Sen. Bernie Sanders: Why is the government subsidizing Walmart?

Published: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 9:49 p.m. MST

Updated: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 9:49 p.m. MST

Welfare for Walmart

On Jan. 16, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democrat socialist, made a compelling case for raising the minimum wage during a Senate hearing on Capital Hill.

“The idea that anybody could suggest that we are not seeing massive income and wealth inequality is beyond my comprehension,” Sanders said in his opening remarks.

Later he invokes the Walton family, the richest family in the world and the founders of Walmart, asking the panel if the wealthiest family in America should receive government assistance.

He answered his own question. “It turns out that they are the largest recipient of welfare in America because when you pay workers starvation wages, which is what Walmart does, how do the workers at Walmart survive?”

He goes on say that these workers collect benefits from the government because Walmart doesn’t pay them enough. So in essence, he tells the panel that Walmart takes welfare.

He then opens the hearing up to the panel of experts.

This hearing came slightly before President Barack Obama announced at the State of the Union that he’d sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers.

On Feb. 12, President Obama formally signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for employees of federal contract workers. However, his focus was to push Congress to do likewise for all Americans by 2016, as reported by Politico.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, which released a report Feb. 18, an increase in minimum wage would have two principle effects on low-wage workers: “The large majority would have higher wages and family income, but a much smaller group would be jobless and have much lower family income," the report said.

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at:

eraymond@deseretdigital.com

@RaymondErik

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