Just the Beginning: A Note from Bernie Sanders

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I received a note from Bernie Sanders yesterday to say thanks for supporting and signing on to his letter to Secretary Paulson.

Sanders is clear in saying this is not the end, but the beginning; and he asks people to remain involved.  In the months ahead we need to correct the many flaws in the final passage of H.R. 1424, The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 as we all know this is not stabilization at all but, rather, a very volatile weapon of mass destruction which could wreck much greater havoc at any moment.

Nevertheless, so long as we are all still here, I think it is of value to do all we can to try to sustain and restore life.  In this matter, Sanders wants to continue to work to implement his 4 point plan for the economy:

    1) A temporary, 10% surcharge on the ultra-rich.

    2) Extensive re-regulation and oversight.

    3) A WPA type program of job creation in infrastructure repair & sustainable energy

    4) Limits on business size so they are not “too big to fail.”

See more about what he wants to do beneath the fold.


Here’s the text of Sanders’ short note:

Dear friend,            Oct. 3, 2008

Thank you for co-signing a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urging that any bailout be fiscally responsible, include a major recovery package, re-establish obviously needed regulation of financial institutions, and end the dangers posed by companies that are ‘too big to fail.’

I was amazed, and greatly heartened, by the tremendous number of people who signed the letter. When we delivered it to the secretary’s office Wednesday, it had more than 48,000 signatures, including yours.

Unfortunately, Wednesday was also the day that the Senate passed a bailout package. Because it did not have the strong provisions we called for in our letter to Secretary Paulson, I voted against the bailout.

Before the Senate passed the bill, there was a vote on what was probably the key provision in our letter: a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for individuals. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue over five years, but wouldn’t cost 99.7 percent of taxpayers a single penny. On the Senate floor, I talked about our letter. (To read about it or watch excerpts, click here or here. I talked about how the bailout of Wall Street banks and financial firms should be paid for by those who benefited from the greed and excess of Wall Street, not by middle-class Americans. I am sorry to report that the amendment did not pass.

This is not the end of our fight, but the beginning. I look forward to working with you again as we move forward in asserting that the needs of our nation’s middle class, its working families, should come ahead of the needs of the financial services industry and those who profited off Wall Street excesses.

I would like to stay in touch. I hope you will be interested in receiving occasional updates on what the federal government is doing – and what it should be doing – to address the serious economic and financial concerns ahead of us.

Thanks again for co-signing the letter. You helped raise 48,000 voices of reason

So, whether we like it or not, it looks like we need to be in this for the long haul.  Frankly, I’d rather be surfing.  I’d rather be swimming, reading, skiing, lolly gagging or almost anything else, but…

I hope you’ll join in and stay involved.  Sanders seems to have the clearest, briefest and most succinct ideas…and the most progressive.  so let’s keep working, and as Catfish said in a comment to an OPOL diary (I think), Kucinich for Speaker of the House and Sanders for Majority Leader!

Thanks for reading.


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  1. will be the real uphill battle.

    As far as #2 is concerned, the devil is in the details. But I think the bubble of “de-regulation” has been burst.

    I think #3 has been at the top of Obama’s priority list too – so I’m hopeful on that one.  

  2. “The liberal bloggers are inherently distrustful of the government, but they have no reasons for being suspicious of the bail-out.”

    The quote is probably not verbatim.

  3. …about everything.  I do believe the whole bailout rip off was a well thought out plan to steal from the citizens as much as possible.  These guys & gals are very proficient Ponzi scam artists, and that certainly goes for Paulson.  Hank is a past master; he didn’t get the nickname the “King of Risk” for nothing.  He spent 6 or 7 years turning Goldman Sachs into a subprime mortgage, leveraged derivatives “success story,” from what I’ve read.

    But I do think it is quite possible that when the HOR didn’t go for it on the first Monday, the scammers put out the word to their “friends” on the Street to sink the market by 777 and to freeze credit to threaten every small business across the country, etc., etc. just to show how far they were willing to go to rob us.

    “Give me your purse or I’ll kill you with this gun,” is the street version of this threat.  I think they did the same thing to Congress.  While many of them (congress critters) lack integrity, I think that some of the more decent ones bought into the threat; they bought the fear.

    I’m just glad for the ones like Kucinich, Sanders, Pete Stark, Feingold and more who tried to call either the “bluff” or the “real threat,”  whichever it was.

    I can’t explain this further right now.  It’s late, and I must sleep.  But I’ll try to post links and more tomorrow.


    • Edger on October 5, 2008 at 16:23

    the next steps comping? The already changing narrative in pretty well all of the media to morph opposition to the bailout into the question “is it enough?”

    Both “enough money” and “enough power”…

    Bailout brings relief, but is it enough? – LA Daily News

      (LA DAily News has deleted this article)

    Washington Times – Biggest bailout, but is it enough?

    More oversight for Wall Street, but is it enough?

    Results 1 – 10 of about 46,500 for “is it enough?” wall street.

    Rememeber how well central economic planning worked out for the Soviet Union?

    • Edger on October 5, 2008 at 16:47

  4. …almost missed that you had FPed me.  Thanks!

  5. yea yea yea Sanders has good ideas.

    But when the US Congress is SIMULTANEOUSLY acting upon (HR1400) and well as planning new (HR362) to call down upon the people of Iran precisely the sort of financial turmoil that we Americans are so frantic about today.

    You have to ask yourself: If, indeed, their is a god of justice; one can’t help but recall Lincoln’s words:  “I tremble when I reflect that God is Just.”

    Einstein said something similar: “You can’t simultaneously plan for war and seek peace.”  

    The ultimate irony is that we should have taken a cue from simply the NAME of Pastor Jeremiah Wright– the great Axial Age prophet Jeremiah warned the Hebrew people that their misdeeds would result in chastisements from their convenanted god; rather than heed Jeremiah’s warnings, the Hebrew people put the prophet on trial, convicted him, imprisoned him, and made him a pariah upon his release from prison.

    There is no easy way out of this crisis — the formula from my Baltimore Catechism said, “confess, do penance, amend…”  We as a people cannot continue to sin — to invoke and plan for the financial destruction of the Iranian people; to continue the oppression of the Iraqi people; to permit and subsidize the oppression of the Palestinian people — and expect the god of justice to have mercy on us.

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