Sanders Stars in Exposé of Conservative Billionaire Koch Brothers (VIDEO) | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Sanders Stars in Exposé of Conservative Billionaire Koch Brothers (VIDEO) 

Bernie Sanders

Published June 22, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.

“The Koch Brothers' job is to do everything they can to dismember government in general,” Sanders says in the film. “If you can destroy Social Security, you will have gone a long way forward in that effort.”

Earlier this year, Sanders introduced legislation aimed at protecting Social Security from benefit cuts or raising the retirement age. Sanders contends that Social Security currently has a $2.6 trillion surplus and that surplus is projected to grow to $4.2 trillion in 2023.

That may be true, but according to a recent report by the Social Security Board of Trustees that surplus will be exhausted by 2037. After that, taxes on workers would only be sufficient to fund about 75 percent of the scheduled benefit outlays to retirees through roughly 2085. According to a recent report, Social Security expenditures exceeded the program’s non-interest income in 2010 for the first time since 1983, with a $49 billion deficit last year (excluding interest income) and $46 billion projected deficit in 2011.

The film featuring Sanders was co-created by the Strengthen Social Security Campaign and Brave New Foundation, run by filmmaker Robert Greenwald. Greenwald and Sanders teamed up in 2009 to present Senator Bernie Sanders Unfiltered, a weekly online TV show that had Sanders answering questions submitted by viewers.

According to a news release from Brave New Foundation, the film is the culmination of months of research and is an attempt to shed light on the Koch-funded echo chamber regarding Social Security — comprised of think tanks like the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the Reason Foundation, which owe their founding and achievements to Koch backing.

“The Koch Brothers spent millions of dollars to make Americans believe that Social Security is bankrupt when this could not be further from the truth," said Greenwald. "Eliminating this entitlement program not only puts our nation’s seniors at risk, but in the end benefits Wall Street fat cats and their allies, the Koch Brothers."

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About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.


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