Senator Bernie Sanders Takes a Stand on President Obama’s Tax Cut Compromise

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

The “Berniebuster” begins:

 

Keith Olbermann on the “Bernieniebuster” and some of the Senator’s major concerns about the proposed tax cut compromise:

Bernie Sanders on greed:

 Bernie Sanders concludes:

 Senator Sanders Statement on the Tax Cut Deal

24 thoughts on “Senator Bernie Sanders Takes a Stand on President Obama’s Tax Cut Compromise”

  1. I’m a big fan of Matt Taibbi. I’ve read all of his books. I just bought his newest book, “Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America,” for myself as a Christmas present.

    Here’s an excerpt from a recent post about Senator Bernie Sanders at Taibbi’s Rolling Stone blog:

    Bernie Sanders Puts Barack Obama to Shame
    In an era of Democratic waffling and compromise, the Independent from Vermont actually stands up for what he believes in
    By Matt Taibbi
    December 15, 2010
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bernie-sanders-puts-barack-obama-to-shame-20101215

    Not long ago I was sitting at home writing something for publication – I won’t say what, except that it was a passage about a certain politician on the Hill. Out of habit I launched into a description that was full of nasty and personal language, and I was about to press on to the next part of the piece when suddenly I hit a mental speed bump. A voice in my head whispered – this really happened – “If you write that shit and Bernie Sanders sees it, he’s going to be disappointed in you.” So I went back and removed the gratuitous body blows from the article.

    I thought about this when I watched Bernie go through his amazing one-man filibuster against the Obama tax cut deal last week. Week after week, month after month, we watch politicians who disappoint us, not just as leaders but as people, failing to achieve the basic life-competency standard we expect of most grown-ups, doing things we wouldn’t tolerate from 15-year-olds. Whether it’s Mark Foley writing sexy letters to little boys, or Charlie Rangel or Duke Cunningham or Jerry Lewis doing the pay-for-play game, or even assholes like Orrin Hatch roaring with partisan excitement when the individual mandate – his own idea – was recently declared unconstitutional by a federal judge (who himself has financial stake in the health care business), these guys fail the common decency/honesty test with unnerving regularity. It’s sad but true, but in 99.9% of all cases, you wouldn’t think of looking up to an elected official as a moral role model. Which is why Bernie Sanders is such a rarity, and people should appreciate what he’s doing not just for his home state of Vermont, but for the reputation of all politicians in general.

    I was in Washington last week and visited Bernie in his office, mainly to talk about the incredible results of the Federal Reserve audit, about which I’ll be writing more in the upcoming weeks and after the New Year. The audit of the Fed was undertaken because Bernie and a few other members of congress fought very hard during the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform debate to force open Ben Bernanke’s books, and as a result we now know the staggering details of the secret bailout era. We know that Citigroup received $1.6 trillion in loans, and Morgan Stanley $2 trillion, and Goldman Sachs – the same Goldman Sachs that bragged about how quickly it paid back its $10 billion TARP bailout – over $600 billion. We know that hedge fund billionaires who moved their corporate addresses to the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes were rewarded by their buddies in government with huge Fed loans; we know that the U.S. government likewise has been extending massive loans to a variety of Japanese car companies at a time when many American auto workers in Detroit have seen their wages cut in half, to $14 an hour. There’s that and there’s more on the outrage front, and we know it all because Sanders kicked and screamed and stamped his feet about Fed secrecy until just enough other members of the Senate decided to go along with him.

    I’m bringing this up now to put into context what Bernie did on the floor of the Senate last week, standing up for eight hours and 37 minutes to make a case that the hideous deal that Barack Obama cut with the Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts was an outrage to the very qualities that matter most to this politician, common decency and common sense. While everyone else in Washington was debating the political efficacy of the deal – the Hill actually published a piece talking cheerfully about how CEOs found a “new friend” in Obama, while the New York Times shamelessly ran a front-page “analysis” talking up the deal’s supposed benefits to the middle class and the political benefits from same that Obama would enjoy – Sanders blew all of that off and just looked at the deal’s moral implications. Which are these: this tax deal, frankly and unequivocally, is the result of a relatively small group of already-filthy rich people successfully lobbying an even smaller group of morally spineless politicians to shift an ever-bigger share of society’s burdens to the lower and (what’s left of the) middle classes. This is people who already have lots of shit just demanding more shit, for the sheer rotten sake of it. Here’s how Bernie put it:

    “How can I get by on one house? I need five houses, ten houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world! Sorry, American people. We’ve got the money, we’ve got the power, we’ve got the lobbyists here and on Wall Street. Tough luck. That’s the world, get used to it. Rich get richer. Middle class shrinks.”

  2. It is too bad that the efforts of Senator Sanders and the strong logical arguments that he made over his nine hour presentation are not getting the traction that they deserve from other dems or the senate as a whole.

    I wish that our President had the conviction of Senator Sanders. We wouldn’t have the worry and frustration that we endure if we had someone with clear ethical sense who believed that there are some areas where compromise isn’t an option.

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