The reality is that for the past 40 years, Wall Street and the billionaire class has rigged the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people of this country. A new Gilded Era has been created. We must correct that.

We will not allow people to get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. We will not allow people to continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. We will not allow people to hide their profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. We will cause the rampant, unfettered greed to end. Our nation’s people will not allow, and neither will we tolerate people taking advantage of all the benefits of America, then refusing and scheming to shirk your responsibilities as Americans.

THE DSPOTUS WILL REDUCE INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY BY:

Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. We must top corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. We will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million. We will also enact a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings.
Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $20 an hour by 2020. No one who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.

Create 34 million jobs by investing $16 trillion over 10 years towards rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs. By reopening shutdown manufacturing plants, retooling existing factories for civilization expansion purposes. A program would be created to make a national priority effort to place solar energy collection grids in orbit around the Earth to beam energy to our people. A powerful effort would be made to colonize the moon and Mars. We will continue the push to harvest asteroids for their precious metals and other resources, and accelerate that effort and elevating it to a national priority project.
Reversing trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs. If corporate America wants us to buy their products they need to manufacture those products in this country, not in China or other low-wage countries.

Creating 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program targeted at our national priority off-world expansion program. Today, the youth unemployment rate is off the charts. We have got to end this tragedy by making sure teenagers and young adults have the jobs they need to move up the economic ladder. We need to open up new territories and land for our youth to colonize and to own. These jobs will be in large part off-world.

Fighting for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. It is not acceptable for any person with the same skill level to earn less than another person for the same task.

Making tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout America. Everyone in this country who studies hard should be able to go to college regardless of income.

Expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000. Make the minimum Social Security Stipend to be at least equal to the wages of a minimum wage job at 40 hours. We have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect. If a 40 hour wage earner should have a proper minimum wage to avoid poverty, so to should our elderly and disabled.

Guaranteeing healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system. It’s time for the U.S. to join every major industrialized country on earth and provide universal healthcare to all.

Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days. Real family values are about making sure that parents have the time they need to bond with their babies and take care of their children and relatives when they get ill.

Enacting a universal childcare and prekindergarten-kindergarten program. This would allow single parents to have proper care for their children while they went about making a living. Every psychologist understands that the most formative years for a human being is from the ages 0-3. Preparing very young children for the next step of formal schooling is eased greatly, and the child benefits immensely from kindergarten programs. We have got to make sure every family in America has the opportunity to send their kids to a high quality childcare and pre-K and kindergarten program.

Making it easier for workers to join unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act. One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined.
Dissolve financial institutions that are too big to fail, and fully turn their operation over to a new Federal Bank of the United States. Open branches of these people’s banks in every post office. Force payday lenders to charge no more than 10% interest. Make safeguards and protections against predatory lending by setting minimum standards of performance that favor the borrower. Seven years ago, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because they were too big to fail. Yet, 3 out of the 4 largest financial institutions are 80 percent bigger today than before we bailed them out. Usery must be reigned in and properly regulated.

MAKE COLLEGE TUITION FREE AND DEBT FREE
EDUCATION

IT'S TIME TO MAKE COLLEGE TUITION FREE AND DEBT FREE
EDUCATION

It’s Time to Educate All of Our People

It is not a thing of reason to educate only a portion of our people. It is not a thing of reason to monetize the inventory of Human knowledge and experience. The sum total of Human knowledge and experience is the property and heritage of all Humanity, and must be shared freely.

Education and knowledge are the bedrock foundations of our civilization. To deny that to even a single person is to undermine the stability of our nation, and the world.

The Democratic Socialist Party of the United States will do that which is necessary to insure that all persons who desire knowledge has free and unfettered access to educational opportunities. To make sure that every American who studies hard in school can go to college regardless of any factor other than desire, and without tuition or unreasonable fees.

HERE ARE THE STEPS THAT WILL MAKE COLLEGE FREE:

MAKE TUITION FREE AT PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

This is not a radical idea. Germany eliminated tuition because they believed that charging students $1,300 per year was discouraging Germans from going to college. Finland, Norway, Sweden and many other countries around the world also offer free college to all of their citizens. If other countries can take this action, so can the United States of America.

CANCEL ALL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STUDENT LOANS.

The University of California system offered free tuition at its schools until the 1980s. In 1965, average tuition at a four-year public university was just $243 and many of the best colleges – including the City University of New York – did not charge any tuition at all. The DSPOTUS plan would make tuition free at all public colleges and universities throughout the country.

CANCEL STUDENT LOAN & INTEREST.

Over the next decade, it has been estimated that the federal government will make a profit of over $110 billion on student loan programs. This is morally wrong and it is bad economics. The DSPOTUS will prevent the federal government from profiteering on the backs of college students and will endeavour to end tuition and student loans for public educational institutions.

ALLOW AMERICANS TO BE FORGIVEN ALL LOANS & INTEREST ON STUDENT DEBT

Under the DSPOTUS plan, all existing student loans and interest for public educational institutions will be canceled..

MAKE COLLEGE DEBT FREE.

It makes no sense that you can get an auto loan today with an interest rate of 2.5%, but millions of college graduates are forced to pay to be educated and at interest rates of 5-7% or more for decades. Under the DSPOTUS plan, there would be no student loans or interest because all Americans will have access to educational opportunities free of charge.

The DSPOTUS plan would require public colleges and universities to meet 100% of the financial needs of all students. Students would be able to use federal, state and college resources to cover room and board, books and living expenses.

FULLY PAID FOR BY NATIONALIZATION OF ALL NATURAL RESOURCES BOTH MINERAL AND ENERGY & IMPOSE AN EDUCATION SURCHARGE FEE ON STOCK TRADES IN A NEW FEDERAL STOCKMARKET

The cost of this plan is fully paid for by nationalizing all natural resources, and collecting proper payment from private industry for their purchase from the public stockpile. Furthermore, the Stock Market will be brought under Federal Control and Stewardship in order to purge the rampant criminality in a private Stock Market, and an Education Surcharge will be imposed on all trades of stock, bonds or other financial instruments, with no exceptions.

More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and today some 40 countries throughout the world have imposed a similar tax including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and China. If the taxpayers of this country could bailout Wall Street in 2008, we can make public colleges and universities tuition free and debt free throughout the country. We can do it by the People taking rightful control of their property which is the Natural Resources provided by nature, and the market in which shares of stock and financial instruments are traded.
GETTING BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS AND RESTORING DEMOCRACY

Our political campaign finance system is corrupt and increasingly controlled by billionaires and special interests. I fear very much that, in fact, government of the people, by the people, and for the people is beginning to perish in the United States of America. We will not allow that to happen.

As a result of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially defined a corporation as a “person”. A person with all the rights and privileges of a real person. That is insanity.

The Citizens United decision hinges on the insane notion that money is speech, corporations are people, and giving huge piles of undisclosed cash to politicians in exchange for access and influence does not constitute corruption.

During every campaign cycle, billions of dollars from the wealthiest people in this country are being poured into the political process.  Super PACs – a direct outgrowth of the Citizens United decision – are enabling the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns.

The situation has become so absurd that super PACs, which theoretically operate independently of the actual candidates, have more money and more influence over campaigns than the candidates themselves.

We know, for example, that the Koch brothers, the second wealthiest family in America, have made public that they and their network intended to spend at least $750 million on politics during the 2016 election. This is more money than either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party spent.

Let’s be honest and acknowledge what we are talking about. We are talking about a rapid movement in this country toward a political system in which a handful of very wealthy people and special interests controls the political system. That was not Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

As former President Jimmy Carter recently said, unlimited money in politics, “violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now, it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. Senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over.”

The need for real campaign finance reform is not a progressive issue. It is not a conservative issue. It is an American issue. It is an issue that should concern all Americans, regardless of their political point of view, who wish to preserve the essence of the longest standing democracy in the world, a government that represents all of the people and not a handful of powerful and wealthy special interests.

Real campaign finance reform must happen as soon as possible. That is why we must overturn, through a constitutional amendment, the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision as well as the Buckley v. Valeo decision and that is why we need to pass legislation to require wealthy individuals and corporations who make any campaign contributions to disclose where their money is going. We must cause all political action committees, political parties and other organizations to disclose the source of every dollar received.  More importantly, it is why we need to move toward the public funding of elections.

Our vision for American democracy should be a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process, can run for office without begging for contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.

Our vision for the future of this country should be one in which candidates are not telling billionaires at special forums what they can do for them.

Our vision for democracy should be one in which candidates are speaking to the vast majority of our people – working people, the middle class, low-income people, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor – and discussing with them their ideas, and listening to the people and their ideas and concerns as to how we can improve lives for all of the people in this country.
A DSPOTUS PRESIDENT WILL:

Only appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a priority to overturn Citizens United and who understand that corruption in politics means more than just quid pro quo.

Fight to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in elections.

Fight for a publicly financed, transparent system of campaign financing that amplifies small donations, along the lines of the Fair Elections Now Act and an effective public financing system for president.

Insist on complete transparency regarding the funding of campaigns, including through disclosure of contributions to outside spending groups, via legislation, action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Election Commission, and Federal Communication Commission, and an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending.
Fight to eliminate super PACs and other outside spending abuses.
Work to aggressively enforce campaign finance rules.

Cause the Speaker of the House of Representatives to be a non partisan seat. The partisanship of the Speaker of the House and Citizens United work in lock step to shore up the other. It will do little good to get rid of Citizens United as long as there is a partisan Speaker of the House.

Cause all political party rules to be the same for all political party operations, and uniform across state lines. We must have uniformity in rules for the political parties, and all rules should be reviewed by the Federal Election Commission before they are implemented.

Getting big money out of politics is vital, but much more needs to be done to restore our democracy.  Notably, we must ensure that all Americans are guaranteed an effective right to vote.  Campaign finance reform must be accompanied by efforts to strengthen voting rights – restoring the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, expanding early voting and vote-by-mail, implementing automatic voter registration, ending gerrymandering and making Election Day a national holiday, among others. When nearly two-thirds of the electorate did not vote in 2014 midterm elections, it becomes clear that we need radical change to bring more people into the political system. We can not do that unless we rebuild the broken trust the people have in those systems. Our democracy cannot be truly representative unless elected officials hear from all of their constituents, not just the wealthy and the powerful.

Returning to a government of, by, and for the people – not the billionaires and giant corporations – will not be easy. We need not some, but all of the measures highlighted here. The DSPOTUS will require our president to work to obtain agreement of Congress or, in the case of a constitutional amendment, two-thirds of the Congress and three-quarters of the states for these purposes.

CREATING DECENT PAYING JOBS

Our nation’s infrastructure is collapsing, and the American people know it.  Every day, they drive on roads with unforgiving potholes and over bridges that are in disrepair.  They wait in traffic jams and ride in railroads and subways that are overcrowded.  They see airports bursting at the seams.

For too many years, we have dramatically underfunded the physical infrastructure that our economy depends on.  That is why I have proposed the Rebuild America Act, to invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize our infrastructure.  It would be paid for by closing loopholes that allow profitable corporations to avoid paying taxes by, among other things, shifting their profits to the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens.
Importantly, the Rebuild America Act will support more than thirteen million good-paying jobs – jobs that our economy desperately needs.                                                                                       — Senator Bernie Sanders

PUTTING MILLIONS of AMERICANS to WORK
A PLAN TO REBUILD AMERICA for the 21st CENTURY

For most of our history, the U.S. proudly led the world in building infrastructure that grew our economy, gave our businesses a competitive advantage, and provided our workers a decent standard of living. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

Today, the U.S. spends less than 2 percent of GDP on infrastructure, less than at any point in the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Europe spends close to twice our rate, and China spends close to four times our rate.  It is no wonder the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report now ranks our overall infrastructure at 12th in the world – down from 7th place just a decade ago.

The results are all around us:

One of every 9 bridges in our country is structurally deficient, and nearly a quarter are functionally obsolete. Almost one-third of our roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and more than 42 percent of all urban highways are congested.  Transit systems across the country struggling to address deferred maintenance and 45% of American households lack any meaningful access to transit at all.

The DSPOTUS supports Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Rebuild America Act that would more than double the current level of funding for the highway and transit accounts of the Highway Trust Fund, and would create a National Infrastructure Bank to leverage private capital to finance more than $125 billion in new projects.

Much of our nation’s rail network is obsolete, even though our energy-efficient railroads move more freight than ever and Amtrak’s ridership has never been higher. While we debate the merits of high-speed rail, countries across Europe and Asia have gone ahead and built vast high-speed rail networks with trains that run at 125-200 miles per hour.  Meanwhile, the Acela – Amtrak’s fastest train – travels at an average speed of just 65 miles per hour.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment to upgrade our passenger and freight rail lines, to move people and goods more quickly and efficiently. To build transcontinental high-speed rail lines, and to power the entire system with solar and wind power collected all along the length of the line. We will endeavour to convince our neighbours Mexico and Canada to also build high-speed rail all across their nations too, and to make them compatible with our own. We will work to cause the connection of all high-speed rail systems worldwide to be connected. Even building bridges for these systems across the Bering Strait, and Straits of Gibraltar. It’s time for America to catch up with the rest of the world, and for the world to be connected.

America’s airports are bursting at the seams as the numbers of passengers and cargo have grown to all-time highs.   Moreover – and rather incredibly – our airports still rely on antiquated 1960s radar technology, because we have chronically underfunded a new satellite-based air traffic control system.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment to improve airports across the country, and $17.5 billion to bring our air traffic control system into the 21st century by accelerating deployment of NextGen technology to make our skies safer and our airports more efficient.

Bottlenecks at our marine seaports – which handle 95% of all overseas imports and exports –prevent goods from getting to their destinations on time. The same is true for our inland waterways – which carry the equivalent of 50 million truck trips of goods each year.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment to clear the backlog of projects to improve inland waterways, coastal harbors and shipping channels.  Our businesses simply can’t compete in the global economy if they can’t move their goods and supplies to, from and within our country more efficiently. Furthermore, we will do this in an environmentally friendly way that not only preserves our biosphere, but also repairs and enhances it.

Right now, more than 4,000 of the nation’s 84,000 dams are considered deficient, and one of every eleven levees have been rated as “likely to fail” during a major flood.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment to repair and improve the high-hazard dams that provide flood control, drinking water, irrigation, hydropower, and recreation across the country; and the flood levees that protect our cities and our farms.

The DSPOTUS will also support a program to eliminate many dams that are used for generating electricity, but block vital salmon runs, and other waterways that wildlife depend on, and to repair damages caused by these dams.

Much of our drinking water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life – we lose more than 2 trillion gallons of treated drinking water each year through leaking pipes, faulty meters and nearly a quarter-million water main breaks. Our wastewater treatment plants aren’t in much better shape: almost ten billion gallons of raw sewage are dumped into our nation’s waterways each year when plants fail or pipes burst.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment so states can improve the drinking water systems that provide Americans with clean, safe water; and $6 billion a year to improve the wastewater plants and stormwater infrastructure that protect water quality in our nation’s rivers and lakes. We will construct holding facilities and catchments for rains that would otherwise be damaging floods, and we will construct pipelines across the nation that will bring these waters to places it is needed from places which have an excess.

America’s aging electrical grid – which consists of a patchwork of power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities, some of which date back to the early 1900s – simply isn’t up to 21st century challenges, including resiliency to cyber-attacks. It is no wonder the World Economic Forum ranks our grid at just 24th in the world in terms of reliability, just behind Barbados.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment for power transmission and distribution modernization projects to improve the reliability and resiliency of our ever more complex electric power grid.  This investment will also position our grid to accept new sources of locally generated renewable energy, and it will address critical vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks. We will work for the abandonment of all fossil fuels and nuclear power generation facilities, and switch to a total environmentally friendly energy system. This will be an urgent action necessitated by the ever growing threat from greenhouse gases emissions which causes warming of our global atmosphere.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks the U.S. 16th in the world in terms of broadband access. We are only marginally better in terms of average broadband speed– 12th in the world.  Today, businesses, schools and families in Bucharest, Romania have access to much faster internet than most of the United States.  That is unacceptable and has got to change.

The DSPOTUS will support an investment to expand high-speed broadband networks in underserved and unserved areas, and to boost speeds and capacity all across the country. Internet access is no longer a luxury: it is essential for 21st century commerce, education, telemedicine, and public safety.

While we remake the Earthly infrastructure and bring it up to 21 Century standards. We will also begin work to build the off-world infrastructure that will provide for a continuation to job growth and prosperity after the Earthly systems are caught up, and brought up to 21 Century standards.

The $16 trillion used in the 2008 financial crisis to give the banks too big to fail and Wall Street criminals another chance to gamble with your deposits is enough money to fund 91 Apollo programs from start to finish, and at the same time.

In WWII our nation retrofitted a lot of factories that produced refrigerators and autos into factories that produced warplanes and tanks. Factories that were producing sewing machines started producing guns. They didn't take long to get the retrofitting done either. The big money guy's empire was threatened by both the Nazi threat and the Japanese Empire. If they didn't do something, they would lose it all.

We've got something similar in nature going on right now. Our civilization has problems that are becoming a threat to the Human species survival. Human activity has had a serious negative impact on our environment. Over population has stretched the capacity of the planet to maintain the numbers. Poverty and hunger has reached epic proportions. Greed and inequality has had a free hand with civilization and humanity.

So just like the threat the great industrialists faced with the Axis powers in WWII, another threat has arisen that is every bit as deadly as the other defeated one, if not more so.

That new threat is massive human migrations caused by environmental disasters, wars, famine and other things. Wars caused by the ever increasing use of an ever increasing population, of limited energy and food resources on a finite planet. Cities in ruin from war and insurrection. Human death on a massive scale as the competition becomes ever more desperate.

Just like in WWII, we need to take all of our abandoned factories and repurpose them, and fast. Repurpose them and retrofit them to make and to build the 21st Century off-world infrastructure. Take all the closed schools and open them back up again. Teach our people the skills they will need to make this conversion of our society a reality. A conversion that would cause Humans to become a multi-planet species. Really there is no other option that will solve the eminent threats our advanced civilization faces. To solve these threats, we have no other choice but to use advanced methods.

Our nation bailed out banks that people said were too big to fail. Our people loaned trillions of dollars to Wall Street because of their criminal actions.

“Well, how do you feel now? It's been 8 years since the bubble burst and the big fix was applied. Are things better for you? Do you feel more secure? Do you think things are better for our nation and the world now than they were 8 years ago, when our people invested $16 trillion in the salvation of our economy? I sure as hell don't. I don't feel like things have gotten any better for the average Jane and John Doe in Anytown USA! I think they have got worse, and will get worse unless action is taken.”
~James Parks Jr~

If our nation can muster the will to give our $16 trillion to banks and Wall Street CEO's, and if those same banks and CEO's have the guts to gamble on a real big payday, we can do the things that will boost our civilization to the next level, and carry all of our people to prosperity beyond our wildest dreams. The things of which I speak is the colonization of Mars, and the moon. The industrialization of space by the building of orbital solar arrays around the Earth, the moon and Mars. The building of orbital industrial assets around Earth, Mars and the moon to harvest and process asteroidal metals, water and other materials into products used by the people on Earth and the new Mars and moon colonies. The construction of orbital human habitat suitable for apartments and recreation for the off-world workers, and tourists, and even people who wanted to live there just because.

Our nation will have to institute a massive drive to get people educated to the level they would become proficient at these new tasks and objectives. All across the board, and in every profession, skills would have to be honed within our people to a razor edge. In science, math and engineering and all other pertinent support fields, our people would have to excel. That means making the proper resources available for educating all of them.

We will have to use the unused factories and turn them over to the production of the equipment needed to get this new expansionist push going and to keep it going. Just like in WWII, when our people caused auto factories to start producing warplanes, now our abandoned factories would be turned over to producing spaceship parts, and the other things needed for an expanding civilization.

All the banks and CEO's who cooperated would be richly rewarded too. All the many millions of people newly educated, and employed by this new Off-World Expansion ( OWE ) will be needing checking and saving accounts. They will be buying cars, buying houses and many other products their properly paid OWE jobs allow them to enjoy.

For the money we spent on the Apollo program, and this excludes the equipment from the Mercury and Gemini program, we got all this.

15 Saturn V rockets,
16 Command/Service Modules,
12 Lunar Modules
Program Support Management Costs;
Construction Expenses for Facilities and their upgrading
Costs for Flight Operations.

If you take all that Apollo equipment and multiply it by 91 ($16 trillion worth of Apollos), what do you get? It seems to be a thing of reason to assume that for that kind of money, we could harvest trillion dollar platinum asteroids. In fact, I would wager that is enough money to get the OWE really going full steam. So what's holding us back?

The thing holding us back is a bunch of greedy, play it safe individuals. They like it that our economy is based on scarcity instead of the unlimited abundance our planetary neighborhood can provide. It benefits them (and few others) that platinum and other precious metals are very expensive and rare when they don't have to be because there is an unlimited supply just beyond our planet. It is easier to maintain archaic systems that are working now, but are getting ever more dangerous to use, than to take a chance and invest on something that is sustainable. All of this allows for the existence of class divisions based on wealth.

We have the technology to start all the off-world expansion in a big way. It is as if our technology has reached a plateau that allows it. As we go, our technology will further increase because of the everyday experiences of many millions of people who will work in and migrate to our new off-world territories. Our economy would expand, and so to would the equality that education, opportunity, hope and the lessening of competition for scarce resources helps to foster.

Back when our nation started the push to put Human footprints on the moon we didn't know how to do it. We didn't have the technology to do it. We did have the drive, the guts and the determination to beat a perceived foe, which was the USSR at the time. Now it is all the things we've mentioned here, and a lot of other things too. Things are quite different now.

We have all this high technology now. We can use it to enslave Humanity, or to set Humanity free. We can do this. We must make a massive effort to expand Humanity's presence beyond Earth, or we may as well accept our doom confined to the cradle a failed Civilization. One of the ones that didn't make it. We can remake our Earthly infrastructure, but unless we also make a push for the OWE, all of will eventually be for not. We OWE it to ourselves.

The American Society of Civil Engineers says we need to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 just to get our nation’s infrastructure to a state of good repair.That is $1.6 trillion short of current spending levels.
Moreover, there is an economic cost of not acting.  Several studies have concluded that our deteriorating infrastructure already costs our economy close to $200 billion per year.

Further, investing in infrastructure is not just about “bricks and mortar.”  It is about solving the problems facing Humanity. At its core, it is about jobs and the economy, the environment and the long term survival of the Human species.

While the economy has improved significantly since the worst days of the recession, our nation still faces a major jobs crisis.  We need to create millions of decent paying jobs, and we need to create them now.  And the 21st Century infrastructure spending, and the OWE are the best ways to do just that.

The Rebuild America Act would put more than thirteen million Americans to work in decent-paying jobs.  These are jobs in sectors of the economy that haven’t fully recovered from the recession, like construction, and they are jobs that cannot be shipped offshore or outsourced overseas. The OWE would add another 34 million jobs to the ticket. Instead of losing badly needed jobs to Mexico and China because greedy capitalists scheme and connive, we will partner with them because of the many millions of excess jobs created by the OWE.

Each and every project will require equipment, supplies and services – from architects, engineers, and building materials and supply companies.  The millions of newly educated Americans will spend their hard-earned salaries in their communities, supporting restaurants and local stores.
It is no wonder groups from across the political spectrum – from organized labor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – agree that investing in infrastructure makes sound economic sense.  When spending goes up, both GDP and household incomes grow.  Even the International Monetary Fund – long a proponent of economic austerity – now says that well-designed infrastructure projects spur almost $3 in economic output for each dollar spent.

Every family, every community and every business relies on our nation’s physical infrastructure to survive and to thrive.  We expect that our roads, bridges and trains will get us to our destination without injury, and that our airports are modern and safe.  We expect that our tap water is clean, and that our dams and levees won’t burst when it rains. That the electricity we depend on is produced in a way that does not degrade our environment. That ours is a civilization not yet complete, and never will be. Nation building never ends.

“The good news is that it is not too late to get back on track.  Let’s make a significant investment in the physical infrastructure on which our economy and our society depend upon.  Let’s create the millions of jobs we desperately need by making our tax code fair and just.  Let’s Rebuild America.”
— Senator Bernie Sanders

A LIVING WAGE

We must ensure that no citizen lives in poverty. The current federal minimum wage is starvation pay and must become a living wage. We must increase it to $15 an hour over the next several years, and tie the minimum wage to inflation. Unless we tie the minimum wage to inflation, we will find our nation again fighting over this issue. The the Republican and the Democratic Party use this issue to divide people in order to meet political objectives. We must not hold the wellbeing of our people hostage to this despicable tactic.

We will establish equal pay for women, and any other people who are not getting a fair deal from their labor. It’s unconscionable that women earn less than men for performing the same work. All people must be paid equally for the same job performed at the same skill level.

Millions of American employees have been working 50 or 60 hours a week while receiving no overtime pay. We must ensure that all workers receive overtime pay protection.

Lastly, we must support and strengthen the labor movement to ensure that workers have a say in their own economic futures. The DSPOTUS will work to make it a guaranteed right for workers to organize and bargain collectively.

KEY ACTIONS

Propose a national $20 per hour minimum wage.
Tie the minimum wage to inflation.
Make it a guaranteed right for workers to organize and bargain collectively


COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE TO SAVE THE PLANET

“The scientists are virtually unanimous that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world. And, they tell us, if we do not act boldly the situation will only become much worse in years to come in terms of drought, floods, extreme storms and acidification of the oceans. Sadly, we now have a Republican Party that is more concerned about protecting the profits of Exxon, BP and Shell and the coal industry than protecting the planet. While fossil fuel companies are raking in record profits, climate change ravages our planet and our people – all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into ignoring science.”

~Sen. Bernie Sanders~

Reclaim Our Democracy From the Billionaire Fossil Fuel Lobby

The fossil fuel industry spends billions and billions of dollars lobbying and buying candidates to block virtually all progress on climate change. At the national level where companies have to report what they spend on lobbying and campaign contributions, the oil companies, coal companies and electric utilities spent a staggering $2.26 billion in federal lobbying since 2009 and another $330 million in federal campaign contributions. Even in Washington, that’s a lot of money.

But that’s just the part we know about. Thanks to the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the fossil fuel industry can pour unlimited amounts of money into the political system without having to disclose how much or where they spend it.

So what does the fossil fuel industry get in exchange for all that money? They get friends who help them keep $135 billion dollars in tax subsidies and corporate welfare over the next decade. They write legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline. They block efforts to move us beyond oil by blocking the development and deployment of clean, sustainable energy. This makes it harder to take action to fight climate change.

The DSPOTUS WILL:

~Work to ban fossil fuels lobbyists from working in the White House. Massive lobbying and unlimited super PAC donations by the fossil fuel industry gives these profitable companies disproportionate influence on our elected leaders. This practice is business as usual in Washington and it is not acceptable. Heavy-handed lobbying causes climate change skepticism. It has no place in the executive office.

~Work for the elimination of the huge subsidies that benefit fossil fuels companies. When fossil-fuel companies are racking up record profits, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies to pad their already enormous earnings. It is immoral and intolerable that some in Congress advocate harsh cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while those same people vote to rob the People’s legacy in wealth of natural resources, and to preserve billions in tax breaks for the most profitable corporations in America.

~Work to create a national environmental and climate justice plan that recognizes the heightened public health risks faced by low-income and minority communities.

~Work to nationalize all natural resources in the United States, and to eliminate the private ownership of mineral rights. Allow the energy and mining companies to purchase resources from the People’s stockpile, and cause the People to dictate the where, the how, the when and the end use of the People’s resources. This effort also making the People the primary benefactor of the People’s natural resources, as should rightfully be.

Low-income and minority neighborhoods will continue to be the hardest hit if we don’t act to stop climate change now. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast, flooding 80 percent of the city of New Orleans. Some areas of the city were submerged in as much as 10 feet of water, and 28 percent of residents had no way to leave the city. Almost 100,000 African American residents who left New Orleans after Hurricane

Katrina never returned. The reality of the impacts of the storm on the African American community in New Orleans exposed the broader trend that low-income and minority communities face the brunt of climate change impacts first and worst.

Bring climate deniers to justice so we can aggressively tackle climate change. It is an embarrassment that Republican politicians, with few exceptions, refuse to even recognize the reality of climate change, let alone are prepared to do anything about it. The reality is that the fossil fuel industry is to blame for much of the climate change skepticism in America. Bernie recently called for the Department of Justice to investigate Exxon Mobil, which may have not only known about the dangers of climate change, but has spent millions of dollars to spread doubt about the causes and impacts of burning fossil fuels.

Fight to overturn Citizens United. In a 5-4 decision in 2010 in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for corporations and the super wealthy to spend unlimited and undisclosed money to buy our elected officials. The Supreme Court essentially declared that corporations, including fossil fuel corporations, have the same rights as natural-born human beings. This decision has enabled billionaires and special interests to increasingly control the political campaign finance system, and amounts to legalized bribery.

DSPOTUS INTENDS TO:

DSPOTUS intends to work for a constitutional amendment that prohibits for-profit corporations from making contributions or expenditures into political campaigns. In other words, an amendment that reaffirms what’s already in the Constitution: the right to vote belongs to people, and not corporate entities whose money is drowning out the rest of us.

DSPOTUS intends to back legislation to publicly finance elections. It is the People’s desire to move toward public funding of elections to promote a more even playing field where anyone can run for office without having to beg for money from the wealthy and the powerful.

Public funding of elections increases voter participation, helps lower the influence of outside money and lowers the amount of time politicians spend fundraising, allowing them to implement solutions, as they were elected to do. The People envision a future of inclusivity that restores our American democracy by ensuring each citizen equal power in determining the future leaders of our nation.

A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy

BACKGROUND

In 2008, Sen. Bernie Sanders traveled to the tomato fields of southern Florida and met with migrant workers who were paid starvation wages for backbreaking work and were being ruthlessly exploited. After the visit, he invited leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to Washington to testify during a Senate committee hearing regarding abusive labor practices. As a result of the tremendous grassroots effort of this coalition, working conditions in Immokalee improved and workers received a wage increase.

But how many more Immokalee are out there?

Many in the business community argue for a massive expansion of temporary guest worker programs. That is not the answer. As the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented, employers routinely cheat guest workers out of wages, hold employees captive by seizing documents, coerce workers to live in inhumane conditions, and deny medical treatment for on-the-job injuries.

It is time for this injustice to end once and for all.

We cannot and should not sweep up millions of men, women, and children – many of whom lived here for many years, contribute to our society, and are integrated into the fabric of American life – and throw them out of the country unjustly. It is categorically unacceptable that so many voices insisted that the large numbers of desperate, vulnerable, and unaccompanied children primarily from Central America who crossed our borders last year should be turned away and sent back to the countries they fled.

Sadly, many of these same voices now advocate for the United States to turn our backs on desperate refugees fleeing violence and terrorism in Syria. Now is not the time for us to succumb to racism and bigotry. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by the anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria that Republican presidential candidates are ginning up.

America has always been a haven for the oppressed. We cannot and must not shirk the historic role of the United States as a protector of vulnerable people fleeing persecution.

Establishing an immigration policy that stops the criminalization of communities of color and keeps families together will be a top priority of the DSPOTUS and its agents. Our immigration policy will put the sanctity of families at the forefront and will be grounded in civil, human, and labor rights. With bold action that moves our nation towards common sense immigration policies, we can reverse the decline of our middle class, allow the United States to compete economically in the 21st Century and build upon the best parts of our tradition of embracing diversity and harnessing it for the common good.

THE PLAN

The DSPOTUS will work to gain a comprehensive immigration reform bill that will legalize the status of millions of aspiring Americans. That legislation we will work to enact will contain no compromises that should be rejected. The DSPOTUS will work to find a legislative solution to modernize our immigration system. That endeavour will be a top priority.

Unfortunately, our nation’s foreign policy towards Latin America has made difficult economic and political problems even worse. Supporters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claimed that unfettered free trade would increase the standard of living in Mexico and significantly reduce the flow of undocumented immigrants into this country. As history has demonstrated, the opposite is true. Since the implementation of NAFTA, the number of Mexicans living below the poverty line has increased by over 14 million. Not surprisingly we saw 185 percent increase in the number of undocumented immigrants from Mexico between 1992 and 2011.

A political revolution that mobilizes millions of Americans inclusive of Latinos and immigrants will ensure that Congress acts on what the majority of Americans demand – comprehensive and humane immigration reform policies.

Through legislation and executive action, the DSPOTUS will implement a humane and secure immigration policy that will:

Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and detention centers;
Pave the way for a swift and fair legislative roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants;

Ensure our border remains secure while respecting local communities;
Regulate the future flow of immigrants by modernizing the visa system and rewriting bad trade agreements;

Enhance access to justice and reverse the criminalization of immigrants;
Establish parameters for independent oversight of key U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies.

1. DEPORTATION AND DETENTION

The growth of the immigrant detention/deportation machine and the expansion of border militarization has perpetuated unjust policies and resulted in the separation of hundreds of thousands of immigrant families.

IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

Expand DACA and DAPA – The DSPOTUS will work to provide broad administrative relief to the parents of DREAMers, the parents of citizens, the parents of legal permanent residents, and other immigrants who should have been legal protections.

The DSPOTUS and its agents will work to Protect Immigrant Workers Exercising their Rights. Legislatively, our people’s Administration would establish a whistleblower visa for workers reporting labor violations. Administratively, the agents of the DSPOTUS will establish an affirmative process for these individuals to request deferred action. Many employers regularly abuse immigrant workers knowing employees will not hold them accountable for fear of deportation.

The DSPOTUS and its agents will work to Provide Permanent Immigration Relief to Families. Include undocumented relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and also provide deferred action for relatives who came to the U.S. on a visa but fell out of status. Today, this policy is only available to current and aspiring service members and their families. We should expand parole-in-place, which would eliminate the barriers that prevent certain relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from obtaining lawful permanent resident status (or a “green card”) under federal law.

Decouple Local Law Enforcement from Immigration Enforcement. In too many instances, deportation programs like the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), the 287(g) program, and the Criminal Alien Program have unjustly turned local law enforcement officials into immigration officers. Racial profiling and the criminalization of communities of color form the foundation of these deportation programs which will be eliminated under a DSPOTUS Administration.

Employ Humanitarian Parole to Reunite Families. The DSPOTUS will expand the use of humanitarian parole to ensure the return of unjustly deported immigrants. The United States must do the right thing and guarantee the swiftest possible reunification of these broken families.

The DSPOTUS and its agents will work to Promote Cooperation Between Immigrants and Local Law Enforcement. The DSPOTUS wholeheartedly rejects the “The Great Sanctuary City Slander” as the politics of fear, and supports enacting community trust policies. These policies will strengthen relationships between community members and local law enforcement, respect the constitutional rights of immigrants, and reflect the will of a locally elected electorate.

Expand Access to Counsel for Immigrants. Based on the constitutionally enshrined principle of habeas corpus, a DSPOTUS Administration will increase access to legal counsel for detained immigrants. This expansion is critical in light of instances where ICE coerced large numbers of immigrants to sign their own deportation order. The DSPOTUS will vigorously work to implement the protection against coerced or “unwitting deportation” established as part of Padilla v Kentucky (2010).

Close Loopholes that Allow Racial Profiling by Federal Authorities. The DSPOTUS will fight to end racial profiling. Immigrants should never face deportation as a result of racial or ethnic profiling. A DSPOTUS Administration will work to revise the U.S. Department of Justice’sGuidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. Under the current guidance, the Department of Justice carved out significant exceptions for federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, TSA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to profile racial, religious, and other minorities at or in the vicinity of the border. Furthermore, the Guidance does not apply to most state and local law enforcement agencies.

DETENTION

End For-Profit Detention. The DSPOTUS will fight to end federal, state and municipal contracts with for-profit private prisons. Termination of these contracts will eliminate the incentive for the private prison industry to support punitive, over-inclusive laws that lead to the detention of 34,000 immigrants on any given day. The DSPOTUS will also work with Congress to enact the Justice is Not for Sale Act, which would reinstate a federal parole program that will include immigrants.

End Family Detention. The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that detention centers do not hold families and adhere to the letter and spirit of the Flores Order. The detention of families, most of which come to our country seeking protection under our laws, is an affront to the values our nation was founded upon.

Propose Budgets with Smart, Targeted Enforcement. The DSPOTUS will demand Congress defund the detention bed quota. Detention should be based on actual need and not arbitrary numbers set by Congress. The DSPOTUS will work to defund the Department of Justice’s State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.

Make Detention Practices Accountable. In the narrow, rare circumstances where detention may continue, a DSPOTUS Administration will significantly improve conditions inside detention facilities, especially for vulnerable populations including pregnant women, LGBT individuals, and detainees with disabilities. Moreover, a DSPOTUS Administration will address the racial bias on display in the disproportionate detention of Mexican nationals. This deplorable reality bears witness to bias displayed at both the arrest stage and then again when making custody determinations.

Alternatives to Detention. A DSPOTUS Administration will promote alternatives to detention, and the use of substitutes to detention which would allow thousands of non-violent immigrant detainees to reunite with their families as they wait for their day in court.

Guarantee Due Process and Bond Hearings. The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that immigrants have their day in court, including bond hearings and access to due process protections.

2. ELEVEN MILLION NEW AMERICANS

The DSPOTUS will endeavour to make the path to citizenship for the undocumented population a building block of a new humane immigration system and not as a pretext to ramp up enforcement that separates families. Recognizing the difficult path to legislate a comprehensive solution to our nation’s outdated immigration system, the DSPOTUS will lead a political revolution that mobilizes millions of Americans, particularly Latinos and immigrants, to ensure that Congress acts on what the majority of Americans demand – a comprehensive and humane immigration reform policy.

Establish Broad Eligibility for Relief. The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that the roadmap to citizenship is inclusive, particularly for women and does not contain arbitrary cut off eligibility dates and application periods. Such dates risk excluding hundreds of thousands of people that have arrived in the United States “too late” but have become part of the American fabric. Moreover, in light of our nation’s deep-rooted belief in rehabilitation and acknowledgement of the criminalization of communities of color, the roadmap to citizenship must allow non-violent individuals with prior contacts with our criminal justice system to apply for relief. For example, non-violent immigration-related offenses should not automatically disqualify a worker or their family from obtaining immigration relief. Old convictions like those that led to the deportation of an Iowa City pastor, should not disqualify individuals from the roadmap to citizenship.

Establish a Reasonable and Fair Wait for Citizenship. Future legislation must contain a roadmap to citizenship that allows aspiring Americans to become lawful permanent residents and become citizens within five years. The registered provisional immigrant status in the 2013 Senate immigration bill was a compromise that delayed eligibility for citizenship and created additional, unnecessary bureaucracy.

Minimize Financial Penalties and Fees. As DACA has demonstrated, monetary costs often represents the greatest obstacle for eligible individuals to come forward and apply for immigration relief. Immigrants will already have to pay thousands of dollars in regular administrative fees to apply for permanent administrative relief. Future immigration reform should not add onerous fines on top of those administrative fees. Consequently, the DSPOTUS will work to ensure that the financial penalties in a roadmap to citizenship are fair.

End the Three-Year, Ten-Year, and Permanent Bars. A DSPOTUS Administration will work with Congress to end the lengthy, forced and prolonged exit from the country that many immigrants endure when trying to leave the country to adjust their status by rescinding the three-year, ten-year and permanent bars.

Provide Expansive Relief to DREAMers. Future legislation must immediately declare DREAMers eligible to serve in the uniformed services, receive financial aid, and become eligible for in-state tuition if they meet a state’s residency requirements. Additionally, future immigration reform should provide expeditious citizenship to DREAMers.

3. BORDER SECURITY AND MILITARIZATION

The DSPOTUS believes that we can ensure that our borders are modern and secure. Indeed, we must continually modernize our border security measures and maintain security, all while protecting the rights and needs of our border communities. Border communities have much to offer the nation economically and culturally, but these contributions have been stunted or overshadowed by a negligent buildup of border enforcement. Communities along our border, particularly along the southern border, have become militarized and are being patrolled by a highly weaponized Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP).

A 21st Century Border Must Use Resources Efficiently and Effectively. Appropriations must be re-directed away from boondoggle walls to high grade cameras, thermal imaging, movement sensors and other technologies. More resources must also be allocated to CBP training and oversight, and to rebuild crumbling infrastructure along the border region. The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that the CBP is a highly functioning law enforcement body.

Reject Piecemeal Border Enforcement. The DSPOTUS rejects the argument that the border must be further militarized before the implementation of a roadmap to citizenship. We must remove the insecurity that border communities face as we modernize and make our border security operations more efficient.

Reduce Border Deaths. The DSPOTUS will work to reduce the unacceptable and inhumane number of deaths on the border. One practice that has no place in a humane immigration system is the use of remote deportations. Dumping someone in an unfamiliar location can be lethal as the State Department has recognized that parts of Mexico are run by “organized criminal groups.”

End Operation Streamline and Barriers to Asylum. The DSPOTUS would end Operation Streamline and remove the barriers established in 1996 that prevent those removed under Expedited Removal from applying for asylum.

Implement the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard. It is imperative that a “best interests of child” standard is used in all decision-making and implement child welfare screenings that are conducted by CBP officers along with child welfare experts. In addition, the DSPOTUS will work to ensure that all children at our borders will be provided procedural protections by providing counsel, and legal orientation programs in the child’s native language.

Turn Back the Militarization of the Southern Border. The militarization of the border has reached new heights. The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that we have a modern, secure, efficient border, avoiding the militarization of our border communities.

Hold CBP Accountable. Professionalism, accountability, and transparency at the CBP must be a central agency mission. The DSPOTUS will require CBP agents to wear body cameras, make complaints public, expand training, and hold agents accountable for excessive force just like any other law enforcement agency. In addition, the DSPOTUS will advance legislation supported by a bi-partisan coalition of border communities and leaders aimed at improving training, increasing accountability, and ensuring the input and consultation of border community residents. The number of deaths of civilians, including numerous U.S. citizens, by CBP are unacceptable. The CBP internal affairs office must be fully funded and staffed.  Steps taken by the CBP surrounding excessive force on the southern border must be expanded and we must eliminate racial profiling, violence and prolonged detention.  

End the “Constitution Free” Zone. The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that border security resources are invested where needed. In order to set the tone for a more efficient and humane immigration policy, the DSPOTUS will work to update antiquated federal regulations that define the border region for certain purposes as extending 100 miles from the actual border and direct those resources where they are most needed.

4. FUTURE FLOW OF IMMIGRANTS

A humane immigration system must honestly look at creating viable, legal channels that match our labor market needs. We must seriously reassess our foreign and international trade policies in light of the effects they have on migration and U.S. workers. A failure to do so will contribute to future flows that even the best-designed system will have extreme difficulty in addressing.

Keep Families Together. A humane immigration system must, at its core, recognize that family is integral to a worker’s pursuit of happiness and economic productivity. Additionally, family members are often either workers themselves or, in the case of children, future workers. The preservation of family-based visas is at the center of a more humane, reformed immigration system which recognizes that workers with families nearby are healthier and that their families, particularly children, benefit immensely. Prioritizing the unity of families is a time-tested American value.

Protect Women from Discrimination. The DSPOTUS rejects the so-called “merit-based” “social engineering” immigration policies that discriminate against women. In addition to upholding the family-based visa system, the DSPOTUS will work to ensure that mothers, sisters and wives who come into the United States with their families have the same right to work as their male relatives while enhancing protections for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking.

Strengthen and Expand Our Support for Refugees. In light of the Syrian refugee crisis, a DSPOTUS Administration would continue to welcome refugees to the US and meet our international responsibilities.  When hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything and have nothing left but the shirts on their backs, we should not turn our backs on refugees escaping violence, whether it be Syrians in the Middle East or young children in Latin America.   We need to continue our efforts to provide refugees fleeing violence with the opportunity for a new life, and explore additional ways to address the humanitarian crisis.

End the Economic Exploitation of Immigrant Workers. The visa system must be fundamentally reformed to prevent employers from abusing and exploiting guest workers, especially in the context of H-2B, H1-B, and J-1 workers. Binding workers to a specific employer or not allowing their family members to work creates a situation rife for abuse and exacerbates an already unequal relationship between the employer and the employee. We must substantially increase prevailing wages that employers pay temporary guest workers. To build on Senator Sanders’ previous legislation, the DSPOTUS will work to ensure that if there is a true labor shortage, employers must offer higher, not lower wages.

Protect and Expand the Legal Rights of Immigrant Workers. Regardless of status, immigrant workers should not fear holding employers accountable for exploitation. The DSPOTUS will work with Congress to authorize and substantially increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation to provide legal representation to guest workers exploited by employers. Moreover, the DSPOTUS will work toward requiring employers to reimburse guest workers for housing, transportation expenses, and workers’ compensation.

Operate Smart and Fair Employment Verification. The regime of employer sanctions enacted through President Reagan’s immigration reform legislation has morphed from the terror of workplace raids to the “silent raids” of I-9 audits. In both scenarios, workers usually lose out in the end, particularly when employers turn over their employees to ICE during labor disputes. An electronic verification system like E-Verify should protect workers’ due process rights, and contain the strongest possible protections against abuse.

Reduce Health Care Costs. The DSPOTUS strongly believes that all immigrants, including undocumented workers and their families, must be able to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) marketplace exchanges. Aspiring Americans represent a large portion of the remaining uninsured and allowing these Americans to purchase health insurance with their own money is critical to reducing healthcare costs and moving forward with universal health care coverage. Moreover, the DSPOTUS will work to direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promulgate regulations that restore access to the ACA for all immigrants with deferred action, including DACA and DAPA recipients, by classifying them as “lawfully present.”

Defend the Diversity Visa from Attacks. Humane immigration reform must protect and expand the diversity visa. Too often, Congress seeks to end the Diversity Visa program on the grounds that immigration is a zero-sum game. The Diversity Visa program is an enormous and inexpensive source of goodwill, affords potential immigrants with no family ties an opportunity to join our great nation, and is particularly important to African immigrants.

Ensure Access to Asylum for Persecuted Immigrants. The DSPOTUS will work to direct his Attorney General to replicate former Attorney General Janet Reno’s efforts to help extend asylum to victims of domestic violence and by classifying unaccompanied minors coming from Latin American and victims of criminal gang activity as distinct groups of people fleeing persecution. This classification will reduce the barriers for these groups to successfully apply for and receive asylum. Additionally, the DSPOTUS will work to restore the credible fear of persecution standard to its pre-2014 level, allowing more people to present their claims to an immigration judge instead of being summarily deported. A DSPOTUS Administration will require DHS to screen arriving immigrants, especially juveniles and families, for humanitarian and immigration relief.

5. BALANCED TRADE AGREEMENTS

Inequality across the world is universally acknowledged as the driving force behind migration. This inequality does not develop organically and the United States must be introspective about its role. For example, the ill-conceived NAFTA, devastated local economies and pushed millions to migrate.

Establish Fair and Equitable Trade Policies. The DSPOTUS will work to rewrite our trade policies to end the race to the bottom and work to lift the living standard of Americans and workers throughout the world. Not only have our trade policies with Mexico, Central America, and China led to the loss of millions of decent-paying jobs and thousands of factories, but they have led to destitution for local communities around the world. Accordingly, our nation must level the playing field for workers everywhere. Those who wish to remain in their home country should be able to earn livable wages and not migrate for economic survival. Furthermore, the DSPOTUS will work tirelessly to build an international coalition to fight global poverty and address crises to humanely manage migration patterns. Multi-faceted policies that look beyond our borders are critical to addressing the root causes of migration and economic inequality.

6. IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION

Integration into the great American mosaic is extremely important. Yet our immigrant integration policies, often not a priority in our national discourse, gravitate towards forced assimilation and, even as our society became more inclusive, provided little support, guidance, or even a welcome path to becoming an American.

Fully Fund and Prioritize Immigrant Integration. The DSPOTUS recognizes that integration is a two-way process that benefits newcomers and Americans alike. Helping immigrants become part of our ever-changing national fabric is essential to a true national security policy, one where aspiring Americans deeply believe in the values of our nation.The DSPOTUS will call for greater investment in immigrant integration as the returns on modest investments are often substantial, both culturally and economically.

Expand Access to Naturalization. There are approximately nine million lawful permanent residents who are eligible to naturalize and become citizens but do not due to financial obstacles. As such, it is well past time to for Congress to appropriate resources to strengthen the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) budget and to reduce application fees. High fees for immigration benefits, especially naturalization, act as a deterrent for aspiring Americans to embrace U.S. citizenship and are not in keeping with the American immigrant tradition.

Connect Integration with Educational Programs. Immigrant integration occurs in our schools, our workplaces, and in the community at large. Senator Sanders’ policies to make public colleges and universities tuition free, raise the minimum wage, expand Social Security, and make it easier for workers to form unions will benefit all Americans, regardless of immigration status. The DSPOTUS supports these policies. In addition, the DSPOTUS will foster increased access to English as a Second Language instruction, and early learning programs for children.

Racial Justice

We must pursue policies to transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of its people of color. That starts with addressing the five central types of violence waged against black, brown and indigenous Americans: physical, political, legal, economic and environmental.

PHYSICAL VIOLENCE
PERPETRATED BY THE STATE

Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jessica Hernandez, Tamir Rice, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Samuel DuBose and Anastacio Hernandez-Rojas. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that this violence only affects those whose names have appeared on TV or in the newspaper. African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. African-American and Latinos comprise well over half of all prisoners, even though African-Americans and Latinos make up approximately one quarter of the total US population.

PERPETRATED BY EXTREMISTS

We are far from eradicating racism in this country. Today in America, if you are black, you can be killed for getting a pack of Skittles during a basketball game. Or murdered in your church while you are praying. This violence fills us with outrage, disgust and a deep, deep sadness. These hateful acts of violence amount to acts of terror. They are perpetrated by extremists who want to intimidate and terrorize black, brown and indigenous people in this country.

ADDRESSING PHYSICAL VIOLENCE

It is an outrage that in these early years of the 21st century we are seeing intolerable acts of violence being perpetrated by police and racist acts of terrorism by white supremacists.

A growing number of communities do not trust the police. Law enforcement officers have become disconnected from the communities they are sworn to protect. Violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of the police meant to protect and serve our communities, is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. We need a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and racism will not be accepted in any civilized country.

The DSPOTUS will work to demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies.

The DSPOTUS will work to invest in community policing. Only when we get officers into the communities, working within neighborhoods before trouble arises, do we develop the relationships necessary to make our communities safer together. Among other things, that means increasing civilian oversight of police departments.

The DSPOTUS will work to create a police culture that allows for good officers to report the actions of bad officers without fear of retaliation and allows for a department to follow through on such reports.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause our police forces to reflect the diversity of our communities, including in the training academies and leadership.

At the federal level, the DSPOTUS will work to establish a new model police training program that reorients the way we do law enforcement in this country. With input from a broad segment of the community including activists and leaders from civil rights organizations we will reinvent how we police America.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause federally funded and required body cameras for law enforcement officers to make it easier to hold them accountable.

The DSPOTUS will work to require police departments and states to collect data on all police shootings and deaths that take place while in police custody and make that data public.

The DSPOTUS will work to enact new rules on the allowable use of force. Police officers need to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people who have mental illnesses.

States and localities that make progress in this area should get more federal justice grant money. Those that do not should get their funding slashed, and the Department of Justice take control of the offending police department in order to bring it into compliance.

The DSPOTUS will work to make sure federal resources are there to crack down on the illegal activities of hate groups, and cause them to become disbanded.

POLITICAL VIOLENCE
DISENFRANCHISEMENT

In the shameful days of open segregation, literacy laws and poll taxes were used to suppress minority voting. Today, through other laws and actions — such as requiring voters to show photo ID, discriminatory drawing of Congressional districts, restricting same-day registration and early voting and aggressively purging voter rolls — states are taking steps which have a similar effect.

The patterns are unmistakable. 11 percent of eligible voters do not have a photo ID—and they are disproportionately black and Latino. In 2012, African-Americans waited twice as long to vote as whites. Some voters in minority precincts waited upwards of six or seven hours to cast a ballot. Meanwhile, thirteen percent of African-American men have lost the right to vote due to felony convictions.

Yet in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the seminal Voting Rights Act, even while saying “voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that.”

This should offend the conscience of every American.

The fight for minority voting rights is a fight for justice. It is inseparable from the struggle for democracy itself.

ADDRESSING POLITICAL VIOLENCE

The DSPOTUS will work to re-enfranchise the more than two million African-Americans who have had their right to vote taken away by a felony conviction, paid their debt to society, and deserve to have their rights restored.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause Congress to restore the “pre-clearance” formula under the Voting Rights Act, which extended protections to minority voters in states and counties where they were clearly needed.

The DSPOTUS will work to expand the Act’s scope so that every American, regardless of skin color or national origin, is able to vote freely.

The DSPOTUS will work to make Election Day a federal holiday to increase voters’ ability to participate.

The DSPOTUS will work to make early voting an option for voters who work or study and need the flexibility to vote on evenings or weekends.

The DSPOTUS will work to make no-fault absentee ballots an option for all Americans.

The DSPOTUS will work to automatically register every American to vote when they turn 18 or move to a new state. The burden of registering voters should be on the state, not the individual voter.

The DSPOTUS will work to put an end to discriminatory laws and the purging of minority-community names from voting rolls.

The DSPOTUS will work to make sure that there are sufficient polling places and poll workers to prevent long lines from forming at the polls anywhere.

LEGAL VIOLENCE

Millions of lives have been destroyed because people are in jail for nonviolent crimes. For decades, we have been engaged in a failed “War on Drugs” with racially-biased mandatory minimums that punish people of color unfairly.

It is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young Americans with a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy. This must change. No longer shall justice be meted out based on wealth. Equal justice for all means exactly that. The punishment must fit the crime, not the bank account. Furthermore the crime must be defined by the injuries caused to other citizens. The meare ingestion of a substance, no matter how loathful it is to an onlooker, is not cause for criminal prosecution. Our bodies and thoughts are the ultimate personal possession. We own them. The state may not violate that.

If current trends continue, one in four black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime. Blacks are imprisoned at six times the rate of whites and a report by the Department of Justice found that blacks were three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop, compared to white motorists. Together, African-Americans and Latinos comprised 57 percent of all prisoners in 2014, even though African-Americans and Latinos make up approximately one quarter of the US population. These outcomes are not reflective of increased crime by communities of color, but rather a disparity in enforcement and reporting mechanisms.

African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. This is an unspeakable tragedy.

It is morally repugnant that we have privatized prisons all over America. Corporations should not be allowed to make a profit by building more jails and keeping more Americans behind bars. We have got to end the private for-profit prison racket in America.

The measure of success for law enforcement should not be how many people get locked up. We need to invest in drug courts as well as medical and mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems, so that people struggling with addiction do not end up in prison, they end up in treatment.

For people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a path back from prison. The federal system of parole needs to be reinstated. We need real education and real skills training for the incarcerated.

The DSPOTUS will work to end the over-incarceration of nonviolent young Americans who do not pose a serious threat to our society. It is an international embarrassment that we have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth – more than even the Communist totalitarian state of China. That has got to end.

The DSPOTUS will work to address the lingering unjust stereotypes that lead to the labeling of black youths as “thugs” and “super predators.” We know the truth that, like every community in this country, the vast majority of people of color are trying to work hard, play by the rules and raise their children. It’s time to stop demonizing minority communities.

In many cities all over our country, the incentives for policing are upside down. Departments are bringing in substantial sums of revenue by seizing the personal property of people who are suspected of criminal involvement. So-called civil asset forfeiture laws allow police to take property from people even before they are charged with a crime, much less convicted of one. Even worse, the system works in a way that makes it very difficult and expensive for an innocent person to get his or her property back. We must end programs that actually reward officials for seizing assets without a criminal conviction or other lawful mandate. Departments and officers should not profit off of such seizures.

Local governments that rely on tickets and fines to pay bills can become dependent on implicit quotas for law enforcement. When policing is a source of revenue tied to the financial sustainability of agencies, officers are pressured to meet internal goals which can lead to unnecessary or unlawful traffic stops and citations which disproportionately affect people of color. Implicit quota systems promote racial stereotyping and breed distrust between officers and communities of color.

Furthermore, we must ensure police departments are not abusing avenues of due process to shield bad actors from accountability. Local governments and police management must show zero tolerance for abuses of police power at all levels. All employees of any kind deserve due process protections, but it must be clear that departments will vigorously investigate and, if necessary, prosecute every allegation of wrongdoing to the fullest extent.

ADDRESSING LEGAL VIOLENCE

The DSPOTUS will work to ban prisons for profit, which result in an over-incentive to arrest, jail and detain in order to keep prison beds full.

The DSPOTUS will work to turn back from the failed “War on Drugs” and eliminate mandatory minimums which result in sentencing disparities between black and white people.

The DSPOTUS will work to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs.

The DSPOTUS will work to allow people in states which legalize marijuana to be able to fully participate in the banking system and not be subject to federal prosecution for using pot.

The DSPOTUS will work to invest in drug courts and medical and mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems, so that they do not end up in prison, they end up in treatment.

The DSPOTUS will work to boost investments for programs that help people who have gone to jail rebuild their lives with education and job training.

The DSPOTUS will work to investigate local governments that are using implicit or explicit quotas for arrests or stops.

The DSPOTUS will work to stop local governments that are relying on fines, fees or asset forfeitures as a steady source of revenue from using such practises.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause all police departments to investigate all allegations of wrongdoing, especially those involving the use of force, and prosecute aggressively, if necessary. If departments are unwilling or unable to conduct such investigations, the Department of Justice must step in and handle it for them.

ECONOMIC VIOLENCE

Weeks before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to a union group in New York about what he called “the other America.”

“One America is flowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of equality,” King said. “That America is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies, culture and education for their minds, freedom and human dignity for their spirits …?But as we assemble here tonight, I’m sure that each of us is painfully aware of the fact that there is another America and that other America has a daily ugliness about it that transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair.”

The problem was structural, King said: “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.”

But what King saw in 1968 — and what we all should recognize today — is that it is necessary to try to address the rampant economic inequality while also taking on the issue of societal racism. We must simultaneously address the structural and institutional racism which exists in this country, while at the same time we vigorously attack the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which is making the very rich much richer while everyone else — especially those in our minority communities – are becoming poorer.

In addition to the physical violence faced by too many in our country we need to look at the lives of black children and address some difficult facts. Black children, who make up just 18 percent of preschoolers, account for 48 percent of all out-of-school suspensions before kindergarten. We are failing our black children before kindergarten. Black students are expelled at three times the rate of white students. Black girls are suspended at higher rates than all other girls and most boys. According to the Department of Education, African-American students are more likely to suffer harsh punishments — suspensions and arrests — at school. Black students attend schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers when compared with white students. Black students are more than three times as likely to attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers meet all state certification and licensure requirements.

Communities of color also face the violence of economic deprivation. Let’s be frank: neighborhoods like those in west Baltimore, where Freddie Gray resided, suffer the most. However, the problem of economic immobility isn’t just a problem for young men like Freddie Gray. Despite hard-work and the will to get ahead, millions of Americans spend their entire lives struggling to survive on the economic treadmill.

We live at a time when most older workers have no retirement savings, and millions of working adults have no idea how they will ever retire in dignity. An unforeseen car accident, a medical emergency, or the loss of a job could send their lives into an economic tailspin. And the problems are even more serious when we consider race.

Let us not forget: It was the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street that nearly drove the economy off of a cliff in 2008. While millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, life savings and ability to send their kids to college, African-Americans who were steered into expensive subprime mortgages were the hardest hit.

Most black and Latino households have less than $350 in savings. The black unemployment rate has remained roughly twice as high as the white rate over the last 40 years, regardless of education. Real African-American youth unemployment is over 50 percent. African-American women earn 64 cents for every dollar white men make. This is unacceptable. The American people in general want change — they want a better deal. A fairer deal. A new deal. They want an America with laws and policies that truly reward hard work with economic mobility. They want an America that affords all of its citizens with the economic security to take risks and the opportunity to realize their full potential.

ADDRESSING ECONOMIC VIOLENCE

The DSPOTUS will work to give our children, regardless of their race or income, a fair shot at attending college. That’s why all public universities should be made tuition free. We should pay for that with a tax on Wall Street speculators.

The DSPOTUS will work to invest $5.5 billion to create 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans who face high unemployment rates and job-training opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young adults. We should pay for that by ending the loophole allowing Wall Street hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than nurses or truck drivers.

The DSPOTUS will work to increase the minimum wage to a livable wage of $15 an hour by 2020 —which will increase the wages of about half of African-Americans and nearly 60 percent of Latinos.

The DSPOTUS will work to invest $1 trillion to put 13 million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling cities, roads, bridges, public transportation systems, airports, drinking water systems and other infrastructure needs. We should pay for that by closing offshore tax loopholes.

The DSPOTUS will work to pass federal legislation to ensure pay equity for women.

The DSPOTUS will work to prevent employers from discriminating against applicants based on criminal history by “banning the box.”

The DSPOTUS will work to promote policies to give the formerly incarcerated an opportunity for education, including expanding the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program and reentry programs.

The DSPOTUS will work to ensure access to quality affordable childcare for working families, especially for parents who work non-traditional hours.

The DSPOTUS will work to fundamentally re-write our trade policies and rebuild factories that were closed as a result of bad trade deals.

ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY POLLUTING INDUSTRIES

People of color disproportionately experience a daily assault on their health and environment. Communities of color are the hardest hit by air and water pollution from industrial factories, power plants, incinerators, chemical waste and lead contamination from old pipes and paint. At the same time, they lack access to parks, gardens and other recreational green space.

Like income inequality, environmental inequality is rapidly growing in the United States.
Black children are five times more likely than white children to have lead poisoning. Indigenous peoples are impacted disproportionately by destructive mining practices and the dumping of hazardous materials on their lands. As demonstrated by Hurricane Katrina, poor communities of color have a harder time escaping, surviving and recovering from climate-related disasters. Taken together, it is clear that people of color experience a disparate exposure to environmental hazards where they “work, live, and play.”

Nationwide, the health of communities is consistently ignored in favor of the profits of corporate polluters. The fact that people of color breathe 46 percent more nitrogen dioxide —which causes respiratory diseases and heart conditions — than whites helps explain why one in six African-American kids has asthma.

The environmental violence being inflicted on people of color who are denied the full rights of citizenship — especially migrant workers and new immigrants — is especially pronounced. Low-income Latino immigrants are more likely to live in areas with high levels of hazardous air pollution than anyone else. In fact, the odds of a Latino immigrant neighborhood being located in an area of high toxic pollution is one in three.
Latinos and African-Americans are more likely to work in hazardous jobs that place them at higher risk for serious occupational diseases, injuries and muscular-skeletal disabilities. The fatality rate among Latino workers is 23 percent higher than the fatal injury rate for all US workers. Often reluctant to complain about poor working conditions for fear of deportation or being fired, Mexican migrant workers are nearly twice as likely as the rest of the immigrant population to die at work. This is unacceptable and must be addressed.

Taken together, these injustices are largely the product of political marginalization and institutional racism. The less political power a community of color possesses, the more likely they are to experience insidious environmental and human health threats. The environmental violence being inflicted on these communities of color is taking a terrible toll, and must be made a national priority. Access to a clean and healthy environment is a fundamental right of citizenship. To deny such rights constitutes an environmental injustice that should never be tolerated.

ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLENCE

The DSPOTUS will work to protect low-income and minority communities, who are hit first and worst by the causes and impacts of climate change, while also protecting existing energy-sector workers as they transition into clean energy and other jobs.

The DSPOTUS will work to have equal enforcement of environmental, civil rights and public health laws.

The DSPOTUS will work to address the inadequate environmental cleanup efforts of Superfund hazardous waste sites in communities of color.

The DSPOTUS will work to stop the unequal exposure of people of color to harmful chemicals, pesticides and other toxins in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces and challenge faulty assumptions in calculating, assessing and managing risks, discriminatory zoning and land-use practices and exclusionary policies.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause Federal agencies to develop and implement clear, strategic plans to achieve climate and environmental justice and provide targeted action where the needs are greatest.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause the requirement for an environmental analysis for a permit for a polluting facility which must consider the disparate and cumulative environmental burden borne by a community.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause the States to evaluate and report progress made on addressing climate and environmental injustice.

The DSPOTUS will work to mitigate climate change and focus on building resilience in low-income and minority communities.
The DSPOTUS will work to promote cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy systems and safe product designs that end pollution and the use of toxic chemicals, while providing safe jobs and other economic benefits for people of color.

Fighting for Affordable Housing

While the housing market has improved since the worst days of the housing meltdown and recession, millions of Americans remain underwater with their mortgages and millions more can’t get a loan to buy a house. On the rental side, more than 7 million households lack access to adequate affordable housing, with many facing a daily choice between housing, food, and healthcare. Meanwhile, many working families, veterans, the mentally ill and the poor are living in their cars, in homeless shelters, or simply out on the street. That is unacceptable.

Working together, this is what the DSPOTUS needs to do to address the affordable housing crisis. Our nation must make sure that all persons are housed with at least the minimum in shelter to keep them safe from environmental hazards.

EXPAND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

It is no secret that millions of families are struggling economically. Meanwhile, decent and affordable rental apartments are hard to come by, and millions of households are spending 50 percent or more of their income on housing. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 7.1 million American households cannot find affordable housing. That is unacceptable.

The DSPOTUS will work to:

Expand the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Sen. Sanders is proud to have authored the original National Affordable Housing Trust Fund bill in the House of Representatives in 2001 that became law in 2008. This is the first new federal housing production program in almost three decades, and the first ever designed to build rental housing for extremely low-income households. As president, Sen. Sanders will fight to increase funding for the housing trust fund to at least $5 billion a year in order to construct, preserve, and rehabilitate at least 3.5 million affordable housing rental units over the next decade. Not only will this help address the affordable housing crisis, it will also create millions of good paying jobs in the process.

Raise the minimum wage. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a renter would need to earn a wage of $19.35 per hour in order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in the U.S. One way to start closing the wage/rent gap is to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

Reinvigorate federal housing production programs. Over the past decade, the federal programs that build affordable housing for families, for the elderly and for the disabled have been decimated. Nobody disagrees that we need to address the deficit, but it is absurd to balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. We must return to pre-2010 funding levels by ending sequestration and invest more, not less, in affordable housing.

Defend Fair Housing. The sordid history of housing discrimination is a stain on our collective conscious, and for fifty years the Fair Housing Act has provided critically important legal protection from discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disability. And yet, Republicans have tried over and over again to defund efforts to affirmatively promote fair housing. We must push back, defend and strengthen the law, and make sure we never again tacitly condone housing discrimination.

Demand more from Affordable Housing Developers. Housing that is built with government subsidies should remain affordable much longer than the 10, 15 or 20 years typically required by federal housing programs. In my state of Vermont, we require affordable housing to remain affordable permanently. In my view, once we subsidize rental housing, we shouldn’t have to pay again and again simply to “preserve” it.

Repair Public Housing. We need sufficient funding for public housing operating and capital costs, and we need to reduce the unacceptable backlog of public housing capital needs.

Protect Rental Assistance. We need to provide full funding to all existing project based rental assistance contracts.

Expand Housing Choice Initiative. We need to increase funding for the housing choice voucher program to target families who need support the most and to provide greater economic stability to the more than 3 million households struggling to remain in safe, secure and affordable housing today.

PROMOTING HOMEOWNERSHIP

Owning a home remains one of the best ways for families to build wealth and enter the middle class. However, for decades, wages have not kept up with the median costs of homes, putting homeownership out of reach for millions of families. The housing crisis that began in 2007 wiped-out the entire household wealth of millions of families, particularly African-American and Latino families who were disproportionately targeted with sub-prime mortgages and had most of their wealth in their homes – the net worth of African-American households fell by more than 50 percent and Latino families by more than 65 percent. We must take aggressive steps to make homeownership more attainable for first time homebuyers, as well as for the millions of families across the country who lost their homes to foreclosure.

The DSPOTUS will work to:

Support First Time Homebuyers. We should expand the Department of Housing and Urban Development and USDA Rural Development assistance programs for first time homeownership, particularly through down payment assistance, loan guarantees and direct loans.

Expand Pre-purchase Housing Counseling. Study after study shows that people who receive counseling before buying a home are more likely to succeed at homeownership. Housing counseling is a good investment in families and communities.

Implement Credit Score Reform. The credit scores of millions of families have been ruined because of foreclosures or other financial hardships from the economic meltdown. At the same time, a prime score before the crisis was 640. It currently hovers around 740. If we want to rebuild the lost wealth of working families, we need real credit score reform to make the banking and credit industries work for borrowers and not just lenders.

Prevent Predatory Lending. In the 2000s Sen. Sanders called on Congress to clean up the subprime market by cracking down on predatory lenders. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Incredibly, Republicans now want to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created to protect families against fraudulent, deceptive, and abusive lending practices that caused the crisis. By requiring that all mortgage costs are clear, risks are visible, and nothing is buried in fine print, the CFBP makes sure consumers have the information they need to make good financial decisions.

Protect Homeowner Mortgage Interest Benefits. Sen. Sanders strongly supports tax policies that promote homeownership, and opposes any reform that would negatively impact middle and low-income homeowners. We need to close the second home and yacht loophole, as there is simply no compelling public interest in subsidizing second homes and yachts. We also need to expand homeowner mortgage interest benefits to the 19 million otherwise eligible homeowners who do not itemize their taxes.

HELPING UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS

For millions of American families, and for many hard hit communities, the housing crisis is not over. According to the real estate firm CoreLogic, 4.3 million homeowners still owe more than their houses are worth. While the taxpayers of this country, against my strong opposition, bailed out the largest financial institutions in this country with no strings attached, we have never provided an adequate lifeline to underwater homeowners. While Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program has helped more than 1.5 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, and the Hardest Hit Fund has assisted another 250,000 ?homeowners, these are a fraction of the households that were, or are, underwater.

The DSPOTUS will work to:

Reinvigorate HARP. The Home Affordable Refinance Program was designed to assist homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments but owe more than their home is worth, by allowing them to refinance their underwater mortgages at lower interest rates. While the average homeowner saves about $2,500 per year, many people who theoretically qualify have not benefitted because of various barriers and inadequate outreach. Sen. Sanders co-sponsored legislation to reduce up-front fees, eliminate appraisal costs for borrowers, streamline the application process and launch a national effort to educate homeowners about the program. As president, he will fight to sign that legislation into law.

Expand Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling. Just as pre-purchase homeownership counseling works for prospective homebuyers, we need to expand National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling programs to help underwater homeowners. Studies have shown that underwater homeowners who receive counselling are far more likely to cure a serious delinquency or foreclosure, and stay current after obtaining a cure. The best solution is to keep homeowners in their homes.

PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS

Our nation has made some important strides toward reducing homelessness, but it is a national disgrace that on a given night, almost 565,000 people are homeless in the United States. It is especially distressing that so many are children living in families.
Just as we must build more housing that is affordable to low income renters, we must reinvigorate our homeless assistance programs. Recognizing that one size does not fit all, we must find solutions to the unique housing needs of homeless veterans, victims of domestic abuse, and runaway and homeless youth. We must solve family homelessness through rapid re-housing where families are quickly connected with permanent housing and their lives returned to relative stability. We must find new ways to address the more than 83,000 chronically homeless individuals with policies that provide permanent supportive housing first.

The DSPOTUS will work to solve the underlying economic conditions that lead to homelessness, including the fact that a disproportionate number of homeless families are headed by single women.

The DSPOTUS will work to:

Prevent Homelessness and Reduce Recidivism. The DSPOTUS will work to strongly support efforts to house people coming out of prison. The DSPOTUS will work to reduce recidivism and prevent homelessness by making sure former inmates do not cycle between the criminal justice and homeless service systems. This is a good investment in people leaving prison, and a smart way to prevent homelessness.
End Chronic Homelessness. The DSPOTUS will fight for sufficient funding to end chronic homelessness.

GETTING LEAD OUT OF OUR HOMES

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control lowered its blood lead threshold for children from 10 to 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, after research showed that even minute lead levels can significantly impact a child’s brain development and result in behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The CDC estimates that 535,000 American children under six years of age are affected by lead poisoning. This preventable tragedy traps families in poverty and robs children of their opportunity to succeed.

The DSPOTUS will work to:

Require HUD-assisted housing to be lead-free. Sen. Sanders joined several colleagues in urging HUD Secretary Julian Castro to do more to prevent lead poisoning in HUD assisted housing. Not only has HUD failed to adopt the new CDC threshold for purposes of requiring landlords to mitigate lead in apartments with children, but HUD has not updated its blood lead level standard since 1999. In fact, HUD allows children’s blood lead levels to be three to four times higher than the new CDC standard before it requires landlords to abate lead. That is unacceptable.

ADDRESSING HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Homes are not just places to live, they are the building blocks of our communities. Yet, some communities – usually low-income and communities of color – experience a daily assault on their health and environment. They are the hardest hit by air and water pollution from industrial factories, power plants, incinerators, chemical waste and lead contamination from old pipes and paint.

Black children are five times more likely to have lead poisoning. Low-income Latino immigrants are more likely to live in areas with high levels of hazardous air pollution than anyone else; the odds of a Latino immigrant neighborhood being located in an area of high toxic pollution is one in three. At the same time, communities of color lack access to parks, gardens and other recreational green space.

In addition to building homes, we must build communities. Federal agencies must develop and implement clear, strategic plans to achieve environmental justice and provide targeted action where the needs are greatest.
The DSPOTUS will work to ensure that all Americans are able to live in safe, secure, healthy, and affordable housing.

Fighting for Women’s Rights

Despite major advances in civil and political rights, our country still has a long way to go in addressing the issue of gender inequality. Many of the achievements that have been made for women’s rights in the 20th century have been under attack by the Republican party — denying women control over their own bodies, preventing access to vital medical and social services, and blocking equal pay for equal work.

When it comes to the rights of women, we cannot go backwards. We have got to go forward.

The DSPOTUS will work to prevent our nation from going back to the days when women had to risk their lives to end an unwanted pregnancy. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make, not the government. That is a matter of ownership of self. A state may not infringe on that supreme personal ownership.

The DSPOTUS will not allow the extreme right-wing to be unchallenged when they endeavour to defund Planned Parenthood. The DSPOTUS will work to expand it.

Planned Parenthood provides vital healthcare services for millions of women, who rely on its clinics every year for affordable, quality health care services including cancer prevention, STI and HIV testing and general primary health care services. The current attempt to malign Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies.

The DSPOTUS will not stand idly by while people attempt to cause our nation to go back to the days when women did not have full access to birth control. Incredibly, almost all of the Republicans in the Senate are in favor of giving any employer who provides health insurance, or any insurance company, the ability to deny coverage for contraception or any other kind of procedure if the employer had a “moral” objection to it. That is unacceptable.

The DSPOTUS will not stand idly by while people attempt to cause our nation to go back to the days when survivors of domestic violence had no access to services or recourse against their abusers, because domestic violence was swept under the rug, as a shameful, private issue. Worse yet, it was not so long ago that spousal abuse was legal in many states. The DSPOTUS will work to expand services provided through the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and will fight any attempts to undermine these laws.

The DSPOTUS will not stand idly by while people attempt to cause our nation to go back to the days when it was legal for women to be paid less for doing the same work as men.

It is wrong that women working full-time only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. We have got to move forward and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act into law.

And, not only will the DSPOTUS fight to expand policies that advance gender equality, we will fight to pass the long-overdue Equal Rights Amendment and vigorously defend the critical laws and programs which protect all working people in our country.

At a time when elderly women are more likely than men to be living in poverty, not only does the DSPOTUS say NO to cuts in Social Security, we will work to expand Social Security.

When 35 million Americans lack health insurance, not only does the DSPOTUS say NO to cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, we intend to expand these programs that are so important to families.

The right-wing in this country is waging a war against women and by working together, we will ensure that is a war they are going to lose.

The DSPOTUS will work to:

FIGHT FOR PAY EQUITY FOR WOMEN.

It is a national disgrace that women only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. The gender pay gap is even worse for women of color. Today, African American women earn just 64 cents for every dollar a white male earns, while the figure for Hispanic women is just 54 cents. The DSPOTUS will work to sign the Paycheck Fairness Act into law to end wage discrimination based on gender.

EXPAND AND PROTECT THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS OF WOMEN.

The DSPOTUS will fight against Republican attacks on the fundamental rights of women to control their own bodies. The DSPOTUS will work to expand, not cut, funding for Planned Parenthood, the Title X family planning program, and other initiatives that protect women’s health, access to contraception, and the availability of a safe and legal abortion.

ONLY NOMINATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES WHO SUPPORT ROE V. WADE AND THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS OF WOMEN.

The DSPOTUS will only nominate persons for government offices who agree, Supreme Court justices who understand that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and recognize the rights of women to have access to family planning services are the only proper choice for SCOTUS.

MAKE QUALITY CHILDCARE AND PRE-K AVAILABLE TO ALL AMERICANS.

The DSPOTUS will work to make high-quality childcare and Pre-K available to every American, regardless of income. It is unacceptable that the cost of a quality childcare program is out of reach for millions of Americans.

INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $20 AN HOUR BY 2020.

According to the most recent statistics, women make up two-thirds of all minimum wage workers. Increasing the minimum wage to $20 an hour would significantly boost the wages of more than 15 million women and help close the gender wage gap.
The DSPOTUS will fight hard to tie the minimum wage to inflation.

RAISE THE TIPPED MINIMUM WAGE TO $15 AN HOUR BY 2023.

The federal tipped minimum wage of just $2.13 an hour hasn’t been raised since 1991. More than two-thirds of tipped workers are women. Increasing the tipped minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023 would lift millions of women out of poverty and significantly reduce the gender pay gap.

PROVIDE AT LEAST 12 WEEKS OF PAID FAMILY LEAVE, 2 WEEKS OF PAID VACATION, AND ONE WEEK OF PAID SICK DAYS TO AMERICAN WORKERS.

The DSPOTUS will work to end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee paid leave to workers. The Republicans talk a lot about “family values.” Well, it is not a family value to force the mother of a new born baby to go back to work a few days after she gives birth, because she doesn’t have the money to stay home and bond with her baby. That is not a family value. That is an insult to everything that we know a family is about. The DSPOTUS will work to require employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. At a time when over 65 percent of women work more than 40 hours a week, we must require employers to provide at least two weeks of paid vacation. And, we must require employers to provide at least one week of paid sick leave so that women can stay home to take care of a sick child, among other things.

EXPAND THE WIC PROGRAM FOR PREGNANT MOTHERS AND INFANTS.

As the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, Sen. Sanders helped lead the effort in the Senate against Republican attempts to cut the WIC program that provides nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers, women, and infants. The DSPOTUS will work to support Sen. Sanders efforts to substantially increase funding for this program so that every low-income mother and her children receive the nutrition they need to live healthy lives.

MAKE HEALTHCARE A RIGHT.

The DSPOTUS will fight for a Medicare for All single-payer healthcare system to make healthcare a right for all Americans. If the United States joined every major country on earth and enacted a universal healthcare program, women would benefit the most. Today, women have much higher healthcare expenses than men and pay a greater portion of their healthcare costs out of their own pockets. Women make up two-thirds of the low-wage workforce and only about 23 percent of low-wage jobs provide health insurance. It is time for a Medicare for All single-payer healthcare system.

EXPAND SOCIAL SECURITY.

The DSPOTUS will fight to expand Social Security benefits by  $65 a month; increase cost-of-living-adjustments to keep up with rising medical and prescription drug costs; and expand the minimum Social Security benefit to lift seniors out of poverty. Women will benefit the most by expanding Social Security. More than twice as many elderly women lived in poverty than men in 2013. The DSPOTUS will fight to make the minimum Social Security Stipend to be at least equal to the wages of a minimum wage job at 40 hours. We have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect. If a 40 hour wage earner should have a proper minimum wage to avoid poverty, so to should our elderly and disabled.

Empowering Tribal Nations

“Time and time again, our Native American brothers and sisters have seen the federal government break solemn promises, and huge corporations put profits ahead of the sovereign rights of Native communities.  As President, I will stand with Native Americans in the struggle to protect their treaty and sovereign rights, advance traditional ways of life, and improve the quality of life for Native communities.” – Bernie Sanders

Native Americans are the first Americans, yet they have for far too long been treated as third class citizens.  It is unconscionable that today, in 2016, Native Americans still do not always have the right to decide on important issues that affect their communities.

The United States must honor Native American treaty rights and tribal sovereignty, it must also reject a relationship of paternalism and control and embrace one of deference and support.  The United States has a duty to ensure equal opportunities and justice for all of its citizens, including the 2.5 million Native Americans that share this land.

THE STATISTICS ARE STAGGERING.

Native Americans continue to face appalling levels of inequality and systemic injustice. One in four Native Americans are living in poverty and the high school graduation rate is 67 percent, the lowest of any racial demographic group. The second leading cause of death for Native Americans between the ages of 15-24 is suicide. One in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime; most of the offenders are non-Native. Most federal programs for tribal nations are underfunded, which has led to inadequate housing, healthcare, education, and law enforcement. Native Americans have a much lower life expectancy and higher uninsured rates than the population at large, and even those who have health insurance often have difficulty accessing the care they need.

Although Native American tribes are supposed to be sovereign nations with the right to self-governance, the United States has greatly exacerbated the struggles of Indian Country because of its failure to support basic principles of self-determination. Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group and the rate of violent crime against them is twice the national average. Yet, because the federal courts have chipped away at tribal sovereignty, tribal nations are often unable to prosecute criminal offenders for violent crimes that occur within tribal borders. Tribal governments are distinct sovereigns, and should be recognized as such – they must have the autonomy and authority to protect their own peoples.

THE DSPOTUS WILL WORK TO RESOLVE THE MANY ISSUES AND INJUSTICES FACING TRIBAL COMMUNITIES.

The DSPOTUS will work to expanded tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes and provide additional funding for tribal criminal justice systems and victim services.

The DSPOTUS will work to repeal all federal lands transfer of sacred lands in Arizona to mining companies
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The DSPOTUS will work to make the Indian Health Care Improvement Act permanent, and to expand healthcare services for Native Americans.

The DSPOTUS will work to cause the United States to formally apologize to all Native Americans and all other indigenous people the world over “for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the U.S.”

The DSPOTUS will work to improve care for Native Americans who serve in our military.

The DSPOTUS will work to provide funding for home-delivered and congregate meal programs, transportation, disease prevention, and caregiving services to tribal organizations.

The DSPOTUS will fight against projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline. The DSPOTUS opposes the extraction of tar sands oil and the Alberta Clipper pipeline in Minnesota, the fracked oil Sandpiper line in Minnesota, the fracked oil Bakken pipeline in Iowa, and the aggressive use of eminent domain for corporate gain in Nebraska for Keystone.

The DSPOTUS will work to create a Climate Justice Resiliency Fund, which is paid for by a tax on carbon and materials extraction, which would make climate adaptation investments in low-income and minority communities, including tribes, to help build resilience to the extreme impacts of climate change.

The DSPOTUS will work to invest in Federal loans and grants to offset the upfront costs for solar on community facilities, public housing, and low-income family homes including Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and federally recognized tribes.

The DSPOTUS is committed to provide universal early childhood education programs and tuition-free college for all students willing to work hard to get a higher education.

THE DSPOTUS WILL FIGHT TO STRENGTHEN TRIBAL NATIONS BY:

Supporting Tribal Sovereignty and Tribal Jurisdiction: Tribes must have the ability to prosecute non-Native people who commit crimes on tribal land, and have greater jurisdiction over prosecuting all crimes, including family disputes. The DSPOTUS will fight to provide Tribes with the resources for effective law enforcement and tribal courts. The DSPOTUS will work to streamline tribal retrocession from P.L. 280 for those tribes that wish to do so, and will encourage the continual development of the U.S. Department of Justice Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information to provide tribes with access to national crime information systems for both civil and criminal purposes.

Upholding the Trust Responsibility: We must honor the treaties and federal statutes that are the foundation of the trust relationship. The DSPOTUS will work to maintain a White House Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs to ensure that tribal issues are consistently addressed and coordinated throughout the federal government. The DSPOTUS will work to create a position within the Office of Management Budget to ensure adequate subject matter expertise and sufficient coordination between federal agencies. The DSPOTUS will work to appoint senior level tribal appointees with access to executive agency leaders to promote meaningful consultation with Native Americans.  The DSPOTUS is committed to the principles of trust modernization to update antiquated trust practices to better serve tribal nations.

Improving Housing: The DSPOTUS will fight for increased local control over the administration and operation of tribal housing programs. The DSPOTUS will also fight for full funding of the Indian Housing Block Grant Program.

Strengthening Education: In order to create economic opportunities, we must invest in education from early childhood through higher education. The DSPOTUS will fight to fully fund the Bureau of Indian Education and strengthen self-determination to enable culturally tailored learning, unique to each tribal nation, and help to retain qualified teachers for Native youth. The DSPOTUS will build upon the “all of government,” integrated work of the Generation Indigenous initiative to ensure that every Native American child can reach their full potential. Moreover, The DSPOTUS will work to allow students to refinance federal debt, lower interest rates, triple federal work-study jobs, and provides for free college tuition at all public colleges and universities.

Improving Health Care: The DSPOTUS believes that healthcare is a right, and The DSPOTUS supports a Medicare-for-all system that would complement the healthcare provided by the Indian Health Service. Critically, The DSPOTUS will work to fully fund the Indian Health Service, strengthen regional management and recruitment of committed IHS health care personnel, direct our administration to audit IHS operations, and ensure that Native Americans have adequate, safe, and affordable access to primary care providers, including oral health and mental health practitioners and substance abuse treatment options.

Restoring Tribal Lands: All tribes must have the right to protect and restore their lands. The DSPOTUS will fight to streamline the land-into-trust process and work to reverse the Carcieri Supreme Court decision that resulted in an unjust two-tier system of tribes.

Advancing Economic Development: The DSPOTUS advocates economic development in Indian Country by investing in infrastructure. The Rebuild America Act and the Off-World Expansion Act (OWE) would make a historic $17 trillion investment to upgrade our roads and bridges, drinking water and wastewater, freight and passenger rail, and electric, telecommunications and broadband networks, educational systems and more.  This effort will create and maintain at least 34 million jobs across the country – and will be targeted to areas of highest unemployment, like Indian Country.  The investment would go a long way to addressing the “digital divide,” because lack of internet access means Native American communities are at risk of falling even further behind in their ability to access employment, educational, and other opportunities made available by modern information technology.  Lastly, all federal grants open to state and local governments will also be open to tribes.

Protecting Sacred Places and Native American Cultures: Native Americans must be empowered to maintain and pass on traditional religious beliefs, languages and social practices without fear of discrimination or suppression.  Native children are the future of tribal nations; the Indian Child Welfare Act is critical to survival and must be enforced with the original intent of the law. Further, tribal cultures, sacred places, religious practices, and landscapes must be federally protected.

Expanding Consultation: The DSPOTUS will work to reexamine Executive Order 13175 “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” to ensure that consultation means more than mere listening sessions.  Moreover, all voices — tribal leadership and grassroots alike — must be heard.  The DSPOTUS will work to expand the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference that brings tribal leaders, cabinet members and the White House together to find solutions to common problems.

Promoting Voting Rights: The DSPOTUS stands with Native Americans to fight for Indian voting rights, just as we defend the franchise in minority communities across the country.

Fighting Racism: The DSPOTUS intends to be an ally in ending the scourge of bias and discrimination against Native peoples. A good place to start is by eliminating offensive school and sports mascots that reflect outdated stereotypes and perpetuate racism against Native Americans.

Fighting Climate Change and Promoting Environmental Protection: The DSPOTUS will work to transition away from fossil fuels to a 100 percent clean energy system. The DSPOTUS believes that we must provide a just transition for workers, so the plan includes $41 billion to provide benefits and training for oil, gas and coal workers as they transition into clean energy jobs. The DSPOTUS will work to end fracking for natural gas and mountaintop removal coal mining. The DSPOTUS will fight for other critical environmental laws and policies like the Clean Water Rule.

“It is no secret that Washington faces a serious debt problem, but last time I checked, it was not because we are spending too much on Indian housing, healthcare or education.  It is not because we are spending too much on addressing the scourge of diabetes in Native communities, improving crumbling infrastructure or creating jobs in Indian Country.  It is not because we are spending too much supporting Native American veterans who put their lives on the line to defend our nation, or creating economic opportunities for Indian youth. It is profoundly hypocritical that the United States, year-after-year, decade-after-decade, does so little to honor its trust responsibilities to Native peoples.  It’s time for real change.” – Bernie Sanders

CARING FOR OUR VETERANS (in work)

Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind

It has been the goal of Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a universal health care system guaranteeing health care to all people. Every other major industrialized nation has done so. It is time for this country to join them and fulfill the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and other great Democrats.

The Affordable Care Act was a critically important step towards the goal of universal health care. Thanks to the ACA, more than 17 million Americans have gained health insurance. Millions of low-income Americans have coverage through expanded eligibility for Medicaid that now exists in 31 states. Young adults can stay on their parents’ health plans until they’re 26. All Americans can benefit from increased protections against lifetime coverage limits and exclusion from coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

But as we move forward, the DSPOTUS must work to build upon the success of the ACA to achieve the goal of universal health care. Twenty-nine million Americans today still do not have health insurance and millions more are underinsured and cannot afford the high copayments and deductibles charged by private health insurance companies that put profits before people.

The U.S. spends more on healthcare per person, and as a percentage of gross domestic product, than any other advanced nation in the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. But all that money has not made Americans healthier than the rest of the world. Quite simply, in our high-priced health care system that leaves millions overlooked, we spend more yet end up with less.

Other industrialized nations are making the morally principled and financially responsible decision to provide universal health care to all of their people—and they do so while saving money by keeping people healthier. Those who say this goal is unachievable are selling the American people short.

The DSPOTUS recognises that Americans need a health care system that works for patients and providers. Our People need to focus our federal investments on training the health care providers. The DSPOTUS sees the need to ensure a strong health care workforce in all communities now and in the future, and will work for that goal. We need to build on the strength of the 50 years of success of the Medicare program. We need a health care system that significantly reduces overhead, administrative costs and complexity. We need a system where all people can get the care they need to maintain and improve their health when they need it regardless of income, age or socioeconomic status. We need a system that works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.

The DSPOTUS supports Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan, Americans will benefit from the freedom and security that comes with finally separating health insurance from employment. That freedom would not only help the American people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, but it would also promote innovation and entrepreneurship in every sector of the economy. People would be able to start new businesses, stay home with their children or leave jobs they don’t like knowing that they would still have healthcare coverage for themselves and their families.

Employers sould be free to focus on running their business rather than spending countless hours figuring out how to provide health insurance to their employees. Working Americans wouldn’t have to choose between bargaining for higher wages or better health insurance. Parents wouldn’t have to worry about how to provide health insurance to their children. Americans would no longer have to fear losing their health insurance if they lose their job, change employment or go part-time. Seniors and people with serious or chronic illnesses could afford the medications necessary to keep them healthy without worry of financial ruin. Millions of people will no longer have to choose between health care and other necessities like food, heat and shelter, and will have access to services that may have been out of reach, like dental care or long-term care.
Simply put, Bernie’s plan will provide all Americans with the sense of freedom and peace of mind that comes from knowing you always have access to the health care you need.

THE PLAN: BETTER COVERAGE

The DSPOTUS will work to create a federally administered single-payer health care program. Universal single-payer health care means comprehensive coverage for all Americans. The DSPOTUS will work to cover the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments. Patients will be able to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network and will be able to get the care they need without having to read any fine print or trying to figure out how they can afford the out-of-pocket costs.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR PATIENTS

As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges.

GETTING HEALTH CARE SPENDING UNDER CONTROL

We outspend all other countries on the planet and our medical spending continues to grow faster than the rate of inflation. Creating a single, public insurance system will go a long way towards getting health care spending under control. The United States has thousands of different health insurance plans, all of which set different reimbursement rates across different networks for providers and procedures resulting in high administrative costs. Two patients with the same condition may get very different care depending on where they live, the health insurance they have and what their insurance covers. A patient may pay different amounts for the same prescription depending solely on where the prescription is filled. Health care providers and patients must navigate this complex and bewildering system wasting precious time and resources.
By moving to an integrated system, the government will finally have the ability to stand up to drug companies and negotiate fair prices for the American people collectively. It will also ensure the federal government can track access to various providers and make smart investments to avoid provider shortages and ensure communities can access the providers they need.

MAJOR SAVINGS FOR FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES

The United States currently spends $3 trillion on healthcare each year—nearly $10,000 per person. Reforming our healthcare system, simplifying our payment structure and incentivizing new ways to make sure patients are actually getting better healthcare will generate massive savings. This plan has been estimated to save the American people and businesses over $6 trillion over the next decade.

The typical middle class family would save over $5,000 under this plan.

Last year, the average working family paid $4,955 in premiums and $1,318 in deductibles to private health insurance companies. Under this plan, a family of four earning $50,000 would pay just $466 per year to the single-payer program, amounting to a savings of over $5,800 for that family each year.

Businesses would save over $9,400 a year in health care costs for the average employee.

The average annual cost to the employer for a worker with a family who makes $50,000 a year would go from $12,591 to just $3,100.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST AND HOW DO WE PAY FOR IT?
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

This plan has been estimated to cost $1.38 trillion per year.

THE PLAN WOULD BE FULLY PAID FOR BY:

A 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers.

Revenue raised: $630 billion per year.

A 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households.

Revenue raised: $210 billion per year.This year, a family of four taking the standard deduction can have income up to $28,800 and not pay this tax under this plan.

A family of four making $50,000 a year taking the standard deduction would only pay $466 this year.

Progressive income tax rates.

Revenue raised: $110 billion a year.Under this plan the marginal income tax rate would be:

37 percent on income between $250,000 and $500,000.
43 percent on income between $500,000 and $2 million.
48 percent on income between $2 million and $10 million. (In 2013, only 113,000 households, the top 0.08 percent of taxpayers, had income between $2 million and $10 million.)
52 percent on income above $10 million. (In 2013, only 13,000 households, just 0.01 percent of taxpayers, had income exceeding $10 million.)

Taxing capital gains and dividends the same as income from work.

Revenue raised: $92 billion per year.Warren Buffett, the second wealthiest American in the country, has said that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. The reason is that he receives most of his income from capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at a much lower rate than income from work. This plan will end the special tax break for capital gains and dividends on household income above $250,000.

Limit tax deductions for rich.

Revenue raised: $15 billion per year. Under Bernie’s plan, households making over $250,000 would no longer be able to save more than 28 cents in taxes from every dollar in tax deductions. This limit would replace more complicated and less effective limits on tax breaks for the rich including the AMT, the personal exemption phase-out and the limit on itemized deductions.

The Responsible Estate Tax.

Revenue raised: $21 billion per year.This provision would tax the estates of the wealthiest 0.3 percent (three-tenths of 1 percent) of Americans who inherit over $3.5 million at progressive rates and close loopholes in the estate tax.
Savings from health tax expenditures.

Revenue raised: $310 billion per year. Several tax breaks that subsidize health care (health-related “tax expenditures”) would become obsolete and disappear under a single-payer health care system, saving $310 billion per year.

Most importantly, health care provided by employers is compensation that is not subject to payroll taxes or income taxes under current law. This is a significant tax break that would effectively disappear under this plan because all Americans would receive health care through the new single-payer program instead of employer-based health care.

Strengthen and Expand Social Security

Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Before it was signed into law, nearly half of senior citizens lived in poverty. Today, the elderly poverty rate is 10 percent. Although still much too high, that’s a dramatic improvement.

Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid every nickel owed to every eligible American – on time and without delay. As corporations destroyed the retirement dreams of millions over the past 30 years by eliminating defined benefit pension plans, Social Security was right there paying full benefits. As millions of Americans lost their life savings after Wall Street’s recklessness crashed the economy in 2008, Social Security was right there paying full benefits.

Today, Social Security is more important than ever. Over half of workers between the ages of 55-64 have no retirement savings. More than a third of senior citizens depend on Social Security for virtually all of their income. One out of every five senior citizens is trying to scrape by on an average income of just $8,300 a year.

Given these facts, our job cannot be to cut Social Security. Our job must be to expand it so that every American can retire with dignity and respect.

Virtually every Republican candidate for president disagrees. Many of them claim Social Security is “going broke,” that it’s causing the deficit to explode, and its trust fund is full of IOUs.

They want the American people to believe Social Security is in crisis and must be cut. They are dead wrong.

Here are the facts:

Social Security has a $2.8 trillion surplus. It can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 19 years (and more than three-quarters after that).

Social Security’s assets aren’t “just paper,” as conservatives sometimes put it.

Social Security invests in U.S Treasury bonds, the safest interest-bearing securities in the world. These are the same bonds wealthy investors have purchased, along with China and other foreign countries. These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, which in our long history has never defaulted on its debt obligations.

Right now a billionaire pays the same amount of money into Social Security as someone who makes $118,500 a year. That’s because there is a cap on taxable income that goes into the Social Security system. That cap was instituted by people in service to them who make over the cap in order to game the system.

Sen. Sanders has introduced legislation to end this absurdity, by lifting this cap so that everyone who makes over $250,000 a year pays the same percentage of their income into Social Security as the middle class and working families. The DSPOTUS fully support Sen. Sanders in the efforts to lift this unfair cap.

This lifting of the cap would not only extend the solvency of Social Security for the next 50 years, but also bring in enough revenue to expand benefits by an average of $65 a month; increase cost-of-living-adjustments; and lift more seniors out of poverty by increasing the minimum benefits paid to low-income seniors.

Not only is this the right thing to do from a moral perspective, it is a thing of reason and logic, and it is also what the vast majority of the American people want us to do. 61 percent of the American people support expanding Social Security benefits by lifting the cap on taxable income, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this year.

The DSPOTUS supports and will fight for the equalization of the minimum wage and the minimum Social Security stipend. If it is proper and of reason that a person working 40 hours a week should not live in poverty, and that the cure for that working poverty would be a proper wage for hours worked, then so too would it be of reason that an elderly person, or one who is disabled, or otherwise must depend on the promise of Social Security should not live in poverty, and that the cure would be similar. Thus the DSPOTUS will work to cause the minimum Social Security stipend to be at least equal to that of a minimum wage job at 40 hours a week.

At a time when millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, even as virtually all of the new income in this country is going to the top one percent, the DSPOTUS fight to reduce the obscene level of income inequality in America.

It’s time to expand Social Security to make sure that everyone in this country can retire with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Fighting for Disability Rights

“The Americans with Disabilities Act established a clear national mandate that we as a nation have a moral responsibility to ensure that all Americans have access to the programs and the support needed to contribute to society, live with dignity, and achieve a high quality of life.”
                                                                                            — Senator Bernie Sanders

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed 25 years ago, it was hailed as the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. Today, as a result of this landmark legislation, millions of people with disabilities are no longer denied the opportunity to get on a bus, go to a decent school, make a decent living, attend a baseball game, and live successful and productive lives.

Instead of being isolated and hidden from society, kids with disabilities are now in classrooms all over America and graduating from high school and college with the respect and admiration of their classmates, teachers, and families.

This transformation in our culture and society did not happen by accident, and it did not happen overnight – it happened because a grassroots movement demanded change. Despite the progress that has been made over the past two decades, we unfortunately still live in a world where people with disabilities have fewer work opportunities and where the civil rights of people with disabilities are not always protected and respected.

The DSPOTUS will always be a champion for the rights of people with disabilities and we will continue to fight to ensure that our society is one where people with disabilities can live full and productive lives.

A DSPOTUS President will:

PROTECT AND EXPAND THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE PROGRAM (SSDI)

SSDI is vitally important to more than 11 million Americans, including more than one million veterans and nearly two million children. The average disability benefit is about $1,200 a month. For many people, that is their entire income.

The DSPOTUS will work hard to make the minimum Social Security Stipend to be at least equal to the wages of a minimum wage job at 40 hours. We have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect. If a 40 hour wage earner should have a proper minimum wage to avoid poverty, so to should our elderly and disabled.

INCREASE EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

In the year 2016, it is unacceptable that over 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed. We need to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and vocational education programs. We also need to expand funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), which aim to provide “one-stop shopping” for information on long-term services and support.

FIGHT FOR THE U.S. RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

The DSPOTUS will continue to fight for equal access and equal rights for people with disabilities. That’s why the DSPOTUS supports Sen. Bernie Sanders strong support of the ratification of this important treaty.

Nearly one-in-five Americans have a disability. Disability may occur at any stage of life, to anyone, and how our government and elected leadership respond to the issues facing people with disabilities and their families – from housing and transportation, to autonomy, to employment and education and access to services – shapes the fabric of our society.

At a time when millions of disabled Americans are struggling to keep their heads above water economically, The DSPOTUS believes that we must expand the social safety net in this country so that every American can live in dignity.

As the lead Democrat on the Budget Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders fought against the Republican budget that would make lives much more difficult for persons with disabilities by throwing 27 million Americans off of health insurance, cutting Medicaid by $500 billion, turning Medicare into a voucher program, and making savage cuts in education, affordable housing, vocational assistance, and nutrition programs.  

Instead of slashing Medicaid, instead of privatizing Medicare, Sen. Sanders believes, and the DSPOTUS agrees, that what the United States must do is join every other major nation on earth and recognize that healthcare is a right of citizenship for every American, regardless of age.

That’s why the DSPOTUS is fighting for a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care plan for every man, woman, and child in this country.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt reminded us: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” And that is a test that we as a nation must once again meet and master.