Issues

Visit Bernie’s site to read about Senator Sanders’ vision for economic, racial, social and environmental justice, and read below about issues that matter to the people of Philadelphia.

For Philadelphia

Healthcare

Our for-profit health care system is completely broken.

  • Medicare for All means no co pays, deductibles, or premiums.  No more out-of-network costs and surprise bills. If you need to go to the hospital, you will not come out bankrupt—ever.
  • Medicare for All will mean access to treatment for an additional 30 million people.
  • It will cover hospital visits, primary care, medical devices, lab services, maternity care, and prescription drugs as well as vision and dental benefits. 
  • Medicare for All is more generous than the plans Americans currently receive from work.  Most employer-sponsored plans require a deductible of more than $1,000 last year.  The Medicare for All plan is also more generous than the current Medicare program because it extends to coverage to include dental and eyecare. 
  • This plan will be paid for by a payroll tax, a wealth tax, a financial transactions tax and an increased estate tax, among others. 95% of workers will pay less under Bernie’s Medicare for All plan because it replaces a private poll tax (insurance premiums) with a tax rate based on ability to pay.
  • In addition, we will eliminate our $81 billion in medical debt by using an Income Inequality Tax on companies with massive pay disparities between executives and workers. This will raise $150 billion in revenue over 10 years.

Housing

In America today, there is a shortage of 7.4 million affordable homes for the lowest-income renters. We need:

  • A national rent control standard
  • A “Just Cause” requirement for evictions
  • Right to counsel in housing disputes
  • Taxes to combat  gentrification, exclusionary zoning, segregation, speculation, and NIMBY homeowners
  • Public Investment of $2.5 trillion to build nearly 10 million permanent affordable housing units
  • Public Investment of  $180 billion and creating 250,000 high-paying and union jobs to repair, decarbonize, and build green public housing
  • How are we going to pay for it? Bernie’s tax on extreme wealth would hit the richest 180,000 households in US who are in the top 0.1% and would pay for universal child-care and housing.  

Education

Bernie’s College for All plan guarantees access to free higher education to all and cancels all student debt:

  • Right now 45 Million Americans are being crushed under the weight of $1.6 trillion in student debt – money not spent buying homes, cars, or at local small businesses. That’s bad for the economy.
  • College for All will be  paid for by taxing a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators who nearly destroyed the economy a decade ago to the tune of $2.4 trillion over the next ten years.
  • Bernie’s Thurgood Marshall Plan for Education will address inequality in access to primary education by:
  1. Combating Racial Discrimination and School Segregation
  2. End the Unaccountable Profit-Motive of Charter Schools
  3. Equitable Funding for Public Schools
  4. Strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  5. Give Teachers a Much-Deserved Raise and Empower them to Teach ($60k minimum)
  6. Expand After-School/Summer Education Programs
  7. Universal School Meals
  8. Investing in community schools, school infrastructure, and making schools safe 
  • Universal childcare will be paid for by taxing the .1%.  

Climate Change

  • A Green New Deal for reaching 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030
  • Investing to build new solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources
  • Creatng 20 million union jobs to solve climate crisis in steel and auto manufacturing, construction, energy efficient retrofitting, renewable power plans, sustainable agriculture, and engineering
  • Expanded Civilian Conservation Corp 
  • Investing in black, indigenous, and other minority communities who were systematically excluded in the past
  • Securing a just transition for workers into new green industries
  • Saving American business and families millions with new public transportation and grants to switch to green technology

Criminal Justice

“We are going to end, once and for all, the broken and racist criminal justice system in America Today.” —Bernie Sanders

  • Justice and Safety for All Plan to:
    • End for-profit prisons
    • end cash bail
    • communicate prison sentences 
    • Abolish the death penalty and mandatory minimums
    • End the War on Drugs and legalizing marijuana, expunging past convictions
    • Treating children as children
    • Decriminalize addiction, poverty, and mental illness
    • Guarantee a Prisoners Bill of Rights
    • Invest in fee-free re-entry, diversion, and treatment programs
    • Remove restrictions and barriers to employment and housing for people formerly incarcerated
    • Invest in reversing the criminalization of communities
    • Oversee law enforcement and accountability
    • Invest in creating civilian corps of unarmed first responders, including social workers, EMTs and trained mental health professionals 

Workers

The U.S. Economy is not working for most people.  

Although profits and productivity have gone up, so has the cost of living while wages remain stuck.  Many Americans must work two or three jobs to make ends week, the majority of men and women work more than 40 hours a week, and many workers go without paid vacation or sick leave.  In the 1950s, CEOs made 20 times more than their median employees. Last year, the average S&P 500 CEO made 287 times their median worker pay. Here’s what Bernie’s going to do about it:

Workplace Democracy Plan

  • Create a national “just cause” protection for all workers to protect from unfair firings
  • Create sector-wide bargaining for workers to negotiate wages and benefits collectively in industries where traditional organizing is difficult or impossible so that individual workers do not have to just take or leave the lowest wages offered. This will improve wages and working conditions for workers such as e.g. baristas, drivers, domestic workers and farm workers.

Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan

  • Corporations with at least $100 million in annual revenue or balance sheet total and all publicly traded companies will be required to provide at least 2% stock to their workers every year until the company is at least 20% owned by employees. This plan would impact around 56 million workers and raise over $3 trillion.
  • Democratize boards, require firms that “outsource” to low wage countries or automate to convey shares to laid of employees, and give employees the right to vote on issues impacting employees
  • Break up mergers and acquisitions that concentrate markets, harm workers, or reduce competition
  • Ban non-compete clauses
  • Make corporations pay their fair share of taxes 

The Right to a Secure Retirement Plan

  • Expand social security benefits and protections for pensions
  • Guarantee home and community based long-term care services

Income Inequality Tax

  • Tax all companies with annual revenue of more than $100 million and with large gaps between their CEO and median worker so that they pay progressively higher corporate tax rates 

Democracy

“We’ve received more contributions from more individual contributors than any campaign in the history of American politics because we understand the basic reality that you can’t take on a corrupt system if you take its money.” —Bernie Sanders

  • Bernie wants to abolish super PACS, overturn Citizens United, and make every voter count.
  • Disclose Act: Bernie wants to protect the integrity and transparency of federal elections by requiring disclosure of all contributions
  • Public Funding of Elections: Bernie wants to move towards publicly funded elections to promote a more even playing field where all Americans can run for office without taking donations for corporations or wealthy Americans
  • Democracy Day: Making election day a national holiday
  • Ending Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression
  • Re-franchising Felons
  • Get Corporate Money out of Politics
    • End corruption in national party conventions and inaugurations
    • Ban advertising during presidential debates
    • Institute a lifetime lobbying ban for former members of Congress and senior staffers

Racial Justice

People of color, killed by the police, who should be alive today include: Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jessica Hernandez, Tamir Rice, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Antonio Zambrano-Montes and others.

  • We know that African-Americans are twice as likely to be arrested, and almost four times as likely to experience physical force in an encounter with the police. Today, black men are sentenced to 19% more jail time for committing the exact same crime as white men, and African Americans are jailed at more than five times the rate of whites. Bernie Sanders is committed to dismantling the prison industrial complex with sweeping criminal justice reform, and ending the racist War on Drugs that has been used to justify the over-policing of communities of color. 

Voting Rights and Enfranchisement: 

  • Bernie is committed to restoring the Voting Rights Act, ending voter suppression, automatic voter registration, and making voting a national holiday.  

Environmental Justice: 

  • Flint is still without clean water! Black and brown communities have been subjected to disparate exposure to environmental harm and Bernie is committed to addressing those harms.  For example, Bernie will introduce the WATER Act to create a $35 billion annual fund to remove and replace lead pipes in communities throughout the country. Furthermore, the Green New Deal will support and rebuild local communities of color affected by climate change.

Economic Justice:

  • Black Americans have 10 cents for every $1 white Americans have. Latinx Americans have 13c for every dollar white Americans have.  This is unacceptable.  
  • Today, redlining prevents people of color from getting loans, and many people of color are  either unbanked or underbanked, or subjected to more predatory lending. Bernie is committed to ending redlining practices practices and other forms of discrimination.  
  • Expanding access to homeownership for communities of color.  
  • Equalizing the funding of public schools.    
  • Supporting public colleges and HBCUs.  
  • Allowing every post offices to offer basic and affordable banking services.
  • Raise minimum wage.  

Immigration

Our Immigration system is profoundly broken.

  • Bernie is the son of a Polish immigrant who arrived in the U.S. without a nickle in his pocket, without much education, and without knowing the Egnlish Language. He understands people coming to the U.S. and wanting a better life. 
  • Bernie has actively worked on immigration issues and immigration reform throughout his career, sponsoring or cosponsoring 81 bills related to immigration.

His goals for comprehensive immigration reform are:

  • Ending the policy of family separation and reuniting families
  • Creating a path to citizenship
  • Expanding DACA and DAPA
  • Abolishing ICE
  • Ending exploitation of immigrants 
  • Rescinding the Muslim ban
  • Taking on visa reform
  • Hiring hundreds of new Immigration judges

A Movement for and by the People:

Bernie is part of a movement to transform America by taking on the biggest challenges we face as a nation, head on. We are fighting for Medicare for All, Housing for All, Workplace Democracy, Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Justice, College for All and a Green New Deal.  

How are we going to pay for it?
Income inequality has grown in the US over the last 30 years, the top 1% has seen a $21 trillion increase in its net worth, while the bottom half has lost $900 billion in wealth.
Walmart paid its CEO 1,076 times more than the median Walmart worker last year — $23.6 million to $21,952. Jeff Bezos gets paid 58 times the median Amazon worker. The CEO of the Gap makes a staggering 3,566 times what the clothing retailer’s median worker makes.

There’s a myth in the U.S. that we can’t afford to fix the system.  We can. Here’s how:

Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan

  • Between 2017 and 2018 Amazon made $16.2 billion in profits. Amazon paid NOTHING in taxes over those two years and even received a tax refund of $270 million from the IRS. And Amazon was not alone.

Bernie will raise up to $3 trillion over 10 years by repealing all the corporate tax breaks enacted under Trump, closing corporate loopholes, and making large corporations pay their fair share in taxes.  Of that money, $2 trillion will go towards the Green New Deal. 

If this plan had been in effect last year, instead of paying NOTHING in federal income taxes,

  • Amazon would have paid up to $3.8 billion in taxes
  • Delta would have paid up to $1.8 billion in taxes.
  • Chevron would have paid up to $1.6 billion in taxes.
  • GM would have paid up to $1.5 billion in taxes. 

Wealth Tax

Bernie’s wealth plan would hit the richest 180,000 households in US who are in the top 0.1%. It would cut the wealth of billionaires in half over 15 years.

The levy would raise $4.35 trillion over a decade, according to University of California Berkeley economists. 

It would eliminate the gap in wealth growth between billionaires and the middle class.

Sanders would use the revenue raised from his tax to pay for his universal child-care proposal and his affordable housing plan, which calls for intervening in gentrification, capping annual rent increases, and investing in affordable housing. His housing plan is estimated to cost $2.5 trillion over a decade.

Income Inequality Tax

Tax on companies with massive pay disparities between the executive suite and the median worker. 

The plan would raise $150 billion in revenue over 10 years, which Sanders wants to put toward his plan to eliminate $81 billion medical debt.

Ending Endless Wars

We are now spending more on the military than the next 10 next countries combined — we are spending over $700 billion a year

College for All

Bernie’s plan will be paid for by taxing a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators who nearly destroyed the economy a decade ago to the tune of $2.4 trillion over the next ten years.

Medicare for All

Right now, the United States has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world. In 2017, the U.S. spent about $3.5 trillion on healthcare, which averages to about $11,000 per person. Why? Many reasons, including that (1) without the government negotiating down prices, Americans pay prices for prescription drugs that are two to six times the prices paid by rest of the world, and (2) we spend more on administrative costs ad overhead related to navigating the patchwork of coverage for every patient. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, $1 out of every $4 spent on healthcare in the U.S. annually is being wasted.

The plan to cover an additional 30 million people would increase federal healthcare costs by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, but would cut costs spent on health insurance dramatically.

This plan will be paid for by a payroll tax, a wealth tax, a financial transactions tax and an increased estate tax, among others.

95% of workers will pay less under Bernie’s Medicare for All plan because it replaces a private poll tax (insurance premiums) with a tax rate based on ability to pay.