The Bernie Sanders supporter who made the mittens Sanders wore to President Biden’s inauguration, mittens made famous by a photo of the democratic socialist senator sitting with his arms and legs crossed during the proceedings, revealed in an interview that she doesn’t “have much of a mitten business anymore because it really wasn’t worth it. Independent crafters get really taken for a ride by the federal government. We get taxed to the nth degree.”
In March 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported of Sanders’ tax-heavy plans for the U.S. economy:
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is trying to expand federal taxation on a scale not seen since World War II, pursuing policies that would end the nation’s run as one of the industrialized world’s lowest-taxed countries. Mr. Sanders’s combination of taxes on wealth, income, financial transactions, corporate profits, payrolls, estates and capital gains would hit rich Americans from every direction. If Congress were to pass all his plans, the total U.S. tax burden–including federal, state and local taxes–would resemble Canada’s or Germany’s rather than being near the bottom of the pack of rich nations.
Jen Ellis, from Essex Junction, Vermont, told Slate she was “totally delighted” when she found out Sanders had made her mittens famous. She recalled Sanders wearing her mittens a year ago during the presidential primary and some people on Twitter mistakenly gave credit to Sanders’ grandmother for making the mittens, so she tweeted that she had made them and added her Gmail account.
Ellis said that after the photo of Sanders at the inauguration went viral, “People have been contacting me thinking that they can get mittens, and actually they can’t. I don’t have any more, and I don’t have much of a mitten business anymore because it really wasn’t worth it. Independent crafters get really taken for a ride by the federal government. We get taxed to the nth degree, and it wasn’t really worth it pursuing that as a business, even.”
Asked if she thought Sanders’ grumpy face reflected an unhappiness that he was not president and Biden was, Ellis responded: “No, I don’t actually think he was grumpy. I bet he was really excited to be there, even though it was bittersweet, right? Because he wanted to be in Biden’s shoes, but I’m sure he recognized the importance of that day and this whole change of power in America and I bet he was glad to be there. He is who he is and not everyone has a resting pleasant face.”
Ellis said she was also delighted that a woman was now vice president, though she wishes she were actually the president.
“I’ve waited four decades of my life — I’m tearing up just thinking about it — to see a woman be vice president,” she said. “I wish that she was president, although I think Biden is pretty great. It was so powerful to sit there with my 5-year-old daughter who I love so much and be like, this is where you enter politics, right? We have shielded you from Trump as much as possible. But this is what we want you to see, a wonderful, successful woman and a woman of color in such a powerful position. It was great to share that with her and my partner who’s also a woman, so we’re just a huge feminist household celebrating this momentous occasion.”
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