Sanders: America's childcare system is an 'embarrassment'

Sanders: America's childcare system is an 'embarrassment'
© Francis Rivera

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive things to watch for in the DNC race Sanders: I have little hope Trump will keep promises Democrats offer double-talk on Veterans Affairs MORE (I-Vt.) is pledging to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for a better national childcare system, calling the current U.S. plan a “disaster.”

“We basically turn our backs on it,” the Democratic presidential candidate told a roundtable in Des Moines, Iowa.

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In his wide-ranging discussion with children’s advocates, Sanders condemned national politicians for ignoring issues like pre-school access and poverty.

“To allow childcare workers, people who work with these little kids, to be making McDonalds-type wages is an embarrassment,” he said, according to the Des Moines Register. “We need the best trained, best paid, most qualified people to be working with these young kids.”

The progressive Vermont senator, who caucuses with Democrats, said he would increase taxes, specifically on Wall Street, to strengthen the programs.

Sander returned to Iowa for the first time since his June 12 speech at Drake University, which drew a crowd of more than 700 people. Since then, he has made strides in national polls, borrowing attention from Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Clinton still maintains a 40-percentage-point lead on Sanders in a RealClearPolitics average of national polls.