What Do Democrats Have To Offer?

As most of you know, I have high regard for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  As an Independent and a democratic-socialist, he stands about as much chance of ever rising to the presidency as I do, but he’s a good man who is far more concerned with the people of the world than he is with corporate wealth.  He recently published an OpEd in The Hill that I think is well worth reading as election day creeps closer and closer …

Sen. Sanders: Why we need to expand the Democratic majority in Congress

Bernie Sanders

25 October 2022

As we enter the final weeks of the 2022 midterm elections, poll after poll shows that the most important issues facing the American people are the economy and inflation. This should come as no surprise.

As corporate profits soar, and as billionaires become even richer, working class Americans are falling further behind. This, sadly, is not a new reality. Tragically, despite huge increases in worker productivity, real inflation adjusted wages for American workers are lower today than they were nearly 50 years ago. During that period there has been a multi-trillion dollar redistribution of wealth that has gone from the middle class to the top 1 percent, and we now have more income and wealth inequality than at any time in American history. Unbelievably, CEOs of major corporations now make almost 400 times what their average workers make.

Given the economic pain facing working families, many voters are asking themselves which party will better fight for legislation that will improve life for ordinary Americans. As the longest serving Independent in the history of Congress, someone who caucuses with Senate Democrats, let me give you my best answer.

First, let me admit that the Democratic Party is far from perfect. 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. That’s why we need at least 52 Democrats in the Senate.

But here is the simple reality: the Republicans in Congress are far worse when it comes to addressing the needs of the working class.

Let me give you some examples.

Social Security

Right now, despite the reality that 55 percent of seniors are trying to survive on less than $25,000 a year, leading Republicans in the House and Senate are proposing to cut Social Security benefits, raise the retirement age to 70 or reduce cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for seniors by adopting a less generous formula. Most Democrats believe that we must expand Social Security benefits so that everyone in America can retire with dignity. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees.

Prescription Drugs

The United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. I believe, and many Democrats believe, that we need to cut the price of prescription drugs in half by requiring Medicare to pay no more than the Veterans Administration does. Not a single Republican in Washington is prepared to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and substantially lower the cost of prescription drugs. Almost every Republican in Washington voted against capping the price of insulin at no more than $35 a month.

Expanding Medicare

Today, millions of seniors are unable to afford the outrageous cost of dental care, hearing aids or prescription eyeglasses. Most Democrats believe we need to expand Medicare to cover these essential health care services. Not a single Republican member of Congress agrees. Further there are many Republicans in the House and the Senate who support massive cuts to Medicare.

Universal Health Care

At a time when 85 million Americans are uninsured or under-insured, most Democrats believe that the U.S. should do what every other major country does and guarantee health care for all. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees. The last time Republicans controlled the Senate they came within one vote of throwing up to 32 million Americans off of their health insurance by repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Minimum Wage

Sixty percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and millions are working for starvation wages. Most Democrats believe that we must increase the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees. In fact, many Republicans don’t even believe in the concept of the minimum wage.

Child Poverty

We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of virtually every major country on earth. Most Democrats believe that we should cut the child poverty rate in America by more than 40 percent by extending the $300 a month per child tax credit to working class families that expired last December. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees.


Today, over 70 percent of the American people support unions. Most Democrats believe that if we are going to expand the middle class we must make it easier for workers to join unions and end the heavy-handed corporate tactics that make it hard for workers to unionize. Not a single Republican in Washington supports legislation to make it easier for workers to join unions.

Corporate Greed

At a time when inflation is a worldwide phenomenon (European Union – 10.1 percent, Germany – 10 percent, UK – 9.7 percent, Canada – 7 percent, etc.), corporations are using the war in Ukraine, the supply chain crisis, and the ongoing pandemic to jack up the price of gas, food, and just about everything the American people need. Many Democrats believe that we should enact a windfall profits tax on large, greedy corporations. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees.

A Fair Tax Policy

During the pandemic, while the billionaire class saw a $2 trillion increase in their wealth some of the largest corporations and wealthiest people in America did not pay a nickel in federal income taxes. Democrats voted to end that absurdity and begin the process of moving to a fairer tax system. Not one Republican voted to support that effort. In fact, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, Republicans have proposed trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the most profitable corporations and wealthiest people in America.

In conclusion, let me say that it is no secret that many Americans are discouraged by what’s going on in Washington and are unhappy with both major parties. I get that. The answer, however, is not to make a bad situation worse by supporting candidates who will cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and give huge tax breaks to the rich. If we have any chance to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent, we must expand the Democratic majority in Congress and continue to push them to represent the needs of the working class, not the billionaire class.

29 thoughts on “What Do Democrats Have To Offer?

  1. Pingback: What Do Democrats Have To Offer? — Filosofa’s Word – Wright4Georgia

  2. I am a huge Bernie fan too Jill—voted for him in the Democratic primaries about 8-yrs ago I believe, but he lost out to Hillary. Anyway, thank very much for sharing this OpEd! He is indeed a great man with high-quality standards of SERVING his people, isn’t he? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the odds of Bernie winning the presidency were always a longshot, and in some ways I’m surprised he’s been able to retain his Senate seat, but I’m glad he has. I wish we had a few more in Congress like him. He has integrity and values and cares about people.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this is rich coming from a lifelong senator who is a millionaire and owns three houses. what can he know about struggling everyday people? not a damn thing because he doesn’t and has never had those struggles.


    • Scott, you apparently miss the fact that even if he’s a millionaire, he still seems to have the capacity to care about those less fortunate AND works on their behalf. Can you provide the names of others (especially on the side you prefer) who do the same?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Born into a working-class Jewish family and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Sanders attended Brooklyn College before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964.
      Well it seems he didn’t start with the proverbial silver spoon.
      Using your analogy no wealthy person should speak on social matters…. That sort of talk would go down swimmingly with some of my more frantic fellow left-wingers in the UK (Left-wing and socialism is a serious business over here, US politicians accused of being Left-Wing come across to us as well-meaning moderates)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Scott … I thought we agreed that you would stop reading my political posts and stick to Good People on Wednesday and Jolly Monday? Your anger toward me and my readers escalates when you read and comment on my political posts, so … why even put yourself through that? You know my views and I know yours … I wish you wouldn’t even bother to read them anymore. We did agree to that a few weeks ago.

      Liked by 2 people

      • we agreed that I’d stop by from time to time and there was nothing mean in my comment but I’ll abide by your wishes and simply stop commenting from here on out on such posts.

        have a good weekend.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It wasn’t that you said anything ‘mean’ this time, but I’ve seen time and time again how your comments escalate until you end up calling me a stupid bitch, which I really don’t appreciate and you’ve done it more than once. You have a good weekend also, my friend.


  4. Pingback: What Do Democrats Have To Offer ? |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  5. Jill, let me pick one. Unions. The highest growth period by far in America occurred when we had our highest tax rates and more unions. The middle class thrived and drove the economy. the existence of these two facts fly in the face of most Republican rhetoric. The reason Trickle Down economics has been proven not to work is if you give more money to rich people, they put it in the bank. If you give more money to a middle class or below, they will spend it. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Pingback: What Do Democrats Have To Offer? | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  7. This is interesting Jill, and very telling too, because there are certain similarities in Sen Sanders’ themes to those facing the UK, maybe not the exact details but certainly the pressures not many folk. Folk in fact who not so long ago, thought they were comfortably off.
    For years I used to scoff at the SF / Future novels in which corporations had taken the place of governments and ran the show; ‘governments and their armies have the final say’ being my argument.
    Folk like Musk and companies like Microsoft make me wonder.
    There’s this excellent series of comics I read:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow … that sounds like a very dark and depressing comic, Roger! I’m tempted to try a sample of it, but not sure if my psyche can handle it at the moment. Still … maybe. Yes, times are changing and rapidly, it seems … people’s values are different than they were even a few short years ago, it would seem. I no longer understand the world I once thought I belonged in. 🐺

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually the comic, for one with adult themes, harsh life, violence and callous behaviour, can be quite uplifting at times. Forever Caryle is a person you feel for; although harsh in battle she has a compassionate and vulnerable sides. The Caryle family are multi-dimensional, although not likeable. There are also a number of sub-plots involving folk further down the social ladder. And the art is of high quality. And we are spared the archetype grinning villain who pops up everywhere with cunning plans; just everyday nasty folk as villains.
        Or maybe that’s just my perspective steeped in reading military and political histories.
        Sometimes I wonder if things in the big pictures actually change, or do we live through a series of episodes. Recent readings of the last century of the Roman Republic and France in the early 15th century and its in-fighting between two related noble houses I see some jagged similarities with various internal conflicts today.
        Peaks and troughs. Storms and calms. Coming and Going.
        Leaving me to wonder if it’s simply our personal perspectives which change?


    • Yep, it all boils down to a lust for power and money … not much else matters to some. Loss of sustainable environment, nuclear weapons, revolution … humans are unlikely to survive another 100 years, let alone another several thousand.


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