Sanders Slams Republicans’ Plans to Cut Social Security and Medicare in Op-Ed

In an op-ed published Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) pointed out the sharp contrasts between Republicans’ economic policies and progressive Democrats’ ambitions, laying out a variety of policies that have popular support among the public but that are opposed by the GOP.

Writing in The Hill, Sanders acknowledged that the Democratic Party is “far from perfect,” while urging voters to consider Republicans’ stances on key economic issues like Social Security and Medicare — two crucial anti-poverty programs that members of the party have plausibly threatened to cut if the GOP takes the House in the midterm election.

“Too many Democratic members of Congress have been unwilling to stand up to the big money interests that dominate Washington and fight for working families,” Sanders wrote. At the same time, he said, “here is the simple reality: the Republicans in Congress are far worse when it comes to addressing the needs of the working class.”

He then listed a variety of policies that Republicans nearly uniformly oppose, like cutting the prices of a wide variety of prescription drugs; raising the minimum wage; implementing universal health care; cutting child poverty through the expanded child tax credit; expanding workers’ unionization rights; and closing loopholes that allow corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying federal income taxes.

The GOP also opposes taking on corporate greed through a corporate windfall tax, which Sanders proposed in a bill earlier this year amid soaring worldwide inflation that has been coupled with soaring corporate profits.

“Not a single Republican in Washington agrees” with these policies, he wrote multiple times.

In fact, many Republicans support policies that only worsen these problems. Rather than closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, for instance, they have slashed tax rates for corporations and the 1 percent. And, instead of supporting the union movement and boosting workers’ wages and rights in the workplace, as the progressive movement has done, Republicans have vowed to go after the labor movement and top labor regulators if they take the House.

Sanders has spent this month emphasizing that the Democratic Party should be focusing more on economic issues if they want to win over voters and keep control of Congress this year. In interviews, op-eds and on social media, the senator has said that Democrats must tout their economic platform — and have the “guts” to follow through and lead on bold measures taking on corporate power.

Indeed, as Sanders has pointed out, multiple polls have shown that voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on economic issues. This is likely the result of years of misleading messaging from the party branding themselves as deficit hawks (but only when Democrats are in power) or blaming Democrats for issues like gas prices that are often out of their control.

At the same time, the economy and inflation are top of mind for voters this election. Polls have found that inflation consistently ranks as a top concern for voters casting a midterm ballot, suggesting that Sanders is right in his hypothesis that focusing on the economy would be a winning strategy for the Democratic Party.