The PJ Tatler

Sanders: Economy 'Doing Pretty Badly,' Especially Real Unemployment

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) did a little administration bubble-bursting on the state of the economy this morning.

Sanders said on MSNBC that he thinks the overall picture looks better than 2008, particularly in terms of state budgets recovering.

“But let me give you the not so good news. And that is, while official unemployment today is at about 7.5 percent, real unemployment, counting those people who have given up looking for work and people who are working part-time when they want to work full-time, is almost 14 percent. And if you look at young people unemployment, if you look at minority unemployment, the numbers are way, way higher than that,” the senator said.

“More significantly, if you look at the trends impacting the middle class from way, way back, say from 1999, median middle income in this country has gone down by about $5,000. And most of the jobs being created today are not good-paying jobs. They’re low-paying jobs.”

Staying true to his socialist beliefs, though, he proceeded to decry the income inequality, saying “in terms of wealth, my God, the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is wide as it has been since the 1920s.”

And his way of addressing the real unemployment numbers on which he agrees with the GOP is with a very un-GOP solution.

“Despite what my Republican friends are saying, we need a massive jobs program to put people back to work, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. You talk about sequestration. Right now, there are millions of seniors who need the Meals on Wheels program, and that program has been cut — so you’re having some of the most fragile people in this country. I know that they don’t make big campaign contributions to the Republican party. They’re sitting at home, trying to get a decent meal a day, and our Republican friends have fought to cut that program. You’ve got kids graduating college today deeply in debt, and our Republicans friends want to cut the Pell Grant program,” Sanders said.

“So what I would argue, is that for significant numbers of people in this country today, the economy is not doing well. It is doing pretty badly, better than it was in 2008.”