Saturday, December 11, 2010

Senator Bernie Sanders Goes to Washington and Advises President Obama to Stand Strong for the American People!

Reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," at 10:24 Friday morning, a righteous and earnest Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont took to the floor of the Senate to share a few thoughts about the tax-cut plan for the rich brokered by Republican leaders and a dejected President Obama, weak from Democratic losses during the recent election.
The proposed bill extends tax cuts for the rich for 2 years, long enough for the Republicans to take their shot at winning the Presidency in 2012. If this happens, their plan is to make the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. President Obama is agreeing to this plan, he says because he wanted tax cuts to continue for the middle class and the poor. He said this even though Democrats presented a bill to extend tax cuts for those making less than 1 million dollars. However Republicans quickly rejected that proposal. The weakened President accepted their proposal -- he says -- to continue tax cuts for the poor and middle class and extend for a mere 12 months the existing 79 - 99 weeks of unemployment for the unemployed instead of cutting them all off at 26 weeks. The Republicans claim to care about those unemployed, yet their so called big compromise merely extends the existing 79 - 99 weeks of unemployment for a paltry 12 months while we are still facing close to 10% unemployment is hardly a compromise, it is a necessity.
Sanders spoke for hours on end to an empty Senate floor, well after the sun had set and most of his colleagues had flown home, to share his heartfelt concerns for the American people if the proposed Tax Cut Bill for the Rich passes.
The bill, falsely presented as a bi-partisan recommendation, as Sanders said, "continues Tax Cuts for the rich, is loaded with bad trade deals and benefits the crooks on Wall Street." "China, China, CHINA!" he yelled at one point, stressing that the $14 trillion national debt was largely being financed by the Chinese government's decision to continue buying U.S. bonds. By early evening Sanders took to reading letters from constituents who had been hit hard by the Great Recession. Sanders yielded at times to Democratic colleagues who wanted to speak briefly against the plan, but otherwise he held the floor until nearly 7 p.m., his thick Brooklyn-born accent filling the chamber.
It looked a lot like a good old-fashioned filibuster, only Sanders wasn't actually stopping anything. Under a bipartisan deal reached Thursday, a vote would be held Monday on the tax deal no matter how long Sanders spoke or what he said Friday.
As Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart from the movie) said: "I guess this is just another lost cause... they are the only causes worth fighting for. And (the good politicians in Washington) fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them; because of just one plain simple rule: 'Love thy neighbor.'... And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. Yes, you even die for them."

Even as the hero, Senator Saunders spoke, President Obama brought in his old nemesis Bill Clinton, in to fight his battles for him. The President, looking down as Clinton spoke, dejected and humbled. As I saw this, I kept thinking, what would have happened if Hillary had been elected President and she brought in Bill to have this same talk to try and convince the American people this bill needs to be passed? Didn't Obama's supporters say this was their biggest fear? That Hillary will bring in Clinton for his second Presidency?
While I continue to be a strong supporter of our President, I, like many other of his supporters, feel he should be standing strong, particularly in this lame duck session. There is no need to give in to the Republicans who only support the Rich and care NOTHING about the Poor or Middle Class. Where he and the Dems should be standing strong: passing legislation to continue the existing unemployment weeks (79 - 99) extensions for unemployment until the unemployment rate is less than 8% for 6 months, until the end to Don't Ask Don't Tell and until the passage of the Dream Act once and for all.
I still support our President. I want our President to be strong and support the American people; to fight against those that oppose the American people. We want a President who is intelligent and diplomatic and viewed highly as a World Leader -- as he is capable of doing. I was not a supporter of President Bush or VP Cheney, but I do recall they did have the ability to stand strong and spit in the face of their opposition, particularly against the Democrats. They had no problem getting us into a wrongful war, borrowing trillions from China to fund it or passing the so called Patriot Act.
I was (and am) a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. I believe she would NOT have had a problem standing up to the adversity that President Obama is currently facing. She has the cajones to face down her detractors and spit in their eye if needed. My wish for President Obama is to stand up for your supporters and STOP yelling at us and NOT the Republicans/Teapartiers that HATE you! Stand up and be our Champion. Quit relying on your panty-waist advisors and stand up for your heartfelt beliefs! Feel it in your Gut! Stand Strong!


ultima said...

Here's The Economist writer Lexington's take on this matter:

"anyone who still thinks Barack Obama simply "caved" over the Bush tax cuts ought to read Charles Krauthammer's column this morning, in which this unrelenting critic of everything Obama bemoans the president's "swindle of the year". It is a splenetic confirmation of the gathering consensus that - politics being the art of the possible - the president was quicker than his party to grasp the reality of the new balance of power on Capitol Hill, played a weak hand pretty well, and outwitted his Republican opponents:

In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?"

Dee said...

LOL, this from Republican Charlie Krauthammer!

Then let's see him (and YOU) blog against passage of these tax cuts for the rich!

(You KNOW neither of you will rally against this bill for the Rich!)

Dee said...

Additionally, my friend Robert Reich stands firmly against this Tax for the Rich bill!

ultima said...

I saw a pretty good defense of the bill the other day after I had posted a comment questioning how allowing a tax increase for the super rich individuals would have any negative impact on job creation. Unfortunately I did not capture that response but, as I recall, he was writing about an individual who could not borrow the funds he needed to buy new machinery to meet the increased demand for his products. He suggested that this individual's private funds could be used for that purpose if they were not forfeited to the tax increase. With the new machines more workers could be put to work.

I don't agree with Krauthammer's assessment that this is a $815 billion Stimulus II package. I think he has it backwards. Most of the money is to maintain the status quo, i.e. from having a major inverse stimulus effect as a result of no unemployment extension and a major tax increase across the board. The status quo can hardly be considered a new stimulus.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

Sanders is a self professed socialist ! And, that's the agenda of the progressive left. Hardly anything I would support.

But, let's look at this from another point of view. Look at this scenario. Two married people, age 60's, worked hard all their life, paid off their house and all their big bills, did all the right things like get health and life insurance, and accumulated a little nest egg. Let's say they die in a traffic accident in June. Under the old estate tax, anything they had, house, land, contents of house, cars, life insurance, 401K, you name it, EVERYTHING is counted towards the estate tax and taxed at 55% over 1 million dollars. If they have property, such as a farm, their heirs must pay the tax by November of the year of death, come hell or high water. If they don't have the cash because the estate isn't settled (and I don't know many that are in 6 months), then property must be sold to pay the death tax man. And, they must deal with all this despite their shock and grief.

Now you add up what you have and think about what it might be 10 years from now. You think 1 million is a lot when you count life insurance, 401K, property, etc.? Guess again.

I know. I've been through this. I've written the check and it ain't fun.

And, this is what Sanders is railing about.

ultima said...

I am rallying against this bill. There should be nothing in it except the unemployment extension and the extension of the current tax rates for families earning less than $250k. No other goodies of any kind. We need a clean bill.

Dee said...

For once, you and I agree.
I believe the tax cuts should only be for those who earn <$250. But I (and many Democrats) were willing to compromise and say these tax cuts could be extended to those who earn <$1M.

However, when such a bill was presented, the Republicans said NO.


I also totally agree with you that the bill should extend the "79 - 99 week unemployment to the unemployed vs only 26 weeks" until the unemployment rate is reduced to < 8 %. So many people, including Jools, DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OF THE UNEMPLOYMENT BILL!! Somehow they FALSELY THINK this means an extension of the 99 weeks.


Dee said...

Please STOP all your name calling. Who cares if someone is termed a Socialist. The point is support for a passage of a bill that will HELP Americans!!

Your argument said NOTHING about the extension of the existing unemployment plan which merely states the continuous of the existing 26 - 79/99 weeks of unemployment for the unemployed. Until we as a nation achieve less than 8% unemployment, I do NOT know why any logical American would object!!!

I Travel for JOOLS said...

Please stop my name calling? Are you kidding me, Dee. I will NOT stop calling him a socialist because he calls himself a socialist.

How dare you chastize me. From his own website:
"When Vermonters chose Sanders to replace retired Sen. Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., in 2006, some senators doubted whether the impassioned socialist known for his untamed white hair and fiery oratory would fit in with the staid Senate. Some of them confided their fears to Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont's senior senator and a veteran of more than three decades in the Senate."

Anonymous said...

People who support continuing the Bush tax cuts on taxable income beyond $250,000 usually give two basic reasons. They say the tax cuts on the wealthy help in job creation, and, second, because of this alleged positive effect on jobs, they say the economy grows and the deficit shrinks.

Except for the Hoover presidency, which covers 1929 to 1933, the George W. Bush presidency had the worst record of job creation since 1921, the earliest year shown by the Bureau of Labor statistics figures. So almost 10 years of Bush tax cuts have coincided with an unprecedented, abysmal record of job creation.

Here’s a look at job creation under each president since the Labor Department started keeping payroll records in 1939.

Vicente Duque said...

POLITICO.COM : It's independent voters Obama and his party must recapture to win in 2012 and beyond. The core base of the Democrats won't fail Obama. Liberal Histrionics on Tax Cuts are potentially devastating politically.

Extreme Liberals are accusing President Barack Obama of practicing Reaganomics. This is not good for the Reelection of Obama in year 2012.

Liberals' last gasp
December 10, 2010

Some excerpts :

At best, House Democrats' rage at the Obama tax bill is a principled last gasp on behalf of liberal ideals. At worst, they're whining, kicking and screaming their way to the margins as Obama turns them into the foil for his newfound centrism.

Either way, Republicans and even some Democrats say, the need to act out reveals that liberals are in a state of denial.

But as they throw a tantrum over a tax compromise that stands little chance of being rejected in the end, liberals risk further isolating themselves from a new political paradigm in which Obama, congressional Republicans and a healthy contingent of more moderate Democrats have coalesced around the package of tax cuts and unemployment benefits.

Centrist Democrats warn that their liberal counterparts could do enough damage to themselves and to Obama to reassure independent voters who cast ballots for Republicans this year.

One senior Democratic aide said the tax proposal is “going to pass” and that the liberal complaining is “just going to make us look that much more irrelevant” in the end.

For some Democrats, the histrionics would be funny if they weren't so potentially devastating politically. While liberal activists, commentators and lawmakers believe they need to take a tougher stand on taxes and other issues, others argue strenuously that it's independent voters Obama and his party must recapture to win in 2012 and beyond.

Failing to prevent tax rates from expiring at the end of this month “would be a political miscalculation of the same magnitude that the Republicans committed in '95 and '96 with the government shutdown," said Rep. Artur Davis, an Alabama Democrat who is retiring after losing a bid for governor.

But the tax deal is clear evidence that Obama can read a political box score, and he pivoted swiftly into the role of grand bargainer to show the public that he can play ball with Republicans as easily as he worked with Democrats. Indeed, FDR 2.0, it seems, has become a quick study of Bill Clinton's legacy.

Youth, Minorities, Demography and Politics :

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

dee wrote, "Please STOP all your name calling. Who cares if someone is termed a Socialist."

Pot calling the kettle black.

Socialist is a legitimate word and description found in every dictionary. Please be realistic when you accuse anyone of name calling, especially in view of your own propensity to use much harsher language in describing those you disagree with and the language you permit others to use as your proxy. Have you no sense of fairness?

I agree with Jools regarding estate taxes. Even under the bill as written the amount of the exemption is not indexed ( a real sleeper) and one still has to cough up 35% of a hardearned estate to the government. It's just not fair.

Dee said...

I don't think Socialist is a bad name but apparently you do. That is my point.

When we talk socialism in the US, we are talking about Social Security, Medicare, International Highways, International Bridges etc.

No one can refute this.

My view: Yes we do have socialist Humantiarian initiatives while at the same time we support capitalistic perspectives.

We ALL Believe in the American Dream yet Most of us Support aid for the elderly and for the poor.

Anon4 said...

What if the two married people in Jool’s scenario are billionaires? They would split off their assets and sell them at rock bottom prices to dummy corporations. They can do this in today’s economy and claim a LOSS! Then the dummy corporations would eventually sell the assets, piece by piece, back to the heirs of the original owners and NOBODY pays any taxes. The rich leave the chore of paying taxes to the poor.

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