Bernie Sanders. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Bernie Sanders. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is scheduled to speak Wednesday at a fundraising reception in Hollywood, where he plans to discuss income and wealth inequality.

Sanders, I-Vermont, also plans to discuss his proposals on campaign finance, prescription drug prices, the criminal justice system and reducing the cost of college, according to the campaign.

The suggested minimum donation for the reception at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub is $25. Doors will open at 4 p.m., with the program beginning at 5 p.m.

Sanders will also tape appearances on the Friday editions of the syndicated daytime talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and HBO’s weekly talk show, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” during his visit to the Los Angeles area.

Sanders’ proposals to reduce income and wealth inequality include:

— stopping corporations from shifting profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes;

— creating a progressive estate tax on Americans inheriting more than $3.5 million;

— taxing Wall Street speculators;

— increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2020;

— spending $1 trillion over five years on building and rebuilding roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants and other infrastructure needs;

— spending $5.5 billion on a youth jobs program intended to create 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans; and

— expanding Social Security, which would be financed by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000.    Sanders has introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political spending by corporations, associations or labor unions.

Sanders has promised that his nominees to the Supreme Court would commit to overturning the Citizens United decision.   He has voted in favor of the DISCLOSE Act, which would prohibit government contractors from spending money on federal campaigns and would create stronger disclosure requirements.

Sanders has proposed making tuition free at public colleges and universities, which would be paid for with a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators.

The reception comes one day after Sanders was among the five candidates participating in the first debate of the 2016 election cycle involving Democratic presidential candidates.

“What this campaign is all about is whether we can mobilize our people to take back our government from a handful of billionaires and create the vibrant democracy we know we can and should have,” the 74-year-old Sanders said during his opening statement.

Sanders would be the nation’s first Jewish president and first to be an avowed socialist, describing himself as a democratic socialist.

“What democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country … own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” Sanders said at the debate.

“That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.

“… When you look around the world, you see every major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every major country saying to moms that when you have a baby, we’re not going to separate you from your newborn baby because … we are going to have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth.

“Those are some of the principles that I believe in and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”

—City News Service


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