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Manchin Freaks Out After Sanders Pens Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper
By Donna
October 16, 2021 1:11 pm
Category: Politics

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This is why I love Bernie.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Let's stand together to protect working families (Opinion)

In America today, the very rich are becoming richer while millions of working families are struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills. We now have the absurd situation in which two multi-billionaires own more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans; the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 92%; and the gap between rich and poor is wider than at any time in the last 100 years.

The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill, supported by President Biden and almost all Democrats in Congress, is an unprecedented effort to finally address the long-neglected crises facing working families and demand that the wealthiest people and largest corporations in the country start paying their fair share of taxes. In fact, this legislation would be paid for by ending loopholes and raising taxes on the 1% and large profitable corporations.

This bill would take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower the cost of prescription drugs in America by having Medicare negotiate prices with drug companies, something the VA already does. It is unacceptable that we continue to pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs — sometimes 10 times more than the people in other countries.

Last year alone, while nearly one out of four Americans could not afford to fill the prescriptions their doctors wrote, six of the largest pharmaceutical companies made nearly $50 billion in profits and the 10 highest-paid executives in the industry made over $500 million in compensation. In order to preserve this corrupt and greedy pricing system, the drug companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to fight our legislation and have hired nearly 1,500 lobbyists, including former leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, to represent their interests. Enough is enough. We must lower prescription drug prices.

This bill would expand Medicare to cover dental care, hearing aids and eye glasses. Today, in the wealthiest nation on earth, many millions of seniors are unable to afford to go to a dentist, or buy the hearing aids and eye glasses they need. In the richest country on earth older Americans should not have teeth rotting in their mouths. That is unacceptable.

The United States, and states like West Virginia and Vermont in particular, are seeing their populations age. The result: more and more older Americans and people with disabilities need home health care. They would much prefer to be around their loved ones at home rather than be forced into expensive nursing homes. This bill greatly expands home health care and makes sure that these jobs are adequately paid.

The Build Back Better plan is not only vitally important for seniors, but it is enormously important for working families and their children. As a result of the $300 direct payments to working class parents which began in the American Rescue Plan, we have cut childhood poverty in our country by half. It would be unconscionable to see those payments end, which is exactly what will happen if we do not pass this bill.

This legislation also ends the dysfunction of our childcare system which forces millions of working families to spend 20% to 30% of their limited incomes on childcare and keeps over a million women out of the workforce. Under Build Back Better no family would pay more than 7% of their income for child care, and pre-K education for 3- and 4-year-olds would be universal and free. This is a huge step forward for working parents and their kids.

This legislation would make community college tuition free and enable our young people to acquire the skills they need to get good paying jobs and meaningful careers.

This legislation will end the embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave.

This legislation will make a massive investment in low-income and affordable housing so that we no longer have 600,000 homeless Americans and millions more who spend half their incomes or more on housing.

And then there is the existential threat of climate change. With the planet becoming warmer and warmer, with unprecedented forest fires, drought, floods and extreme weather disturbances, and when scientists tell us that we only have a few years to avoid irreparable damage to our country and planet, this legislation begins the process of cutting carbon emissions and transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

And when we do all of these things, and more, we create millions of good paying jobs and offer a brighter future for our young people.

This reconciliation bill is being opposed by every Republican in Congress as well as the drug companies, the insurance companies, the fossil fuel industry and the billionaire class. They want to maintain the status quo in which the very rich get richer while ordinary Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet.

I believe that now is the time, finally, for Congress to stand up for working families and have the courage to take on the big money interests and wealthy campaign contributors who have so much power over the economic and political life of our country.

Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote “yes.” We now have only 48. Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

This is a pivotal moment in modern American history. We now have a historic opportunity to support the working families of West Virginia, Vermont and the entire country and create policy which works for all, not just the few.

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Comments on "Manchin Freaks Out After Sanders Pens Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper":

  1. by Curt_Anderson on October 16, 2021 1:40 pm
    I suspect that Bernie's op-ed won't have the desired effect. First it would need to influence the citizens of West Virginia. They would in turn need to influence Manchin. I don't think either will happen and certainly not both.

  2. by Donna on October 16, 2021 1:45 pm
    If you're looking for a sure-fire way to pass progressive legislation, there is none.

  3. by Curt_Anderson on October 16, 2021 1:53 pm
    Maybe Manchin and Sinema could be rewarded (aka bribed) with some pork, aka a needed bridge or something for their states. That's the tried and true way of getting legislation passed.

  4. by Donna on October 16, 2021 2:02 pm
    They have to say what they want first, which reportedly they haven't.

  5. by Donna on October 16, 2021 2:08 pm
    Btw, this was Joe "Yacht Club" Manchin's response to bernie's Op-Ed:

    ...Manchin snapped back: “This isn’t the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state.”

    “Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that,”
    Manchin said in a statement on Friday evening shortly after the op-ed published.

    What a douche.

  6. by islander on October 16, 2021 3:58 pm

    Thanks Donna Bernie spelled it out quite plainly here.

  7. by HatetheSwamp on October 16, 2021 4:20 pm

    pb has no problem understanding the supply chain thingie and he's convinced that anyone with a 90+ IQ, who's interested, can get it in their sleep.

    What I've been trying to get isle, The Great Understander, to understand is that most people are going to engage the issue emotionally.

    They're going to understand that "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap" has bungled the problem and they will become emotional, angry...pi$$ him.

    And, there will be electoral hell to pay.

  8. by HatetheSwamp on October 16, 2021 4:20 pm
    Sorry. Wrong thread.

  9. by Indy! on October 16, 2021 8:22 pm
    Doesn't hit him hard enough, imho. But that's the Ds - bunch of worthless weaklings who are more interested in surveilling the bank accounts of poor people than helping them.

  10. by Donna on October 16, 2021 8:46 pm
    My pleasure, islander.

  11. by HatetheSwamp on October 17, 2021 9:12 am

    October 16, 2021 8:22 pm
    Doesn't hit him hard enough, imho. But that's the Ds - bunch of worthless weaklings who are more interested in surveilling the bank accounts of poor people than helping them.

    Amazing what being progressive has become.

  12. by islander on October 17, 2021 10:47 am

    The saddest and most frustrating part of this is the huge number of people who have, over the years, been conditioned to think that we can't spend our own tax dollars on things that will benefit 'us' the ordinary working person, because, as they've been told, "we can't afford it". They have, for example, been convinced to look the other way or simply block out the facts that demonstrate the falsity of that way of thinking since we "can" afford to spend $300 million dollars A DAY for 20 YEARS invading and occupying a country we shouldn't have been in in the first place and accomplished "nothing" in the process. We can spend our money on things like that but not on a bill like the one we are trying to get through now?

    What people have to come to understand is that they can't blame "The Government" for stuff like that (that's the easy way out) and start looking honestly at themselves. It's the people themselves who are responsible for who they send to Washington and therefore are responsible for things the representatives they put there do. They can't just throw up their hands and say "none of them are any good and none of them are trying to do what we want" which, by the way, is not true. It's the cynical people who think that way because they are angry when they finally realize that they used poor judgment when they chose the person or people they wanted to represent them.

    In 2022 "WE" have the opportunity to change things but do you think enough of the people in our country will be willing to do that ?

  13. by Donna on October 17, 2021 11:05 am
    On the whole, Americans aren't engaged enough to make informed decisions about anything.

    The outcome of the midterm elections will determine whether or not our democracy survives, because in 2024 when the red states overturn the election results without showing evidence of fraud, the decision will go to the US House.

  14. by islander on October 17, 2021 12:43 pm

    That's the worst case scenario. I hope it won't be the case. Here in Maine, at least where I am along the coast, the Trumpists are in the minority so it's hard for me to judge the rest of the country but I know that on FaceBook my acquaintances and family members who had been hard right conservative Trump supporters and some are still as far as I know, are no longer as strident in defending the Trump and his Republican backers. Most just prefer to talk about anything but Trump and his cohorts. I know some my Trump supporting family members who have taken the cynical position of "none of the politicians are any good" and feel voting is pointless since there are no good choices. They are not enthusiastic about voting in the 2022 election So I am not totally pessimistic about 2022.

  15. by HatetheSwamp on October 17, 2021 3:25 pm

    BTW, isle, we spent the last week in Winter Harbor. Were we close to you?

  16. by islander on October 17, 2021 5:41 pm

    You were about 45 miles from our house.

  17. by HatetheSwamp on October 18, 2021 5:11 am

    So, the glow you were seeing in the distance at twilight? That was good ol pb.


    Beautiful foliage.

  18. by islander on October 18, 2021 7:34 am

    As a born and bred New Englander who went off to explore and live in various parts of the country, my wife and I went from living in the mountains of SW Virginia, to a barrier island off the coast of NC , and finally ended up in Florida for almost four years. Florida is the place where, along with so many people, we expected to live out our retirement years. We enjoyed living in every one of those places but none of them ever really felt like “home”, Florida least of all, even though I can understand why it’s so attractive to many retirees. So, we did the opposite of what most people do, we left Florida and headed north to retire in Maine. “Home again at last”! We're back to living in a little village with our flower and vegetable gardens and it is a wonderful, wonderful feeling!

    And yes, the foliage is incredibly beautiful, but each season has its own beauty.

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