Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) declared, “Yes, thank you, President Obama. We are better off today than we were seven years ago” and argued “real unemployment is close to 10%” during a speech in Minnesota after losing in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday.
Sanders began by stating, “[I]n the last 30 years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth. The problem is, that redistribution has gone in the wrong direction.”
He then said, “Yes, thank you, President Obama. We are better off today than we were seven years ago. That’s for sure. You know, it’s amazing to me, that our Republican friends suffer from a very, very serious illness, which seems to be all pervasive among Republicans, and that is short-term amnesia. How they could go forward with a straight face, and talk about the problems we have today, while ignoring what world Bush left us in, when he left office. So we are going to make sure that our Republican friends do not forget that when President Bush left office, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. Unbelievable. Our deficit was a record breaking 1.4 trillion. Oh, and by the way, the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse. Other than that, we were doing really good. So to hear Republicans talk about, you know, where we are today without putting it into that context, is somewhat of an outrage.”
Sanders added, “But here is another truth. Yes, we are better than — today than we were seven years ago. But the reality is, that for the last 30 years, under Republican leadership, under Democratic leadership, the middle class of this country has been shrinking, and almost all new income and wealth has been going to the top 1%.
Later on, Sanders said, “[I]f you look at people who have given up looking for work, and who are working part-time, real unemployment is close to 10%. And here is something else, that we do not talk about at all, the media has nothing to say about it, and that is youth unemployment in this country. Kids who graduated high school between 17-20, if those kids are white, 33% are unemployed or underemployed, Latino, 36%, African-American, 51%.”
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