TROY â€“ Sen. Bernie Sanders held his annual pig roast with all the fixings at the Randall Family Farm Sunday.
Sanders, an Independent, is worried that Republicans want to do deficit reduction on the backs of the elderly, children, sick and poor. He said that Republicans want to cut Social Security, end Medicare and move it to a very different type of program. They also want to make cuts in Medicaid, in nutrition programs and in education, he said. Sanders called the plan morally grotesque and bad economic policy.
Lawmakers have to deal with the deficit in a way that is fair, which is to ask the most wealthiest to pay their fair share of taxes, Sander said. The country also needs to put an end to loopholes that benefit corporations and end tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, which people use to avoid paying taxes in the United States.
Lawmakers also have to take a hard look at excessive military spending, Sanders said. Right now, the country is spending three times as much as it did in 1997 and is spending almost as much as the rest of the world combined.
â€śWe obviously want to continue to have the strongest military in the world, but there are ways I think you can make judicious cuts,â€ť said Sanders. â€śWe want to be vigilant in fighting terrorism, but I think you can do it in a way that does not spend as much money as weâ€™re spending now.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™re going to continue our fight to make sure that healthcare becomes available to all,â€ť said Sanders.
Sanders, who is the chair of the Defending Social Security Caucus, promises the members will work hard to ensure that Social Security is not cut and will be extended for the next 75 years. Social Security is important for the elderly, disabled, widows and orphans. Lawmakers will also work hard at protecting veterans.
Sanders is disappointed that the agricultural bill didnâ€™t make it through the House and hopes Congress will address it when the session reconvenes.
Sanders is a strong opponent to trade agreements that allowed American companies to shut down, go abroad and hire people at low wages to produce products that are shipped to the United States.