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Bernie Sanders - The Billionaires Want More, More, More!

Bernie Sanders - The Billionaires Want More, More, More!

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Published by William J Greenberg

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Dec 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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12/19/2010 Democratic Underground Forums - Pri…
Sanders Op-Ed: The Billionaires Want More, More, More
By Sen. Bernie SandersNovember 17, 2010The billionaires are on the warpath. They want more, more, more.In 2007, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States made 23.5 percent of all income – more than the bottom 50 percent. Not enough! The percentage of incomegoing to the top 1 percent nearly tripled since the mid1970s. Not enough! Eighty percent of all new income earned from 1980 to 2005 has gone to the top 1 percent. Not enough! Thetop 1 percent now owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Not enough! The WallStreet executives with their obscene compensation packages now earn more than they didbefore we bailed them out. Not enough! With the middle class collapsing and the richgetting much richer, the United States now has, by far, the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth. Not enough!The very rich want more, more and more and they are prepared to dismantle the existingpolitical and social order to get it. During the last campaign, as a result of the (Republican)Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, billionaires were able to pour hundreds of millions of dollars of secret money into the campaign – helping to elect dozens of membersof Congress. Now, having made their investment, they want their congressional employeesto produce. Republicans in Congress, needless to say, are all on board. The key question iswhether a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate go along to get along, orwhether they draw a clear line at protecting the interests of the middle class andvulnerable populations of our country while tackling our economic and budgetary problemsin earnest.In the next month, despite all their loud rhetoric about the “deficit crisis,” the Republicanswant to add $700 billion to the national debt over the next 10 years by extending Bush’stax breaks for the top 2 percent. Families who earn $1 million a year or more wouldreceive, on average, a tax break of $100,000 a year. The Republicans also want toeliminate or significantly reduce the estate tax, which has existed since 1916. Itselimination would add, over 10 years, about $1 trillion to our national debt and all of thebenefits would go to the top 0.3 percent. Over 99.7 percent of American families would notgain a nickel. The Walton family of WalMart would receive an estimated tax break of morethan $30 billion by repealing the estate tax.That’s just the start.The billionaires and their supporters in Congress are hell-bent on taking us back to the1920s, and eliminating all traces of social legislation designed to protect working families,the elderly, children and the disabled. No “social contract” for them. They want it all.They want to privatize or dismantle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and let theelderly, the sick and the poor fend for themselves.

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