NBC "The Ed Show" - Veterans Benefits

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Grab that number folks 900,000 veterans depend on food
stamps. I`m joined tonight be Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Chairman
of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Senator great to have with us. How do you honor veterans by taking
away their food stamps? I need to figure that one out.

BERNIE SANDERS, VERMONT CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE VETERANS AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE: Boy, you`re going to have to spend the long time Ed trying to
figure it out.

It is an absolute outrage of the average veteran is not a wealthy
person. The average veteran is elderly. And the average veteran is
struggling. The reality is that 76 percent of the people who receive food
stamps are either elderly, it`s they`re either disabled of they`re in
families where there are low-income kids.

And to cut those programs is to simply make people in this country go
hungry. And I got to tell you, Ed these are the same folks who are cutting
food stamps for kids and for veterans who want to give huge tax breaks to
billionaires and large corporations. That is not what the American people
want.

SCHULTZ: Senator on one hand they wrap themselves in the flag saying
that they support the vets. They don`t want to make it a political issue
but then again they`re willing to go ahead and cut the life line, $200
bucks a month to a vet who is down on his or her luck, having a hard time
getting back into the economy.

I mean what do you say of these Republicans?

SANDERS: Well, what I say to them is they have got to listen to what
the American people want. And what the American want, Ed is not to cut,
make the stress to cuts and the food stamp program, not to hurt our
veterans, not to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, education, the
WHIP program.

What the Republicans are trying to do is balance the budget on the box
of the most vulnerable people in this country and meanwhile at the same
time, they`re working as hard as they can to provide huge tax breaks or
maintain huge tax breaks for large corporations one out of four cooperation
to this country does not pay a nickel in federal taxes.

SCHULTZ: Those are the numbers. And finally Senator, are there any
Republicans that are against this?

SANDERS: We will see. I would hope that the American people can talk
sense to them and to make it clear, that we have got to create jobs in this
country. We need a fair budget and we cannot continue at a time when
poverty and more people living in poverty today than any time in the
history of this country. You can`t keep beating down on people who are
already hurting, that`s veterans, that`s the kids, that`s the elderly.

SCHULTZ: Senator Bernie Sanders with us tonight. Thanks so much for
joining us. I don`t know how the Republicans can say that they are
supporting the vets and do something like this.

Coming up, President Clinton is inserting himself under the biggest
political story out there. This time, I think he should step aside. Plus,
members of the House are coming together to stall the momentum of a trade
agreement that is bad for America and American workers. But I`m taking
your questions next, Ask Ed Live coming up on the Ed Show on MSNBC. Stay
with us.

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