Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bernie And The Bottom Line

Bernie Sanders' speech on the Senate floor. (The entire speech is much longer than the above clip.) This is exactly what it's all about. If only people would stop, listen, and think:

Mr. President, this is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. In the coming days and weeks, decisions will be made about our national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American in this country for decades to come—and the time is now for the American people to become significantly involved in that debate and not leave it to a small number of people here in Washington.

Mr. President, at a time when the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in our country are doing phenomenally well, and in many cases have never had it so good, while the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing, it is absolutely imperative that any deficit-reduction package that passes this Congress not include the horrendous cuts, the cruel cuts, in programs that working people desperately need, that are utilized every day by the elderly, by the sick, by our children, and by the lowest income people in our country, that the Republicans in Congress, dominated by their extreme rightwing, are demanding...

...So, today, I am asking the American people that, if you believe deficit reduction should be about shared sacrifice; if you believe the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations should be asked to pay their fair share as part of deficit reduction; if you believe that, at a time when military spending has almost tripled since 1997, that we begin to take a hard look at our defense budget; and if you believe the middle-class and working families have already sacrificed enough, I urge you to make sure that the President hears your voice--and he needs to hear it now.

Sadly, as Congressional Rs -- and recent comments here -- have clearly shown, today's so-called conservatives are as far from the ideas of shared sacrifice and of looking to future needs as Newt Gingrich has been, lately, from Tiffany's.

Willing to anger their base, Obama and Democrats have, as usual, gone far beyond half-way, proposing five dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of revenue increase. Republicans have said they'll accept no tax increases at all, even changing the definition of "compromise." It's inarguable: they're concerned about enriching their wealthy supporters and about their own reelections, and not at all about the long-term needs of the country. And they're confident they can (because they always have), with the help of their propaganda outlets at Fox "news" and RWS™ radio, convince their gullible and fact-averse supporters that they can have everything for free.

It seems obvious that nothing will change the attitudes of the current crop of teabaggRs; the only question is whether there are enough thoughtful conservatives out there to diselect this selfish and dishonest bunch in favor of people who will, like many Democrats, be willing to put country above politics.

Because if all you care about is tax cuts (except ones proposed by our president!), knowing the effects it'll have on education, infrastructure, research, and help for the needy, it means you're willing to kiss the future goodbye. It means you simply don't care.


aek said...

I would vote for an Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders ticket.

Glad to read your column on KevinMD - sorry to learn of your experience.

Do you tweet?

Sid Schwab said...

I'd vote for them, too.

I have a twitter account for unknown reasons. I almost never use it.

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