Senator Sanders on the Class War

Just one small segment of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ marathon speech on the floor of the Senate yesterday, dealing with the class war and the winners and losers in that war:

“…in the year 2007, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States made 23.5 percent of all income. The top 1 percent earned 23.5 percent of all income-more than the entire bottom 50 percent.”

“From 1980-2005, 80% of all income went to the top 1%.”

Not much question who the winners are, and not much question now whose side President Obama is on. Charles Ferguson, director of Inside Job, wrote in Salon:

“It is…overwhelmingly clear that President Obama and his administration decided to side with the oligarchs — or at least not to challenge them. This raises the question of why they have made this choice, and whether it is a correct (in the sense of rationally self-interested) calculation on their part.

As to the “why,” several explanations have been proposed. One is that the president, as a matter of individual psychology, is extremely conflict-averse, preferring to avoid fights no matter how important. A second hypothesis is that the president is simply doing the most he can, given the political climate and the furious lobbying effort with which he is confronted. This explanation, however, is belied by [his] personnel appointments, among other evidence.”

The latest example of this is in President Obama’s choice for director of OMB. The new one, Jacob Lew, came from Citigroup. The old one, Peter Orszag, went to Citigroup. More Ferguson:

“A more disturbing possibility is that the Obama administration has simply codified a new strategic equilibrium in American politics, one first devised by the Clinton administration, in which both parties are supine with regard to the financial sector and the wealthy.”

President Obama brought out former President Clinton yesterday to endorse his “deal.” Bill Clinton, whose “bi-partisan outreach” during his administration left two ticking time bombs in the economy in the form of the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which created “too big to fail,” and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which banned the regulation of derivatives. I’m sure he thought both of those were good deals at the time, too.

Sen. Sanders brought up the subject of free trade. Just last week President Obama signed the South Korean version of NAFTA. I hear Ross Perot’s giant sucking sound again.  All you need to know about the South Korean “deal” it is that it got two thumbs up from those two staunch defenders of the middle-class and working people-the Chamber of Commerce and Mitch McConnell.

As good as it was to hear Sen. Sanders’ speech yesterday, I fear he is just a voice crying in the wilderness. The president’s “deal” is now being loaded up with enough pork to buy enough votes to win passage. In short, the fix is in, the wealthy and powerful will win again. We keep going back to George Carlin, “It’s a big club and we’re not in it.”


  1. alienHunter says

    Hey Desperado,
    This thing is that the ‘spirit’ of the trade agreements is a transfer of capital not human resources. This again is just bastardization of potential good to evil for Repubtilian grins.
    I think your above posting should be carefully pondered.

  2. Desperado says

    Tell you what. Google “nafta jobs lost” and see what you find. Then come back and tell me the story about the transfer of capital and not human resources.
    Right after the one about Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.

  3. RockheadedMama says

    After hearing about Obama’s remarks on Social Security this week – which were straight out of the Tea Party – (sometimes I just can’t believe this guy went to Harvard!) – Obama said: This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew.
    Dr. Krugman set it straight in his blog: This is all wrong: both programs were huge from the start. From the beginning, Social Security applied to all private-sector workers, except those in agriculture, domestic service, or casual employment — and yes, those exceptions happened to exclude the majority of African-Americans. Still, it was by no means a small program that grew big. Medicare covered everyone 65 and older right from the beginning, although initially it only provided hospital insurance.
    It is, as Rosenberg says, odd that Obama doesn’t know this history.
    I Won’t get fooled again
    @Dr. Bill Kroski – which of Sen Sander’s claims could be described as “outrageous” — they are all factual. What exactly does being a socialist have to do with presenting factual information anyway?

  4. alienHunter says

    Still, the social security measure passed because that generation of Repubtilians led the belief that only white widows would be beneficiaries.

  5. alienHunter says

    Furthermore, what does being a self-described socialist have to do with anything.
    American Socialist=human being;

  6. glennkoks says

    “They fund the campaigns they get whats due them” Senator Sanders.
    Wow! It’s too bad that that guy is from Vermont. I would vote for him in a heartbeat. I think we all need to pay our share and take part in paying off our debt before it consumes us. The rich need to pay their fair share and we need to cut the military and entitlements. The more you have benefited from this nation the more you should pay.
    However, I supported the bailouts. But if I would have known then what I know now and the only thing we were saving were the rich power brokers on Wall Street I would have welcomed “The Great Depression II” I probably would have lost everything but it would be worth it if the institutions responsible for the crisis were going to get sucked down the whirlpool they created.
    As it stands now they are making more than ever due only to the fact that we used taxpayer money to save the snakes. Education is our future. Any Washington snake that votes to cut education after what we have done for the rich will not get a vote from me in any election.

  7. WindorSolarPlease says

    The rich want more cut backs how about: First you hire people.
    Tax breaks should be tied directly to hiring people and creating new jobs in the USA only.
    So tired that America does not manufacture like it use to. I would like to buy USA Products, I can barely find those products. We should not have to search for USA products, when we live here.
    Sen. Sanders reminds me of the Politicians that use to “Fight For The People”.
    Hope the younger Politicians learn from him.
    He should be President. I would be shocked if he could get that far, don’t think he could be bought.
    The rich keep wanting more until it squeezes out the middle class with no help for the poor.
    Social Security should not end, or else there will be Grandparents starving without shelter.
    Social security allows older people live the rest of their lives with a little dignity (what they get is still not enough).
    As it is, good luck finding a job when you are in your 60′s.

  8. alienHunter says

    Bernie Sanders seems like a good human being AND also he seems quite vocal about it. His chances of becoming President are NIL! The puppeteers wouldn’t allow him such a position at any cost. The stark difference in the before and after the election Bernie Sanders persona would simply be too great and too noticeable for even the most obtuse of sentient beings to miss.

  9. RockheadedMama says

    Not at all true. Republicans have only been complete and total anti-social programs in the last 30 years. Social Security was part of the 2nd New Deal (1935). FDR had just won more seats in both Congressional houses in the 1934 election and the republicans were furious because the people treated Roosevelt like he was king instead of president. (Obama clearly missed his chance and Obama LOST seats.) Wealthy people felt like Roosevelt had betrayed his class. In general, FDR was hated by republicans and the rich and loved by the working and middle class. Frances Perkins led the committee that designed Social Security and it was always a federal/state program for workers’ pensions, industrial accident survivors, unemployment insurance, aid for the disabled, and dependent women and children. The taxes were purposefully taken from the employer and wage withholding from the employee so as to protect it. Employees would not allow a pension program they had already paid for be taken from them. Roosevelt said that “with those taxes in there, no damned politician can ever scrap my social security program.” Of course, that is why the payroll tax holiday in Obama’s deal – to uncouple those payroll taxes from the pension and make it easier to cut the benefits or the program entirely.

  10. lomamonster says

    I actually evaluated Clinton’s body language yesterday, and although he finally starting throwing his hands and arms around, his gaze toward the camera was always downward and not direct.
    I knew that he was not altogether convinced of President Obama’s deal, but put in the appearance for the sake of the presidency and the party. He is wonderful, loyal, and the best there is in communication skills, but I was left doubting in his portrayal of the big picture and it’s soundness.

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