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The Soul Of America - Senator Bernie Sanders

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, constitution, corruption, cover-up, crime, democrats, dishonesty, economy, ethics, freedoms, Govtfearmongering, lies, media, obama, politics, propaganda, republicans, socialsecurity, war )

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In America today, we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth, and more inequality than at any time period since 1928. The top 1 percent owns 42 percent of the financial wealth of the nation, while....-->

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Kit B (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 11:30 am
(Photo credit: MsNBC)

Despite such terminology as "fiscal cliff" and "debt ceiling," the great debate taking place in Washington now has relatively little to do with financial issues. It is all about ideology. It is all about economic winners and losers in American society. It is all about the power of Big Money. It is all about the soul of America.

In America today, we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth, and more inequality than at any time period since 1928. The top 1 percent owns 42 percent of the financial wealth of the nation, while, incredibly, the bottom 60 percent own only 2.3 percent. One family, the Walton family of Wal-Mart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans. In terms of income distribution in 2010, the last study done on this issue, the top 1 percent earned 93 percent of all new income while the bottom 99 percent shared the remaining 7 percent.

Despite the reality that the rich are becoming much richer while the middle class collapses and the number of Americans living in poverty is at an all-time high, the Republicans and their billionaire backers want more, more, and more. The class warfare continues.

My Republican colleagues say that the deficits are a spending problem, not a revenue problem. What these deficit-hawk hypocrites won't talk about is their spending. They won't discuss what they did to dig the country into this $1 trillion deep deficit hole. They waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without paying for them. They gave away huge tax breaks for the rich. They squandered taxpayer dollars on the pharmaceutical industry by making it illegal for Medicare to bargain for lower drug prices. They also rescinded financial regulations that enabled Wall Street to operate like a gambling casino, leading to a severe recession that eroded tax revenue and left more than 14 percent of American workers unemployed or underemployed.

Now, despite the deficits their policies helped to create and despite the enormous suffering which exists in our society, the Republicans want to cut Social Security, veterans' programs, Medicare, Medicaid, education, nutrition programs, and virtually every program which benefits low- and moderate-income Americans. They choose to turn their backs on the economic reality facing a significant part of our population: high unemployment, reduced wages, 50 million without health insurance, college graduates saddled with enormous student debt and elderly people living in desperation. And they have tried to slam the door on any further discussion about how to raise revenue by ending tax loopholes and unfair tax breaks.

Republicans like Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who say the revenue debate is over don't want you to consider these facts:

Federal revenue today, at 15.8 percent of GDP, is lower today than it was 60 years ago. During the last year of the Clinton administration, when we had a significant federal surplus, federal revenue was 20.6 percent of GDP.

Today corporate profits are at an all-time high, while corporate income tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is near a record low.

In 2011, corporate revenue as a percentage of GDP was just 1.2 percent - lower than any other major country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Norway, Australia, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Ireland, Poland, and Iceland.

In 2011, corporations paid just 12 percent of their profits in taxes, the lowest since 1972.

In 2005, one out of four large corporations paid no income taxes at all while they collected $1.1 trillion in revenue over that one-year period.

We know where the Republicans are coming from. What about the Democrats? Will President Obama fulfill his campaign pledge to "protect the middle class" or will he surrender to right-wing blackmail? Will Democrats in the House and Senate stand with the vast majority of our citizens and such organizations as AARP, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the AFL-CIO, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and every other veterans' organization in the fight against cuts to Social Security and veterans' programs, or will they agree to a disastrous corporate-backed "chained CPI" concept which makes major benefit cuts to those programs and raises taxes on low-income workers?

The simple truth is there are relatively easy ways to deal with the deficit crisis - without attacking the elderly, the children the sick or the poor.

For example, we have got to eliminate loopholes in the tax code that allow large corporations and the wealthy to avoid more than $100 billion in taxes every year by setting up offshore tax shelters in places like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Bahamas. This situation has become so absurd that one five-story office building in the Cayman Islands is now the "home" to more than 18,000 corporations.

Further, we must also end tax breaks for companies shipping American jobs overseas. Today, the United State government continues to reward companies that move American manufacturing jobs abroad, despite the fact that millions of American jobs have been outsourced to China, Mexico, and other low wage countries over the past decade. The Joint Committee on Taxation (the official revenue scorekeeper in Congress) has estimated that we could raise more than $582 billion in revenue over the next decade by eliminating these offshore tax loopholes.

We must also recognize that Wall Street recklessness caused the economic crisis, and it has a responsibility to reduce the deficit. Establishing a 0.03 percent Wall Street speculation fee, similar to what we had from 1914-1966, would dampen the dangerous level of speculation and gambling on Wall Street, encourage the financial sector to invest in the productive economy and reduce the deficit by more than $350 billion over 10 years.

We are entering a pivotal moment in the modern history of our country. Do the elected officials in Washington stand with ordinary Americans - working families, children, the elderly, the poor - or will the extraordinary power of billionaire campaign contributors and Big Money prevail? The American people, by the millions, must send Congress the answer to that question.

By Senator Bernie Sanders | Reader Supported News

Past Member (0)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 12:01 pm
Good article. The wealthy elites have no souls; they sold them for all the corporate profit that they could stuff in their the expense of our children's future and the future of life on this planet. The American people need to rise up and save the nation from those that would set themselves up as masters over us all. We need a real people's party in this nation, not just more of the same old sell-outs in the corporate duopoly.

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 12:24 pm

I do agree Brian, but I am still waiting to hear the LOUD voices of the people. It seems very quiet out there.

Jae A (316)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 12:49 pm
I agree with both Brian and Kit. As for the peoples voice being loud and clear on this , we've all seen what a struggle it has been for the Occupy movement to go against the 1% Corporate / Elite machines. We just need to keep them going as well as form new groups for doing the same....a massive movement from many directions,each with it's own clear issue/voice,returning the many issues we face that are coming from us from all directions. One group just can't make it up hill without narrowing their issues to a few , thus more groups.. or ...more or less seperate branches of Occupy .in unison, each with their own focus on detail on less issues per my opinion.

Terrie Williams (798)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 2:44 pm
Love me some I wish he were 20 years younger and able to withsand running for a presidency....but.....that is not going to happen.

We do not hear the people because the majority of the people are too busy trying to survive on low wages and are to mentally and physically fatigued to rise up OR they are too busy playing on their x-boxes, talking/playing/texting on their i-phones or are brain dead in front of their TVs watching brain-freezing unreal reality shows in between a litany of equally brain draining commercials telling them what to buy and why. We few of us millions that are awake and ready need far more of the brain-dead millions to wake the ***k up and smell the proverbial napalm and organize.

The Fascists have done their work well.

Fiona O (565)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 6:24 pm
Bless. Bernie.

Molly S (0)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 7:14 pm
Love Senator Bernie.

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 7:20 pm

Maybe we could clone him? I would love to a few dozen Bernie's in Congress.

Carrie B (306)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 7:38 pm
Saw Bernie tonight on the Ed Show. He is one great man!

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 8:58 pm

Thanks Ros - I think it's more along the lines of wrong priorities. We have a larger population but we have plenty of habitable land. Australians and the French are much better at speaking directly to the government and making their voices heard than Americans.

Heidi Aubrey (16)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 9:49 pm
I sent Congress an answer to that question(article question(visit site)). I voted straight Democrat. The problem lies with their inablility to developing a backbone.

I am already shocked and dismayed at the President's leaning FOR CPI. How could he betray us like that?

He is the one who, successfully, argued how Mitt referred to the "47" percent of americans expect entitlements and how dismissed them.

Past Member (0)
Friday January 11, 2013, 12:37 pm
Vermont proves that even when Republicans learn about the REAL socialism, they vote for him too.

Do you all suppose he'd listen if we asked him to run for POTUS if we asked and contributed? It seems like the right thing to attempt. I have no luck at getting out move on petitions but I'd sign to move him to except!

James Maynard (84)
Friday January 11, 2013, 2:45 pm
Senator Sanders is an incredible voice for those
of us in the middle class. Wish he were my Sen.
instead of the riff raff I have to put up with.

. (0)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:09 pm
The man threw the economy back into the faces of the GOP and this administration. He made brilliant sense- now what is each side going to do about it?

Kit B (276)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:19 pm

*Sigh* Allan that is the rub, is it not? What are we going to do about all of this?

Though most that read Senator Sanders do find him to make sense, getting those in charge to listen, well that's another story.

Michael Carney (217)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:45 pm
Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!!!!!

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:52 pm
I am so glad you posted this, Kit. It is worthy reading tor every progressive and American.

Kit B (276)
Friday January 11, 2013, 3:53 pm

I'm very fond of this scruffy old socialist and think he offers us so much to consider.

Winn Adams (179)
Friday January 11, 2013, 5:38 pm
So glad for Bernie.

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday January 11, 2013, 6:34 pm
Thanks Kit, from another big Bernie fan. He tells it like it is and pulls no punches. Other than Elizabeth Warren and a couple others, it's too bad we can't get more in the Senate like him. Maybe Warren's win will give likeminded others the courage to run and momentum to win more seats.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 9:47 am
This is why Bernie Sanders is one of my favorites.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:03 pm
Thom Hartmann is the other pea in Bernie's pod. Be a student.

Patrice M (84)
Friday February 1, 2013, 4:14 pm
I was hoping that Bernie Sanders would run for president in 2016. He is an honest man who is also extremely compassionate. He is just what we need in a president. He'd always get my vote if he decided to run.
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