Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on MSNBC last night that the country is heading toward an “oligarchy” as Republicans “go to war” against poor kids, seniors, the middle class, and more.
The self-described socialist was railing against the bipartisan compromise on the farm bill in the Senate, which likely faces a cloture vote later today. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tried putting forth an amendment yesterday to dial back cuts to food stamp funding, but was defeated 33-66.
“What’s right about the bill, it ends some subsidies that go to big farmers and corporate agriculture who really don’t need it,” Sanders said, but the cuts are “part and parcel of the Republican vicious attack against middle-income and low-income people.”
“We’re moving towards an oligarchy where a few people have incredible wealth and power. And they’re going to war against millions and millions of people who are trying to hang on by their fingernails,” the senator added.
Sanders charged that the Tea Party isn’t up in arms against the $969 billion bill because they’re “very silent about tax breaks for people who don’t need it.”
“Unfortunately, what you have in the Tea Party are folks who end up representing the wealthiest and most powerful people in this cannery,” he said.
Tea Party-backed Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) yesterday failed 46-53 to push through a bipartisan amendment that would have reformed the U.S. sugar program, including nixing a program that requires the federal government to buy surplus sugar, which is then sold to ethanol companies at a loss.
“Today’s vote was a defeat for American consumers and American jobs and a victory for the deep-pocketed special interests,” Toomey said. “The U.S. sugar program is essentially a transfer of wealth from consumers, including the poorest Americans, to a handful of wealthy sugar producers. In this era of sky-rocketing deficits and stagnant economic growth, I am disappointed that my colleagues rejected a common-sense amendment that would save the U.S. government $72 million and protect American manufacturing jobs.”