I don’t think that Bernie would mind my posting his entire essay carried in McClatchy News and the Wall Street Journal. Normally I would only post a paragraph or two but this too important. Some may not have read it so here it is:

http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=23d554d6-dd0c-41a5-8b80-a95eb72be82a

Why Americans Are So Angry

Source: Wall Street Journal

By Senator Bernie Sanders

July 28, 2011

The rich are getting richer. Their effective tax rate, in recent years, has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. Nurses, teachers and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. It's no wonder the American people are angry.

Many corporations, including General Electric and Exxon-Mobil, have made billions in profits while using loopholes to avoid paying any federal income taxes. We lose $100 billion every year in federal revenue from companies and individuals who stash their wealth in tax havens off-shore like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The sum of all the revenue collected by the Treasury today totals just 14.8% of our gross domestic product, the lowest in about 50 years.

In the midst of this, Republicans in Congress have been fanatically determined to protect the interests of the wealthy and large multinational corporations so that they do not contribute a single penny toward deficit reduction.

If the Republicans have their way, the entire burden of deficit reduction will be placed on the elderly, the sick, children and working families. In the midst of a horrendous recession that is already causing severe pain for average Americans, this approach is morally grotesque. It's also bad economic policy.

President Obama and the Democrats have been extremely weak in opposing these right-wing extremist proposals. Although the United States now has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major industrialized country, Democrats have not succeeded in getting any new revenue from those at the top of the economic ladder to reduce the deficit.

Instead, they've handed the wealthy even more tax breaks. In December, the House and the Senate extended President George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich and lowered estate tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. In April, to avoid the Republican effort to shut down the government, they allowed $38.5 billion in cuts to vitally important programs for working-class and middle-class Americans.

Now, with the U.S. facing the possibility of the first default in our nation's history, the American people find themselves forced to choose between two congressional deficit-reduction plans. The plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which calls for $2.4 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period, includes $900 billion in cuts in areas such as education, health care, nutrition, affordable housing, child care and many other programs desperately needed by working families and the most vulnerable.

The Senate plan appropriately calls for meaningful cuts in military spending and ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it does not ask the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations to make any sacrifice.

The Reid plan is bad. The constantly shifting plan by House Speaker John Boehner is much worse. His $1.2 trillion plan calls for no cuts in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it requires a congressional committee to come up with another $1.8 trillion in cuts within six months of passage.

Those cuts would mean drastic reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. What's more, Mr. Boehner's plan would reopen the debate over the debt ceiling, which is now paralyzing Congress, just six months from now.

While all of this is going on in Washington, the American people have consistently stated, in poll after poll, that they want wealthy individuals and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. They also want bedrock social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be protected. For example, a July 14-17 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 72% of Americans believe that Americans earning more than $250,000 a year should pay more in taxes.

In other words, Congress is now on a path to do exactly what the American people don't want. Americans want shared sacrifice in deficit reduction. Congress is on track to give them the exact opposite: major cuts in the most important programs that the middle class needs and wants, and no sacrifice from the wealthy and the powerful.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that the American people are so angry with what's going on in Washington? I am too.

Mr. Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, is a member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Comments

AZThinker 8 years 29 weeks ago
#1

Thanks alot. Here's more info from Senator Sanders site (regarding the Fed stealing money). http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3

Here's a summary of the situation by a concerned citizen.

The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill (HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke (pictured to the left), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning. What was revealed in the audit was startling: $16,000,000,000,000.00 (TRILLION) had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious —the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs. To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world. In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.
“This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” – Bernie Sanders(I-VT)
When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability. Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and supercorporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they are hopefully wrong. [Regardless of whether this money is fiat money (money printed with nothing of value to back it), if it is a currency forced on society and the world, with enforcement by the Fed, IRS, the U.S. military, et al, --which it is-- the acts of the Federal Reserve are, in essence, the transfer of greater wealth to the rich insider banks and corporations, while the rest of the world grows poorer, and as the value of this funny money grows less and less in purchasing power. These insider banks, etc., then, exchange this funny money for gold and silver, the real wealth of the world, which, then, reinflates the world with more and more devaluing federal reserve notes. This, then, creates hyper-inflation, increasing the cost of all resources and commodities, while gold and silver climb to never-seen-before levels of value. This is how the Federal Reserve insiders steal the wealth of the world and why the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's the world's largest Ponzi scheme! The Federal Reserve is nothing but a front for a small group of families who run a very large and successful white collar criminal Ponzi scheme. This criminal institution should be seized by the U.S. Treasury department and all assets frozen, and returned to the coffers of the U.S. Treasury in order to settle the U.S. debt and help begin to balance the U.S. deficit. All banks (listed below) should be forced to return the money received by the Federal Reserve. All families in ownership of the Fed and their agents should be located, caught, tried and jailed for grand larceny and treason against the people of the U.S.A. All government agents who protect and help facilitate this criminal organization should be fired from the positions and similarly tried and jailed for grand larceny and treason. Meanwhile, Congress should return our country to its original monetary system (Lincoln greenbacks backed by precious metals) and, again, do its duty to regulate the coining of the currency of America as per the U.S. Constitution.] The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows.. Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000) Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000) Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000) Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000) Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000) Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000) Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000) Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000) JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000) Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000) UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000) Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000) Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000) Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000) BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)

Alberto Ceras 8 years 29 weeks ago
#2

Thanks, AZThinker. If only there were a few more like Bernie.

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