Showing posts with label Bernie Sanders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernie Sanders. Show all posts

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bernie Sanders agrees with Ronald Reagan on Social Security

Social Security hasn't added "$1" to the deficit, and should be left alone:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bernie Sanders on Bill Moyers

Bernie Sanders on the Independent in Politics from on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Obama renews populist pitch on Buffet tax

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bernie Sanders: End the Corporate Takeover of our Democracy

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bernie Sanders: Rich, pay your fair share

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bernie Sanders introduces constitutional amendment

Similar legislation introduced into the Republican House, where it immediately died of course:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bernie Sanders on banks and manipulation of commodities

Truth Out:

The top six financial institutions in this country own assets equal to more than 60 percent of our gross domestic product and possess enormous economic and political power. One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families.
I represent Vermont, where many workers drive long distances to jobs that pay $12 an hour or less. Many seniors living on fixed incomes heat their homes with oil during our cold winters. These people have asked me to do all that I can to lower outrageously high gasoline and heating-oil prices. I intend to do just that.
Why have oil prices spiked wildly? Some argue that the volatility is a result of supply-and-demand fundamentals. More and more observers, however, believe that excessive speculation in the oil futures market by investors is driving oil prices sky high.
A June 2 article in the Wall Street Journal said it all: "Wall Street is tapping a real gusher in 2011, as heightened volatility and higher prices of oil and other raw materials boost banks' profits." ExxonMobil Chairman Rex Tillerson, testifying before a Senate panel this year, said that excessive speculation may have increased oil prices by as much as 40 percent. Delta Air Lines general counsel Richard Hirst wrote to federal regulators in December that "the speculative bubble in oil prices has concrete detrimental consequences for the real economy." An American Trucking Association vice president, Richard Moskowitz, said, "Excessive speculation has caused dramatic increases in the price of crude oil, which harms end-users like America's trucking industry."
I released records last month that documented the role of speculators and put the information on my Web site for three reasons.
First, the American people have a right to know why oil prices are artificially high. The CFTC report proved that when oil prices climbed in 2008 to more than $140 a barrel, Wall Street speculators dominated the oil futures market. Goldman Sachs alone bought and sold more than 860 million barrels of oil in the summer of 2008 with no intention of using a drop for any purpose other than to make a quick buck.
Wall Street, of course, wants to hide this information. They don't want the American people to know the extent to which speculators keep oil prices artificially high and the great damage that does to our economy. After the information became public, it was suggested that some on Wall Street may stop trading in the oil futures market. Good!
Second, Congress recognized last year that excessive oil speculation must end. The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation required the CFTC to eliminate, prevent or diminish excessive oil speculation by Jan. 17, 2011. Months after that deadline, the commission still has failed to enforce the law, and speculators still are making out like bandits.
Third, the commodity regulators' claim that they cannot end excessive oil speculation because they lack sufficient data is nonsense. As the information I released makes clear, the commission has been collecting this information for more than three years. The time for studying is over. It is time for action.
I agree with those who say trust in government is at an all-time low. That's not because Washington is too heavy-handed with Wall Street. Quite the contrary! The American people are angry and disillusioned because they see our government act boldly to protect Wall Street CEOs but not ordinary Americans. When Wall Street needed a $700 billion bailout, the government was there for them. When working families need an end to excessive oil speculation and real relief at the gas pump, the government has failed to act.
The same Dodd-Frank bill that required commodity regulators to limit speculators included my amendment calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve from Dec. 1, 2007, to July 21, 2010, the period of the financial crisis. What we learned was that the Fed provided $16 trillion in secret, low-interest loans to every major American financial institution and to other central banks, large corporations and wealthy individuals. The audit provision was vigorously opposed by the Federal Reserve chairman.
It was right, however, that the veil of secrecy at the Fed was lifted and the American people learned about its actions.
Now it is appropriate to lift the veil of secrecy in the oil futures market. The American people have a right to know how much excessive speculation has driven up oil prices and which Wall Street firms are doing it.
Senator Sanders is the longest serving independent in congressional history.  He has represented Vermont in the Congress and Senate for more than 20 years. Prior to entering Congress, he served as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bernie Sanders strikes again: U.S. oil speculative data released by Senator, sparking ire


U.S. oil speculative data released by Senator, sparking ire

(Reuters) - Oil trading data that exposed the extensive positions speculators held in the run-up to record high prices in 2008 were intentionally leaked by a U.S. senator, sparking broader concern about industry confidentiality as Congress moves on Wall Street reform.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a staunch critic of oil speculators, leaked the information to a major newspaper in a move that has unsettled both regulators and Wall Street alike.
In a June 16 e-mail reviewed by Reuters, a senior policy adviser to Sanders discusses how his office received private data with the names and positions of traders and forwarded it exclusively to a Wall Street Journal reporter.
The e-mail, which also attaches two files with the data, was sent to Public Citizen's Tyson Slocum asking him to review it and speak with the newspaper about his observations.
In a statement from Sanders provided to Reuters, Sanders said he felt the data needed to be publicly aired.
"The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years," he said. "This is an outrage. The American people have a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today."
The leaked information has sparked concern at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is legally prohibited from releasing confidential information that identifies trader positions and identities.
The leak also raises broader questions as U.S. regulators gear up to collect massive new amounts of private data from market players on everything from swaps and hedge funds to blueprints for how large financial firms can be liquidated. The breach of data could make Wall Street less reluctant to hand over sensitive information if they fear it is not appropriately safeguarded.
"This type of incident will have a chilling effect on derivatives trading in the U.S. because market participants will be reluctant to take the risk that their positions will be exposed to the public-and their competitors," John Damgard, president of the Futures Industry Association, said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Republicans have already raised concerns in recent hearings about the Treasury's new Office of Financial Research created by Dodd-Frank, and whether its collection of data from hedge funds and banks may constitute a regulatory overreach.
Although the CFTC is barred from releasing confidential data, the law does require the CFTC to hand over such information if a Congressional committee acting within its proper authority requests it. Once it is in the hands of Congress, there is nothing to prevent lawmakers from releasing it publicly.
The leaked data contains long and short positions held by oil traders in 2008, the same year that oil prices spiked to $147 a barrel. Critics at the time accused oil speculators of driving up prices, leading lawmakers to later insert a provision into the Dodd-Frank Wall Street overhaul law compelling the CFTC to place stricter limits on how many commodity contracts any one trader can control.
Among the kinds of traders accused of excessive speculation included passive long investors such as pension funds, which often seek exposure to commodities markets indirectly by going through an intermediary swap dealer such as such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
The data that was leaked to the Wall Street Journal was compiled by the CFTC in 2008 during a "special call" in which the agency sought crude oil position data from swap dealers so they could piece together market activity occurring both on and off the exchange, people familiar with the matter said.
The CFTC first became aware of the breach of the data after a staffer from Sanders' office sent the agency an e-mail with the information and asked the CFTC's chief economist to discuss it more.
The agency began exploring internally whether or not any staffers were responsible for the leak, and concluded that no CFTC employees were involved, according to people familiar with the matter.
It is unclear exactly how Sanders acquired the private information, and a spokesman declined to say.
But people familiar with the matter say the data later obtained by Sanders was first formally requested by the U.S. House Energy Committee. From there it somehow migrated over to the U.S. Senate.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Russell Blinch and Alden Bentley)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bernie Sanders takes the floor


"We are at a pivotal moment in American history, and many Americans watching the deficit talks in Washington are confused, perplexed, angry and frustrated.

This country, which has paid its debts from Day 1, must pay its debts. Anyone who says it is not a big deal for this country to default clearly does not understand what he or she is talking about. This is a nation whose faith and credit has been the gold standard of countries throughout the world. Some people simply say we're not going to pay our debt, that there's nothing to really worry about. Those are people who are wishing our economy harm for political reasons, and those are people whose attitudes will have terrible consequences for virtually every working family in this country in terms of higher interest rates, in terms of significant job loss, in terms of making a very unstable global economy even more unstable.

Our right-wing friends in the House of Representatives have given us an option. What they have said is end Medicare as we know it and force elderly people, many of whom don't have the money, to pay substantially more for their health care. So when you're 70 under their plan and you get sick and you don't have a whole lot of income, we don't know what happens to you. They forget to tell us that if their plan was passed you're going to have to pay a heck of a lot more for the prescription drugs you're getting today. They we're going to throw millions of kids off health insurance. If your mom or dad is in a nursing home and that nursing home bill is paid significantly by Medicaid and Medicaid isn't paying anymore, they forgot to tell us what happens to your mom or dad in that nursing home. What happens?

And what happens today if you are unemployed and you're not able to get unemployment extension? What happens if you are a middle-class family desperately trying to send their kids to college and you make savage cuts to Pell grants and you can't go to college? What does it mean for the nation if we are not bringing forth young people that have the education that they need? They forgot to tell us that. And if one of the growing number of senior citizens in this country who are going hungry, they want to cut nutrition programs. And on and on it goes. Every program that has any significance to working families, the sick, the elderly, the children, the poor, they are going to cut in the midst of a recession when real unemployment is already at 15 percent and the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing. That's their idea.

Shouldn't the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations contribute to deficit reduction rather than just the elderly and the sick and working families? They say no. They're going to defend the richest people in this country -- millionaires and billionaires -- and make sure they don't pay a nickel more in taxes. We're going to make sure there is no tax reform so we can continue to lose $100 billion every single year because wealthy people and corporations stash their money in tax havens in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda, and that's just fine. We'll protect those tax breaks while we savage programs for working families.

Those are the choices that our right-wing Republican friends are giving us. Default with horrendous economic consequences for working families in this country and for the entire global economy or massive cuts to programs that working families desperately need.

Neither of those options is acceptable to me. Neither are those options acceptable to the vast majority of the people in this country. Every single poll that I have seen says that the American people want shared sacrifice. They don't want or believe that deficit reduction can simply come down on the backs of the weak and the vulnerable, the elderly, the children, and the poor. They believe that the wealthy and large corporations also have to participate.

In all honesty, I also must tell you that I have been disappointed by President Obama's role in these discussions. He has brought forth and idea which I categorically reject, that we should make significant cuts in Social Security, that when someone when someone reaches the age of 85, they would lose $1,000 as opposed to what they would have otherwise gotten. This senator is not going to balance our budget on the backs of an 85-year-old person who's earning $14,000 a year. And this senator does not agree with the president that we should raise eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67, because I don't know what happens to millions of people who have worked their whole lives, finally reach 65 anticipating Medicare but it's not going to be there for them.

One of the most important lessons in all of this is that elections have consequences. Many people now are beginning to catch on to that. It is no secret that our right-wing Republican colleagues did very well in November 2010. They captured the House of Representatives.

If you believe that we have to start investing in America and creating the millions of jobs that this country desperately needs, elections have consequences. If you believe that we have to address the deficit crisis in a way that is responsible, in a way that asks the wealthy and large corporations also to play a role, in a way that calls for cuts in defense spending and bringing our troops home as soon as possible from Afghanistan and Iraq, you have got to be involved in the political process.

In my view a group of people in the House whose views represent a small minority of the American people are holding this Congress hostage. It is time for the American people to stand up and say, enough is enough; the function of the United States Congress is to represent all of our people and not just the wealthy and powerful."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rand Paul, Universal Healthcare = Slavery

Rand...  Nevermind...

Sanders destroys him after his little slavery speech...

Senator Awesome (Sanders) advocating for single payer:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Senator Awesome fillibusters

"The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few of many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is democracy". -Aristotle

While the Middle Class would benefit greatly from the extension of the Bush tax cuts (temporarily), Bernie Sanders stands alone in the Senate highlighting a radical Republican agenda to destroy the Middle Class.

Can't wait for the next FDR to run these wealthy oligarchs into the ground. What they call economic freedom I call economic tyranny.

See the livestream here:

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Dissenting voices chime in:

From the Washington Post:

"Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 - and House Democrats don't have a clue that he did. 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?"

UPDATE: Found this great quote...

"The absence of effective state, and, especially, national restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise.… Therefore, I believe in a…graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate." -Teddy Roosevelt.

Full article by Sanders here:

These people continue to push people like myself further to the left. I used to be a Republican, then a moderate Democrat. Now I'm nothing less than a liberal, let them keep going to the right and I wonder where I'll end up.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bernie Sanders again being his awesome self

Friday, December 3, 2010

Senator Awesome lifts the curtain on the financial crisis

The only problem I have with Bernie Sanders is the fact he isn't my senator.

These banks aren't doing anything for the American people. It's time we took a hard look at the systematic structural problems our current economic model is diseased with.

"The Federal Reserve has made public an enormous trove of data about the emergency measures it took during the worst of the credit crunch and the ensuing recession. It's confusing stuff: arcane spreadsheets showing more than 21,000 transactions totaling more than $3.3 trillion via an alphabet soup of programs. (Gratuitous example: the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, or, well, ABCPMMMFLF.) Still, the revelations provide a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the Fed in the apocalyptic days of 2008, when the world economy was on the verge of collapse. They also leave one major question unanswered.

First things first: Why did the notoriously shy Fed post the detailed data this week? Because Congress forced it to. The Dodd-Frank financial-reform law included a provision, authored by longtime critic of Fed secrecy Sen. Bernie Sanders, requiring the disclosure of the information by Dec. 1. Right on deadline, the central bank opened up.

During its multitrillion-dollar rescue of the financial system, the Fed continued its usual policy of omertà, shrugging off requests from politicians and journalists for information about the trillions in emergency loans it was making. By way of explanation, the Fed told Bloomberg at the time that the country was facing "an unprecedented crisis" wherein "loss in confidence in and between financial institutions can occur with lightning speed and devastating effects." Essentially, the Fed worried that more information might make a very bad situation even worse.

But now—with the recovery under way and bank profits healthy again—the Fed has coughed the data up. The trove shows which firms used what facilities, when, for how much, and on what terms. (The Wall Street Journal has a handy tool so that the curious don't need to wade through spreadsheets.)

It makes for interesting reading—or, at least, holds some interesting revelations even for those not tickled by the sight of spreadsheets. Consider the case of investment-banking giant Goldman Sachs, whose transactions with the Fed are here. The company, among the most profitable on Wall Street, has boasted that it would have been able to survive the crisis without government assistance. President Gary Cohn said it explicitly in Vanity Fair last year, in a piece by my fellow Moneybox columnist Bethany McLean. "I think we would not have failed," he said. "We had cash."

Meanwhile, Senator Awesome will continue to illustrate and infuriate me (in a good way) about how corporate oligarchy poisons our Democracy.

The rest is here:

Bankers, Wallstreet terrorists and business elites alike beware, Bernie Sanders has come to do two things...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bernie Sanders blows lid of secrecy off of bailout, fallout to come...

Let heads roll... I can't wait for a complete transformation away from this ridiculous system. Thank God we have 'Senator Awesome' coming to bat for the American people!

"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the Federal Reserve's recent disclosure about transactions it undertook during the financial crisis lifted the "veil of secrecy" at the Fed, one that he wants to further expand with congressional investigations.

"After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed's multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America," he said in a statement. "Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations. As a result of this disclosure, other members of Congress and I will be taking a very extensive look at all aspects of how the Federal Reserve functions."

Sanders specifically said he wants to explore whether institutions used near zero-interest-loans from the Fed to buy higher-yielding Treasury bonds.

"That's corporate welfare," he said. "This is something that has to be examined very closely."

He also said he wanted to dig into whether large financial institutions prematurely paid back funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to avoid executive compensation limits while still relying on loans from the Fed.

"These guys on another planet operate to protect their own incredible wealth while they ignore the needs of the average American," he said."

The rest is here: