Senator Bernie Sanders(I) from Vermont held a filibuster against President Obama today on the floor of the senate, which began at 10:30am and as I type; he is still speaking. While the seats were empty, C-span covered it quite nicely, pretty sad that no one was there seeing as just about everything he said (well, at least what I watched) was on point. He is completely against tax cuts for the rich, social security tax cut for the upcoming year and the estate tax cut.
All of this comes after President Obama cut a deal with the Republicans early this week. Extending the Bush tax cuts in return for extending Unemployment insurance to the millions losing it this month.
While just about everyone wants unemployment to be extended for all of those unemployed Americans, I don’t think most people really know the consequences of deal. That is why the senator is holding the filibuster.
Extending the Bush Tax Cuts means a few more dollars in the pockets of millions of middle class employees and millions more dollars in the pockets of the rich. Trickle-down economics did not work during the Reagan administration nor the Bush Administration, why in the world would it work now.
Example, the average American salary is between $30,000 to $40,000 a year, the Bush tax cuts allowed those people to keep an extra MAYBE $120 a month in their pockets, while it allowed an average of an extra $250,000 in the pockets of the moderately rich. The very top of the top have seen and will see millions more. Meanwhile the country is in a Trillion dollar deficit with most of the budget going to Defense and neglecting education and health care. However, the Average American does not see this because all they hear is “Tax Cut”.
The estate tax was cut and most people were happy to hear that not knowing that it only affects the very top richest people in the country. Which is 1/3 of 1% of the population. Which would steal Billions and possibly Trillions from the country’s budget. What will be cut to compensate? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and of course, education. Why? Because anything they do have, will be put into the defense budget.
Bernie Sanders used the Walton family (Wal-Mart owners) as an example; they alone with the estate tax cut would keep an extra $32 Billion. With the Bush Tax Cuts they have been able to save millions a year, for 8 years? That is Billions.
The richest 403 people in the United States are multi Billionaires that CONTROL $1.3 Trillion of the country’s wealth. Let’s put that in better terms. The top 1% earners hold 34.6% of net wealth; the next 19% hold 50.5% of the wealth which leaves the average salary holders fighting for the other 15%. This does not include complete Financial Wealth which is higher for the top 20% and much LOWER for the other 80% of the population.
I understand Obama’s decision because he really had no choice at that point; he couldn’t allow those millions to go without and prolong the agony. Maybe in two years people will see that this did not work and then maybe the democrats will have a better debate. However it could be seen as a ploy to hold on to voters since most voters have no clue about these specifics. If people were better informed I think that 80% would vote in their senators and congressmen more wisely to avoid voting against their own interest.