US election system based on bribery: Former Senator Gravel

Press TV

The foundation of the election system in the United States is based on bribery, says former Senator Mike Gravel from Alaska.

Gravel made the remarks during Press TV’s The Debate program on Wednesday, commenting on the first presidential debate between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Trump and Biden held their first of three debates ahead of the 2020 presidential election on Tuesday in a venue in Cleveland, Ohio, where the two politicians mostly kept talking over each other and trading insults.

Gravel accused both Democratic and Republican parties of creating a wide gap between the rich and the poor in the United States, describing it as the biggest problem in the country.

“The biggest problem we have and I think you can accuse this to both parties, but primarily the Republican party, and that is that over the last several decades, we have seen a separation between what the people at the bottom of the spectrum realize in way of benefit, and what the people at the top of the spectrum benefit, the superbly rich, I can accuse both parties.”

The year 2019 saw the net worth of the world’s richest 500 people increase by 25 percent, starkly indicative of worsening income inequality, particularly in the United States.

Billionaires in the US alone added $500bn to their wealth, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg increasing his wealth by $27.3bn while Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates adding $22.7bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index released last December.

That report also showed that the 400 richest people in the US owned more than the 150 million people in the bottom 60% of the US. Those 400 richest people had also tripled their wealth since the early 1980s.

Gravel also touched upon the US’ election system, saying that “politicians are corrupt and they’re basically cowards because we have a system that is set up where you give me money to help me get elected and when I’m elected, I will vote for your economic interest, that is bribery, and that’s the foundation of our system in this country.”

He also talked about how American tax payers’ money is spent on the US military so that it does not lag behind those of other countries.

“What we do not talk about in these debate is the money that is being sequestered out of the tax payers’ wealth to the military,” he said.

“We spend more on the military than several of the countries put together that represent here, China is about 15 percent of our budget, Russia is about 10 percent of our budget, it is ridiculous, and you haven’t heard a word from the Democrats or the Republicans other than Trump saying we’ve rebuilt the military, my God, what is enough enough, it’s shameful and we back up that military need because we’re so afraid in the world that somebody is going to be our equal.”

According to a report released in April last year, the US military spending had risen for the first time in seven years, reflecting the Trump administration’s policy.

The report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute showed the US figure alone of $649 billion was as much as the next eight highest military budgets.

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