This past week I was introduced to the work of Senator Bernie Sanders. All I can say is WOW! This guy is saying exactly what I and lots of Americans have been thinking.
In his book “The Speech” he lays out why the “agreement” on extending tax breaks for the rich between President Obama and the Republican party is not good for the American people. Senator Sanders also points out why the Estate tax will not affect 99.7% of Americans and how the Rich are getting tax breaks while Disabled Veterans get ignored.
Some of the examples, he brings to light, are as follows:
- The tax break will benefit the top 2 percent of Millionaire and Billionaires, some who say they do not need it. Two of them saying this are two of the richest people in America, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. (Sanders, pg 14)
- The tax break will add $700 BILLION to our national debt if approved, as the Republicans wanted for 10 years.(Sanders, pg 14)
- The tax break, for the richest, will be financed by working Americans and the debt will most likely carry over to be paid for by our children and grandchildren.
- That the “Death Tax” will NOT affect 99.7 percent of Americans and is applicable to only the “very, very, very rich.” (Sanders, pg 16) For example the Walton Family, owners of Walmart, worth $89.6 billion, WILL receive a “$32.7 BILLION tax break!” (Sanders, pg 41). The importance of understanding this that is you are moderately rich, middle class or poor “you do not pay one nickel in estate tax.” (Sanders, pg 41) Also, the “agreement between the President and the Republicans… significantly lowers the rates the richest people, the very richest people in this country, would have to pay.” (Sanders, pg 41)
- That while the Republicans were passing out short term loans to: Goldman Sachs $780 Billion, Morgan Stanley over $2 Trillion, Citigroup $2.4 Trillion and Merrill Lynch $2.2 Trillion (Sanders, pg 29) they shot down a COLA check to DISABLED VETERANS, (full disclosure – I am a disabled Vet) Senator Sanders legislation was going to give veterans a one time check of $250.00 to offset the rising cost of their prescriptions. Given that veterans have not gotten a COLA adjustment in two years it seems reasonable.
Yet Senator Sanders could not get ONE Republican vote for it. Some veterans live on $20,000 a year and they could not get a $250.00 check! The Republicans on the other hand were happy to give someone making $50 Million a year an extra $1,000,000 in tax breaks. As Senator Sanders said in his landmark speech “If you are very, very rich, the good news is you are going to get more tax breaks. But if you are a.. disabled vet, we can’t get you a $250 check.” (Sanders, pg 42)
- The four largest banks in this country, “Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup issue 1/2 of all mortgages in this country.” (Sanders, pg 33) The aforementioned banks who foreclosed on millions of people in recent years were the very same banks who were bailed-out by the same people whom they had just kicked out of their homes.
- The same banks, who failed as a business and were bailed-out, paid out HUGE bonuses to their CEO’s. John Mack the CEO of Morgan Stanley received, at the time the largest bonus ever to a Wall Street executiv, $40 million.
Ken Lewis, Former CEO of Bank of America received $147 million in total compensation and his company paid ZERO taxes on a profit of $4.2 billion.
The CEO of JPMorgan, James Dimon, received $110 million in compensation all while his company was receiving “hundred of billions in low-interest loans” from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department (Sanders, pg 26).
I am not sure about you but my bonus was tied into my ability to do my work. If I lead my company down a path of destruction and needed loans to recover I am damned if I would get a bonus!
All of this was occurring while Vets could not get a measly $250 check, the unemployment rate soared, and the Rich got Richer!
Well I could go on and on but I think by now you get the gist of the message. If you want to read the speech itself please visit Bernie Sanders website
You can also download the transcript here
You can also buy the book from your local bookstore too.
I have posted the beginning of the 8.5 hour speech below from Senator Sanders youtube Channel
I will close with another quote from Senator Bernie Sanders.
“This is a transfer of wealth. It is Robin Hood in reverse. We are taking from the middle class and working families and we are giving it to the wealthiest people in this country.” It is “driving up the national debt so our kids can pay more taxes in order to pay off that debt.”