Opinion: Bernie Sanders – Stand up for seniors

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, talks with Aki Soga of the Burlington Free Press in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, saying that the nation must stop President Trump’s reactionary agenda by electing progressive democrats to office. RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS

This Saturday, April 14, I will be holding three Senior Town Meetings: a breakfast meeting in Montpelier, a lunch meeting in Newport, and an early dinner meeting in St. Albans. I hope you can join me to get an update from Washington, and to discuss issues of importance to older Vermonters.

As I travel around the state, I often meet older Vermonters who are struggling just to get by. To my mind, no senior in the richest country on earth should ever have to decide between buying groceries, medications or keeping their house warm. But that is the reality today for far too many older Americans.

The bad news is that President Trump’s proposed budget would have made the situation much worse. He called for major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability and many other programs that help seniors stay healthy and secure. Meanwhile, he supported massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations. The good news is that Congress ignored Trump’s proposed budget and moved in an entirely different direction.

At a time when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, we have got to get our national priorities right. We should expand programs that help older Americans, not cut them. After all, a great nation is judged not by the tax breaks it gives to the very wealthy, but by how it cares for its most vulnerable people – including its seniors.

That is why I have introduced legislation to increase Social Security…

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