Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Vulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday argued that the annual income provided by the minimum wage could not sustain most American families.
“That is a starvation wage,” Sanders said of the $7.25 federal hourly minimum wage at an AFL-CIO event in North Conway, N.H.
“Anyone who works 40 hours in a week in America should not be in poverty,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate added. “That’s the simple reality.”
Sanders additionally criticized massive corporations for hurting the economy with their business practices. Their manipulation of the tax code, he charged, was especially troubling.
“They stash their money in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other hidden tax havens around the world,” he said of the multinational companies on Wall Street.
“It is time they rejoin the United States of America,” he said. “It is time they start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Sanders’s remarks follow the launch of his 2016 campaign Thursday. On Saturday, he said his quest to thwart corporate greed would generate support from a wide range of voters.
“I think we are going to bring some strange bedfellows into our coalition,” Sanders said. “I think there are a lot of conservatives out there who do not find it appropriate that so many Wall Street firms have so much wealth and income.”
“I think there are a lot of moderates out there who do not like the Koch brothers spending billions buying elections,” he added, referencing billionaire business moguls David and Charles Koch.
Sanders vowed he would reform the political process for the benefit of average Americans. No longer, he promised, would the average citizen be shut out of their government.
“We can create a nation where you can run for office without being a billionaire or beholden to billionaires,” Sanders said. “It is not some utopian vision.”
Sanders announced Friday his campaign had already raised $1.5 million from 35,000 donors. He has made rejecting corporate sponsorship of his bid a major part of his 2016 platform.
Former secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the only other official Democratic candidate. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has hinted that he may become a contender as well in the future.