Bernie and Jane Sanders walk along the waterfront at Battery Park in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo credit: Hilary Hess
CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his White House campaign back to South Carolina on Tuesday with two morning stops in Columbia and an afternoon town meeting here where he predicted his come-from-behind campaign will surprise pundits when Palmetto State Democrats go to the polls on Feb. 27.
“On Election Day, I think folks here in South Carolina are going to wake up the next morning and find a very big surprise,” Sanders said to cheers from supporters at the historic Memminger Auditorium.
Earlier Tuesday, Sanders spoke at a prayer breakfast at the historically black Allen University about his proposals on a range of issues from reforming the criminal justice system to creating jobs and raising wages.
Speaking to a mostly-student audience at the University of South Carolina, Sanders detailed proposals for tuition-free public colleges and universities. He also detailed plans to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges with a five-year, $1 trillion investment in infrastructure improvements.
Sanders was introduced at the university by Erica Garner, whose father died when he was choked to death during an arrest two years by New York City police officers. She called Sanders a “fearless public servant that is not afraid to stand against the establishment for the people.”
Erica Garner is featured in a new television ad set to air here in a six-figure ad buy on stations in South Carolina and on national television beginning Wednesday.
The campaign day in South Carolina followed Sanders’ 22-point victory one week ago in New Hampshire and a tie in the Feb. 1 Iowa precinct caucuses.
provides $2 billion more than the President requested for non-war Defense funding – as well as an additional “$87.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for Defense activities related to the Global War on Terror.” It also includes $521 million more than the President requested for defense technologies research and development.
includes “a provision allowing additional funding to ensure the safe and secure operation of Federal Prisons.”
requires “Immigration and Customs Enforcement to sustain the mandated capacity of 34,000 detention beds.”
extends the current pay freeze for federal employees.
Want to play connect-the-dots?
Corporate profits of defense contractors are almost back to their pre-recession high. Yet the defense industry “mobilized in a major way to stop the cuts to the Pentagon budget. The main thrust of the offensive has been a huge public relations campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the cuts would devastate defense contractors and the broader economy, causing the loss of about a million jobs.” Connect the dots? Chairman Rogers’ bill included defense funding levels that were higher than the President requested. (For a sampling of how private contractors have wasted tax dollars, read the June 2009 Interim Report to Congresshere.)
And then there’s the pay freeze for federal workers. (Are we ever going to have an economy that works for the 99%?) Here’s the reality that most of us have known our entire working lives: productivity has skyrocketed, while our wages have remained relatively flat.
Ever since Richard Nixon was President, economic growth has been transformed into corporate profits rather than increased wages. How does the 1% keep that trend going? By pitting workers against each other. By telling us to consider ourselves lucky to even have a job. By breaking union contracts, cutting benefits and implementing pay freezes. This move is straight out of the ALEC playbook. Connect the dots? Chairman Rogers’ bill extends the federal employee pay freeze and, by maintaining the sequester, mandates unpaid furlough days – guaranteeing that federal workers will be losing ground on wages, just like the rest of us.
Yep, the House GOP still thinks they were elected to protect corporate interests. Nope, they still don’t care how their budget will affect America’s families. Bottom line: this budget reflects the priorities of the House GOP.