Withdrawn 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate

Junior U.S. Senator from Vermont and Former Mayor of Burlington

Bernard Sanders
Born: September 8th, 1940  (age 76)

Bernie Sanders Profile

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  Deficit and Debt
    Federal Deficit
    Federal Debt
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    Candidates' Positions on the Deficit and Debt

Bernie Sanders on the Deficit and Debt

Sanders wishes to reduce the federal deficit and proposes doing so with reductions to discretionary spending, especially on the Department of Defense and agricultural subsidies.

JOURNALIST: “You want to spend a lot more, you want to raise taxes on some people. I'm interested in what you want to cut. What are the big items in the federal budget currently you'd like to cut?”

BERNIE SANDERS: “Look, the truth is, there is, as my conservative friends point out, a lot of waste in federal government and we can run a much more efficient government. I find it interesting that the only major federal agency that has not been able to audit itself or have an independent audit is the Department of Defense. And what I can tell you is that virtually every major defense contractor has either reached settlement with the United States government because of allegations of fraud, or in fact have been convicted of fraud. You have massive costs overall. So one area that I think we can take a hard look at is the defense budget to make it a much more efficient operation than it is.”

JOURNALIST: “Are there any specific current weapons programs you'd like to eliminate or scale back?”

SANDERS: “Not at this – well, there are. But I can't -”

JOURNALIST: “Can you name one today?”

SANDERS: "Can I name – there are a variety of weapons systems that are designed to fight the cold war. I think we spend too much money on nuclear weapons, for example. I do not believe that we need all of the aircraft carriers that some are suggesting.”

JOURNALIST: “What about the bases in Europe? Do you think we need as many bases and troops in Europe as we have today?”

SANDERS: “Well, that's a good point. That's a good point. At a time when we have countries around the world and in Europe that are in many ways have a stronger middle class than we do, I think it is important to review the degree to which we have to defend countries whose middle class is stronger than ours.”

JOURNALIST: “Are there any specific bases overseas or in the US that you'd like to see closed?”

SANDERS: “That's a good question, and I can't give you a specific answer at this point.”

JOURNALIST: “Okay. Beyond the Pentagon, where I know you've just talked about maybe some cuts, are there any domestic programs of significant size that you'd like to see cut?”

SANDERS: “Yeah. I think we have got to end subsidizing of corporate agriculture, for example. That is an area that we will pay -”

JOURNALIST: “Any specific sectors that you'd point out to say that's - ?”

(2:05 – 4:29)
SANDERS: “Well -”

JOURNALIST: “Dairy, sugar…?”

SANDERS: “Well, dairy, most of, the way I would look at it is if you're into large corporate farming, you really do not need subsidies from the federal government. I am a supporter of family farms, not just dairy in my own state of Vermont, but I would like to see a strengthened and resilient family farm situation in America where people can maintain their family farms.”

18 September, 2015: Sanders is interviewed by Bloomberg Politics for “With All Due Respect”

Other Candidates on the Deficit and Debt

Hillary Clinton
Gary Johnson
Jill Stein
Donald Trump

Bernie Sanders on other Issues

Capital Punishment
Deficit and Debt
Federal Budget
Guantanamo Bay
Gun Control
Health Care
Minimum Wage
National Security
North Korea
Social Security

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