Bernie Sanders rallies against GOP tax plan in Reading

'Trickle down economics is a trick'

READING, Pa. - Following the U.S. Senate's vote on a new tax plan early Saturday morning, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders continued taking his message across the country.

One of his stops on Sunday was in Berks County, where Sanders returned to the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading to speak to more than 1,000 supporters.

Sanders' visit to Reading comes just one day after the Republican-controlled Senate voted 51 to 49 to approve what would be the most significant changes to the tax code in decades.

President Trump said the Senate plan would deliver the largest overall tax decrease in the country's history.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the measure would give a financial boost to the average American family.

Opponents, like Sanders, said the Senate plan would add more than a trillion dollars to the nation's deficit, give the biggest benefits to the wealthy, and, ultimately leave middle- and low-income people farther behind.

Before the tax legislation can head to the president, it would need to be reconciled with a different tax reform plan approved by the House of Representatives.

"His voice has gotten a lot stronger, I think, after running [for president]," Joseph Ruark of Lancaster said of Sanders.

"I've been a passionate Bernie supporter. I'm so glad he's here," shared Elaine Mendelsohn of Douglassville.

Sanders touched on various topics, including health care and President Trump, but the most-often talked-about topic was that of the new tax plan approved by the Senate. Sanders is one of the plan's most vocal opponents.

"Trickle down economics is a trick," Sanders bellowed from the stage.

Supporter Eileen Kerrigan, who came from Philadelphia to see Sanders, also mentioned other issues.

"No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and education funding reform and pretty much everything that Bernie advocates," she said.

Coming off of Saturdays' tax plan vote, the potential impact was not lost on Sanders or his supporters.

"It's terrible, and millions of people will suffer," said Ruark.

"He's already said that he disagrees with it and he'll continue to say that and fight for the people," said Brian Lahmann of Birdsboro.

Despite the seated, intimate atmosphere of the Santander Performing Arts Center, there were times when the gathering took on the look, feel and sound of a rowdy rally, but the overall message among the thousand-plus in attendance was clear.

"I think his message is to stay relentless," said Eileen Kerrigan of Philadelphia, "and continue to resist what's being forced on us."

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

This Week's Circulars


Berks Area News

Latest From The Newsroom