Thursday, December 09, 2010

80% of All New Income Has Gone to the Top 1% Over the Last 25 Years!

Senator Bernie Sanders kicks ass:

Senator Bernie Sanders is a rare breed of politician in Washington today.  He is, without a doubt, one of the fiercest, if not thee fiercest advocate for  We the People, moreover, he may be one of the last honest politicians in Washington.

Almost full transcript of Sen. Sander's speech :

On who is winning in this economy and who is losing:
"Mr. President...the income going to the top 1% nearly tripled since the 1970s...
Today, if you can believe it, the top one-tenth of 1% earns about 12 cents of every dollar earned in America.  We talk about a lot of things on the floor of the Senate but somehow we forget to talk about who is winning in this economy and who is losing. And it's very clear to anyone who spends two-minutes studying this issue that the people on top are doing extraordinarily well, at the same time the middle-class is collapsing, and poverty is increasing. know many people out there are angry; they're wondering what's happening to their own income, to their lives, to the lives of their kids. Since 1980 and 2005, 80%...80% of all new income created in this country went to the top 1%..80% of all new income. "
Today, the Wall Street executives...the crooks on Wall Street whose actions resulted in the severe recession that we are in right now--the people whose actions, illegal actions, reckless actions, have resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs, their homes, their savings. Guess what? After we bailed them out, the CEOs today are earning more money than they did before the bailout.

Mr. President, while the middle class of this country collapses and the rich become richer, the United States, has by far, the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth.
On Bush tax-cuts:
We are now faced with the issue of what we do with the Bush tax cuts of 2001-2003. And if you can believe it, we have people here, many of whom are my Republican colleagues, who tell us, 'Oh, I am so concerned about our record breaking deficit...I am terribly concerned about a $13.7 TRILLION national debt...I'm terribly concerned about the debt we're going to be leaving to our kids and our grandchildren...but wait a's very important that we give, over a 10-year period, $700 billion in tax breaks to the top 2%.  Oh yeah, we're concerned about the debt...we're concerned about the deficit...but we are more concerned that the millionaires, people who earn at least a million dollars per year or more get, on average, a hundred-thousand dollars a year in tax-breaks. ' So you gotta $13.7 trillion national debt growing, you got growing income equality: top 1% earning more income than the bottom 50% but the highest priority of many of my Republican colleagues is to make sure that millionaires and billionaires get more tax-breaks. I think it's absurd.
On the estate tax:
But it is not only income tax rates that we're dealing with. It's the estate tax as well. And let's be clear, while some of my friends want to eliminate completely, the estate tax, which has been in existence since 1916...let us be clear that every nickel of benefit...ALL OF THOSE BENEFITS will go to the top three-tenths of 1%, and if we did as some of my friends would like, eliminate  the estate tax completely, it would cost us a TRILLION dollars in revenue for a 10-year period of time...ALL OF THOSE BENEFITS going to the top three-tenths of 1%. So, I'm sure in a little while, some of my friends are going to come down to the floor, and say...'we're very concerned about the...'
On destroying the "New Deal":
But, Mr. President, the tax issue is just one part of what some of our wealthy friends want to see what happen in this country. The reality is that many of these folks want to bring the United States back to where we were in the 1920s. And they want to do their best to eliminate all traces of social legislation which working families fought tooth and nail to develop to bring a modicum of stability security to their lives.

There are people out there, not all, but there are some, who want to privatize or eliminate social security. They want to privatize or cutback substantially on Medicare. Yeah, you're 75-years of age and have no money...good luck to you getting your health insurance at an affordable cost from a private insurance company…I am just sure there are sorts of private insurance companies just delighted to take care of low-income seniors who are struggling with cancer or another disease.
On China: the 51st state and disastrous trade policies:
Mr President, furthermore, there are corporate leaders out there, and many members of congress who not only want to continue, they want to expand our disastrous trade policies.
We seem to have a country, which has a 51st state named China, which is virtually producing all of the products that we as Americans consume. Our trade policy has resulted in the loss of millions of good paying jobs as large corporations and CEOs have said, why do I want to reinvest in American when I can go to countries where people are paid 50¢, 75¢ an hour…that’s what I’m gonna do…the heck with working people in this country.
On our wealthy "friends" in high places:
While we struggle with a record breaking deficit and a large national debt caused by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, caused by tax breaks for the wealthy, caused by an unpaid for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program, caused by the Wall Street bailout...driving up the deficit, driving up the national debt..some people can say, ‘Oh my goodness! We’ve got all these expenses, and we’ve gotta give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, but we gotta balance the budget. Gee, how we going to do that? Well, obviously, we know how we’re going to do that. We’re going to cut back on health care, we’re going to cut back on education, we’re going to cut back on childcare, we’re going to cut back on PELL programs…we’re going to cut back on food-stamps,…we’re surely not going to expand unemployment compensation…we gotta a higher priority, Mr. President. We have got to, got to got to give tax breaks to billionaires! That’s what this whole place is all about, isn’t it? They fund the campaigns, they get what’s due them.

Mr. President, amazingly enough, we have our friends on Wall Street, the CEOs of the large financial institutions…they want to rescind or slow-down many of the provisions, very modest provisions in the financial reform bill…I voted for the financial reform bill but I will tell you clearly, it didn’t go nearly anywhere near far enough but it went too far for our Wall Street friends and their lobbyists, who were all over here, and the hundreds of millions of dollars Wall Street spends on this place. These people want to cut back on the powers of the EPA and department of energy, so that Exxon Mobil can remain one of the most profitable corporations in world history, while oil and coal companies continue to pollute our air and our water. Last year Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profit. Guess what? They paid zero in taxes and got a $156 million refund from the IRS. I guess that’s not good enough. We gotta give the oil companies even more tax breaks.

So, Mr. President, that’s where we are, and we gotta own up to it. There is a war going on. The middle-class is struggling for existence and they’re takin on some of the wealthiest and most powerful forces in the world whose greed has no end. And if we don’t start to stand together and start representing those families, there will not be a middle-class in this country.” -- Bernie Sanders


Anonymous,  19:54  

LOL @ China as the 51st state. That's one helluva huge state!

Anonymous,  00:06  

Thanks for the transcript. It's about time a Democrat stood up to those hateful Republicans.

Anonymous,  22:06  

Does anyone have a source on the claim that 80% of all new wealth created in the last 30 years has gone to the top 1% of the population?

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