Whilst many in the media were falling over themselves to congratulate President Donald Trump on not having subjected Congress to seven shades of crazy in his speech last night, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) launched a blistering attack on the contents of the speech itself.
Noting the importance of what was not said — especially on matters relating to Trump’s now officially moribund campaign promises — the Vermont Senator cut through the rhetoric and brilliantly deconstructed the vapor thin reality of Trump’s view of a united and thriving Republic.
Here then is the transcript of his speech in full followed by the full video address:
Before I respond to President Trump’s speech and what he said tonight I wanted to say a few words about what he didn’t say. Because when you analyze a speech sometimes what is more important is what somebody does not say as opposed to what they actually say.
At a time when over a half of older Americans have no retirement savings, I did not hear president Trump say one word – not one word – about social security or Medicare. During the campaign, as we all remember, President Trump promised over and over and over again that he would not cut social security Medicare or Medicaid; it was a cornerstone of his campaign. But in his first address to the nation, he didn’t mention social security and Medicare once. Not a single time. Even worse, President Trump has proposed a massive cut to Medicaid, threatening the nursing home care of millions of senior citizens and the Healthcare of many many of our children.
I urge President Trump keep your promises, tell the American people, tweet to the American people that you will not cut social security, Medicare, and, Medicaid.
Wealth And Income
Further, I did not hear President Trump tonight mention, mention the words ‘income and wealth inequality,’ or the fact that we now have the widest gap between the very rich and everyone else since the 1920s. I did not hear President trump mention the fact that as a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision — a 5-4 decision — we now have a corrupt campaign finance system that is allowing billionaires to buy elections and undermine American democracy.
How could you give a speech to the nation and not talk about that enormously important issue?
Furthermore, not only did president Trump not mention the issue of voter suppression, what Republican governors are doing all over this country to make it harder for people to participate in our democracy but the truth of the matter is that his administration is now working. Working overtime with Republican governors to make it harder for young people, low-income people, senior citizens and people of color to vote.
That is an outrage.
Climate Change Of Direction
Perhaps most astoundingly, at a time when the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, that it is caused by human activity, that it is already causing devastating problems in our country and all over the world, I did not hear president Trump say one word – not one word – about the need to combat climate change, the greatest environmental threat facing our planet. Not only did he not mention climate change, he pledged to increase our dependency on fossil fuels.
Furthermore, at a time when we have more people in jail than any other country in the world disproportionately, African-American, Latino Native-American, I did not hear the President say one word about how he is going to fix a broken criminal justice system. Yes, we must support the hard work of men and women in the Police Departments and the sheriff departments all over this country but we must end also the disgrace of having more people in jail than any other country on Earth.
It’s The Education Stupid
Furthermore, at a time when we need the best-educated workforce in the world to compete in a highly competitive global economy I did not hear president trump say one word about the need to lower the cost of college and to do what countries all over the world are doing and that is to make public colleges and universities commission free; it’s an enormously important issue impacting millions of families around this country. Not one word about making colleges more affordable, not one word about addressing the crisis of student debt.
During his campaign, president Trump told us that he was going to take on Wall street and that he was going to ‘drain the swamp’. Remember that? He’s gonn a ‘Drain the swamp.’ Well, the swamp big-time is now in his administration which has more millionaires and billionaires than any presidential administration in history.
Amazingly enough for somebody was going to ‘drain the swamp’, who was going to take on Wall Street, his Chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn is the former president of Goldman Sachs. One of the major financial institutions that paid billions of dollars in fines for their illegal activity.
That’s really draining the swamp.
Needless to Say, I did not hear president Trump say one word about another campaign promise that he made to the American people and that was to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act.
Now that’s a little bit about which Trump did not say tonight so let’s just say a few words about what he did say.
The truth is that some of what President Trump said tonight sounds good on the surface. But it doesn’t sound so good if you dig just a little deeper beneath the surface. President Trump told us that we need to invest a trillion dollars in our infrastructure, in our crumbling infrastructure to create millions of new jobs and you know what? He is absolutely right; that is something that I have been working on for years.
But the specifics of the financing plan that he has provided us so far are absolutely wrong.
We cannot rebuild our infrastructure by providing billions of dollars in tax breaks to Wall Street and large corporations. Donald Trump said tonight we need to promote clean air and clear water and to be very honest with you because I was only a few feet away from the president I had a difficult time not laughing out loud when he said that. Because on this very very day, he signed an executive order rolling back President Obama’s clean water rules and has appointed the most anti-environmental EPA administrator in our nation’s history.
Bombs not Books
President trump said tonight that he wants to substantially increase funding for the pentagon. What he didn’t say tonight, is that he will come up with that $84 billion in increased funding for the Pentagon by slashing programs that benefit the working people of this country, that benefit the elderly, that benefit the children, the sick, and the poor.
Now here’s the truth. At a time when our country spends more on defense than the next 12 countries combined. When virtually every major defense contractor has committed fraud and has had to pay fines to the Federal Government for their fraudulent activity. At a time when the Pentagon has buried evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, president Trump wants to increase defense spending by $84 billion over the next year and a half.
And let me be very clear in stating that I think those priorities are wrong. We should not be massively cutting programs for people in need and then significantly expanding spending for the military. And let’s be also clear; the $84 billion that President Trump wants to plug into the bloated pentagon budget could — just as one example –provide free tuition at every public college and university in this country and begin to reduce the crushing burden of student debt in America.
That is the choice.
Do we add another $80 plus billion to the Pentagon, or do we allowed every qualified young American the ability to go to college to tuition-free in a public college and university and substantially reduce student debt?
I think the choice is clear.
I think we do not need to greatly increase Pentagon spending.
And while president Trump wants to slash programs that the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poorest American desperately rely on, he also thinks that it is a great idea to provide nearly $3 trillion in tax breaks for the top one percent.
Middle class shrinking, 43 million people living in poverty, the rich doing phenomenally well and Donald Trump wants to provide $3 trillion in tax breaks for the people on top.
That is an outrage.
Sweet Little Lies
Furthermore, President trump claimed tonight that American corporations pay the highest tax rates in the world. We’re going to have to lower substantially tax rates on large corporations.
What he said he is untrue.
According to the government accountability office, 1 out of 5 large profitable corporations pays nothing in Federal income tax.
Today, we are losing $100 billion in revenue every year because corporations are stashing their cash in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax-havens. These corporations don’t need a tax cut they need to start paying their fair share of taxes.
Repeal Big Fish
Tonight president dropped once again made it clear that he plans on working with Republicans in Congress who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million Americans off of health insurance, privatize Medicare make massive cuts in Medicaid, raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood while at the same time, he wants to give yet another massive tax break for the wealthiest Americans, which is what would happen if the Affordable care act were repealed.
As he did during his campaign, Donald Trump claims that he would bring down the cost of prescription drugs. A few weeks ago he even said that the pharmaceutical industry was, “getting away with murder.” But if Donald Trump really wanted to take on the pharmaceutical industry he would have told his Republican friends in the House and the Senate to pass legislation which I introduce today with 20 Senators allowing Americans to import safe low-cost medicine from Canada. We should not have to pay the highest prices in the world for the medicine we use.
Since the beginning of this year, we have seen unprecedented grassroots energy from Maine to California. Last week at Republican Town Hall meetings across the country and at more than 150 rallies that took place from coast to coast, the American people sent a clear message about what they expect from Congress.
As a result, the Republicans are getting very worried. They are not so cocky anymore about simply repealing Obamacare.
And they should be worried.
Because the American people are standing up and what they are saying loudly and clearly is ‘no you’re not going to repeal the Affordable Care Act. No, you’re not going to destroy it. You are going to improve it.’
In my view what we must be doing right now is not only defending the Affordable Care Act, not only improving the Affordable Care Act, we have got to move forward to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee Healthcare to all people as a right, not a privilege, we must go forward towards a Medicare for all single-payer program.
But defeating these attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act and transfer even more of our nation’s wealth to Donald Trump and his billionaire friends is going to take all of us coming together and making our voices heard.
Those of you who attended rallies or Town Hall meetings keep showing up. Keep calling Congress and continue the fight. The Republicans are now on the defensive and we’re got to continue to push them back. Those of you who haven’t taken action yet, we need your voices, we need your action. Only to get when millions of people stand up and fight for economic justice, for social justice, for racial justice, for environmental Justice; only then can we create the political revolution that will turn this country around.
Thank you all and have a great evening
Featured Image: Screenshot Via Sanders.Senate.gov.