Sanders Criticizes Federal Tax Cuts

02/08/02 12:00AM



(Host) Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders says the federal budget is in trouble and that Congress should reconsider the tax cuts approved last year.

On Thursday, Sanders joined others in the Progressive Caucus to call for an end to federal tax cuts that are scheduled to phase in over 10 years:

(Sanders) "At a time of a $6 trillion national debt, a growing deficit, a recession and a war, it makes absolutely no sense to raid the Social Security trust fund - as the Republicans and the president would have us do - in order to provide hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of the population."

(Host) Vermont's Independent congressman says a host of federal programs are under threat in President Bush's budget.

He says now is not the time to cut taxes, especially when low income people need help heating their homes or paying for prescription drugs:

(Sanders) "Money now ... is being borrowed from the Social Security trust fund in order to pay for other government funds because we are in a deficit. No one denies that. So for years and years and years, we had folks saying don't touch Social Security, we have a lock box on Social Security. But apparently it's okay to go into the Social Security trust fund in order to give tax breaks to billionaires. That is to me unconscionable and just terrible public policy."

(Host) Sanders says his choice would be to rescind the tax cuts scheduled for the next few years. He says as an alternative, Congress should postpone the tax cuts until the economy improves.

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