Sanders: $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Could Lower Youth Unemployment

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said at a town hall meeting the minimum wage should be raised to $15 per hour and advocated for expanding Social Security benefits.

“If one person is making $18 million and another person is making $118,000 a year, who pays more into Social Security? Neither, they’re paying the same because there is a cap upon which after you, at a certain level, you don’t pay anything more and that level is about $118,000,” Sanders said at the meeting in Washington.

“If you lift that cap, and you don’t have to start at $119,000, you can start at $250,000. If you just do that, Social Security will be solvent until the year 2065 and we can increase benefits – that’s part of the legislation I’ve recently introduced,” he added.

Sanders, a member of the Senate Budget Committee and now a presidential candidate, said Social Security would be solvent for another 20 years if the U.S. had the same distribution of wealth today as it did 30 years ago.

“Just because more people would be paying into the Social Security trust fund,” he said. “The major issue is how we deal with the multi-trillion dollar shift of wealth that has disappeared from working families and gone to the top one tenth of  one percent, and if we can redistribute that down we will solve many problems.”

Over the last 30 years, Sanders said, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth in the wrong direction.

“Our job is to turn that around,” he said.

Addressing his support for a $15 minimum wage, Sanders said, “I’m not going to say that’s a perfect solution” but it is “the direction we should go.”

The White House supports a $10.10 per hour minimum wage.