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Sanders writes: "We don't need a treasury secretary who thinks that Wall Street deregulation was not responsible for the financial crisis. We need a treasury secretary who will work hard to break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions so that Wall Street cannot cause another massive financial crisis."

White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew has been nominated for Treasury Secretary. (photo: Getty Images)
White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew has been nominated for Treasury Secretary. (photo: Getty Images)


No on Lew

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

11 January 13

 

resident Obama on Thursday nominated Jacob Lew to be treasury secretary. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said he would not vote to confirm Lew. "Jack Lew is clearly an extremely intelligent person and I applaud his many years of public service to our country. I believe that he will be confirmed by the Senate. Unfortunately, he will be confirmed without my vote. At a time when the middle class is collapsing and millions of workers are unemployed, I do not believe he is the right person at the right time to serve in this important position.

"As a supporter of the president, I remain extremely concerned that virtually all of his key economic advisers have come from Wall Street. In my view, we need a treasury secretary who is prepared to stand up to corporate America and their powerful lobbyists and fight for policies that protect the working families in our country. I do not believe Mr. Lew is that person.

"We don't need a treasury secretary who thinks that Wall Street deregulation was not responsible for the financial crisis. We need a treasury secretary who will work hard to break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions so that Wall Street cannot cause another massive financial crisis.

"We don't need another treasury secretary who believes in ‘deficit neutral' corporate tax reform. We need a treasury secretary willing to fight to make sure that large, profitable corporations pay their fair share in taxes to reduce the deficit and create jobs.

"We don't need a treasury secretary who will advise the president that he should negotiate with the Republicans to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. We need someone who is going to strengthen these programs.

"We don't need another treasury secretary who believes that NAFTA and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China have been good for the American economy. We need someone in the White House who works to fundamentally re-write our trade policy to make sure that we are exporting American goods, not American jobs."

 

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+131 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-11 07:36
Thanks Senator!

The more I learn about Jacob Lew's history the more I am convinced that the President is terribly mistaken on this nomination. Jack Lew is most certainly not an amoral Right Winger that believes the Federal Government shouldn't have a budget for anything other than the military. And that is a good thing. But he does strongly adhere to the meme that states that the US fiscal problems are that we spend too much money, that financial institutions more efficiently serve the public good when regulated by a consensus of the regulated and the public.

This meme has to be destroyed. It is demonstrably false and until we realize that the ones being regulated cannot make the regulations and then public vets the rules, the order must be reversed.

President Obama needs to be forced to have another point of view than to continue listening to Bill Clinton's leftovers. If we wanted that, then Hillary would have been the Democratic candidate in 2008.
 
 
+68 # Interested Observer 2013-01-11 08:51
It does not appear to me that anything has fundamentally changed since the 1920's that was not accomplished by regulation over the screams of the borderline criminal class that is Wall Street, and it is apparent that every deregulation of finance since Reagan has been shortly accompanied by a calamity that usually involves some sort of public bailout to prevent its full impact. In this most recent example I think it is fair to say it was a planned raid on the part of a few. The screams of the potentially re-regulated today have never been so ludicrous or pitiful. It is actually worse today since the financial "industry" is now the predominant commercial entity in the U.S. Economy which was not the case in the 1920's, and the sophistication and power of the weapons of fiscal mass destruction has increased by orders of magnitude. I wish I could see the eye roll one would get from Joseph P. Kennedy upon hearing the suggestion that all will be well with a self-regulating Wall Street in a "free market" (what a laugh in that global casino of rigged tables, LIBOR anyone?) in today's world anymore than in his world. Every rough competitive game needs a referee, global finance is no exception, and, unfortunately, government is the only entity big enough for the role. The denial of that fact is one basic lie of laissez-faire theory as practiced by such as Alan Greenspan. Another is "trickle-down" better described as "tinkle-down".
 
 
+52 # RLF 2013-01-11 09:15
Are there Obama appointees that are not republicans in disguise? They almost all suck.
 
 
+31 # WestWinds 2013-01-11 09:54
Answer to RLF question: In a word, "no".
 
 
+4 # grandma lynn 2013-01-14 02:56
I keep getting online invites to the inauguration, and I answer that I only voted for Obama as the lesser of two evils. If I spent plane money to go somewhere, I'd go sit in Bradley Manning's court-time to support him with my presence.
 
 
+29 # WestWinds 2013-01-11 09:51
BradFromSalem:
I couldn't agree with you more! This appointment clearly shows where Obama is at and it's not with the people. And your assessment of Bill Clinton leftovers and having Hilary as a candidate at any time who would only continue these disastrous policies is spot on!
 
 
+48 # bigkahuna671 2013-01-11 10:00
Brad, it's just another case of weak spine disease and I'm afraid it could kill Obama's legacy. His inability to wean himself off Wall St. and cut their umbilical cord has hurt us through his first term as Tim Geithner has "advised" him to forget his promises to the people and serve the wishes of Wall St. It's impossible for anyone who has been on Wall St. to ever sever their ties and once in, they belong forever. That's why we have to avoid them like the plague. It's much like a shepherd finding a wolf cub and bringing it up, eventually that wolf cub grows up and returns to what it iinstinctually is, a wolf. The voracious appetites and greed of Wall St. types means that no matter what, they're always going to be greedy and self-serving. I just hope Sen. Sanders is wrong and that Lew doesn't get affirmed. We don't need another wolf in sheep's clothing mismanaging the Treasury.
 
 
+27 # Virginia 2013-01-11 10:57
President Obama has allowed his handlers to surround him with inappropriate people since his initial term. From Geithner to Goldman Sachs and Holder, Obama has been infested with Wall Street influence. They have pushed reasonable women aside - many good people left the administration early rather than continue to buck the bull pen.

The problems are so political even within the party that it makes it difficult to achieve a balance. This position needs a prosecutor's mentality - it's had enough white collar criminal types for too long.
 
 
+2 # grandma lynn 2013-01-14 02:59
Don't forget that he tried the job on NH's Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who humored Obama a bit, then left Obama with egg on his face. And where did Gregg, my senator, go after the required six-months wait period? On to sacks of gold with Goldman Sachs.
 
 
+35 # engelbach 2013-01-11 12:07
Obama is not mistaken.

He's doing exactly as he intends, just as he has from day one of his first term.

As leader of the Democratic Party's branch of the GOP, he faithfully serves Wall Street, the banks, and the corporations.
 
 
+20 # Interested Observer 2013-01-11 13:38
Gore Vidal characterized this accurately: "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialis ts get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

But if the Democrat wing would have not started the Iraq War of 2003, that would be enough difference to be worth voting for.
 
 
0 # grandma lynn 2013-01-14 03:02
Hillary Clinton and John Kerry both publicly admitted to being "tricked" by Cheney and Bush on the Iraq war. What an admission, to be tricked by trickery in a place known for trickery. Kerry should not be Sec. of State, and Hillary should not ever run again for president.
 
 
0 # grandma lynn 2013-01-14 03:00
Gore Vidal said it: America has one political party with two right wings.
 
 
+2 # joedeane 2013-01-13 12:20
Don't be silly. Obama is not mistaken. He is doing what he means to do. He serves corporate America well.
 
 
+106 # Grout4cake 2013-01-11 07:51
Keep Bernie 's voice in our government.He may be the only elected official who speaks truth to power.
 
 
+3 # Michael_K 2013-01-11 10:59
Quoting Grout4cake:
Keep Bernie 's voice in our government.He may be the only elected official who speaks truth to power.


My problem with that statement is: "As a supporter of the president, I remain extremely concerned that virtually all of his key economic advisers have come from Wall Street." He shouldn't be a supporter of this treacherous knave in the White House, unless the knave changes his ways.
 
 
+2 # grandma lynn 2013-01-14 03:02
I didn't support Bernie with money when he asked for it, past election. I'm going to write him a $100 check for his next one, and mail it now.
 
 
+18 # ljblinddog 2013-01-11 07:55
Who does the Senator suggest?
 
 
+42 # maddave 2013-01-11 08:46
I don't know who Bernie suggests, but I suggest Bernie Sanders.

My rationale? "An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness."
 
 
-4 # Michael_K 2013-01-11 11:00
loyalty to the President is tantamount to complicity in his crimes

sorry, but a reality check is sorely needed
 
 
+22 # engelbach 2013-01-11 12:08
Bernie is just being diplomatic.

He's been Obama's harshest critic from the left.
 
 
+18 # maddave 2013-01-11 15:56
Bernie is a loyal American and superb Senator - I meant no more, no less.
 
 
+1 # grandma lynn 2013-01-14 03:03
Why when I clicked on "agree" green thumbs up with this, did it add another "disagree" red thumbs down?
 
 
+18 # Virginia 2013-01-11 11:13
At least Bernie would be loyal to the public.
 
 
+54 # MidwestTom 2013-01-11 08:04
Another option to breaking them up would be to change the rules to severely limit some of their profit activities. By that I mean mandate that any stock purchased must be held for 24 hours, thus eliminating day trading and high volume instantaneous trading which is 30% to 40% of stock trades. One could outlaw selling short which would eliminate many of the games on Wall Street. Finally, one could rule that in derivative trading one could only buy "insurance" to cover ones actual exposure to loss from ones own risk; but be forbidden to gamble on the potential failure of some totally disconnected entity. These rule changes would not effect any American corporation that hires employees and produces products; however, they would severely wound the money movers who make fortunes 'playing' Monopoly with corporations that hire Americans .
 
 
+7 # charsjcca 2013-01-11 09:07
Tom: Some of this goes back to the tax reform legislation of 1986. What they did to America's economy made Al Capone wake up and ask for another shot at the brass ring. Here is an opportunity for a new coalition in America. Progressives ought to be willing to talk with tea baggers with Barack Obama not in the room, if they, in fact, are honest brokers.
 
 
+1 # Hey There 2013-01-12 20:19
uumm...I like that!
 
 
+40 # mrb46 2013-01-11 08:42
VERY SADLY I think Obama picked this guy for the very reasons Bernie points out as problems. Obama has proven his allegiance to Wall Street over the past four years. Either he will not take them on, or he is waiting for a majority in the House. I am coming to think it is the former . . . and the latter is dicey in 2014. Apparently the BIG banks are not just too big to fail, but too big to prosecute. Disappointing.
 
 
+13 # Interested Observer 2013-01-11 09:15
One wonders what real options Obama or anyone else really has. Clinton, shortly after taking office, was non-plussed to find that the financial fate of his administration was bound to a few big players in bonds, and his options were much fewer than he might have imagined. The difference, if there is one, is that the GOP ilk, especially Romney, go in as fervent advocates for these toxic forms of free market theory, and the Masters of the Universe. Not having good ways of dealing with a problem is different from believing there is no problem.
 
 
+21 # WestWinds 2013-01-11 10:09
Well, if Obama even believes there is a problem, then he surely isn't giving any signs of it. My take on Obama is that he was a poor college grad who wanted to be rich and the richest game in town was politics. He's gone from nothing to a multi-millionai re and it doesn't seem to bother him that we don't want a corptocracy, that he's sold us out, that he "mis-portrayed" himself to us, or that he has stabbed America in the back repeatedly with his G-summits/TPP/i mperialism/Blac k Ops/thumbing his nose at the Constitution/Ta r Sands/terrible trade tariffs/giving away Single Payer - Medicare for All/Social Security cuts agenda/blank-ki ssing the Right-wingers, just to name a few. Now, the global dominators are even running tracking chips in Texas as 1984, really begins to take shape and BHO is right on board. I want to see Bernie run for president and for all of us to get rid of the Tea-gaggers in Congress in 2014.
 
 
+12 # SundownLF 2013-01-11 20:54
We have gotten somewhat off-topic. What's wrong with a man who has a Nobel Peace Prize in the area of economics - PAUL KRUGMAN? This man would protect 'us' from the too-big-to-fail banks and keep our economy on-track.

Guess it's not too likely, though. After all, he is not in the pocket of Wall Street.

SO disappointing!
 
 
+1 # pbbrodie 2013-01-12 21:08
Krugman took his name out of consideration. There was a draft Krugman petition started on moveon.org by Danny Glover but Krugman said he was not interested and would not accept if nominated. obviously, he realizes it is a no win situation for him because no matter what he advised, it would simply be ignored.
 
 
+42 # MainStreetMentor 2013-01-11 09:01
The Senate ... the House ... the President and the American People need to heed the msg brought by Senator Sanders. The Republicans don't need to control the Senate - they control the White House and it's occupant by proxy.
 
 
+17 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-01-11 09:07
maddave, what a huge ray of hope ! To have Bernie Sanders, our hero and then some, become Sect., WOW. Could well be the answer to my current logo/prayer...

deliver us from evil....
WALL STREET VILLAINAIRES
 
 
+11 # WestWinds 2013-01-11 10:10
Don't hold your breath. Obama isn't that progressive enough to put anything but a Rethuglicon into his administration.
 
 
+6 # dick 2013-01-11 09:49
Obama thinks we were 1 week away from a chaotic, anarchic, G-Depression full of mayhem way worse than the Great Depression. Too many assault rifles; too few farms. He wants MORE THAN ANYTHING a stable Wall St. Key is new AG who will IMPRISON some economic traitors/terror ists without collapsing the fragile system. Then, step-by-step reform. Eric Folder MUST go. Jennifer Granholm for AG? Hard to demonize the sweet IRON Cheerleader, Canadian oriented Lady of Steel. JG 4 AG. Kick butt.
 
 
+22 # JohnDP 2013-01-11 10:46
It seems to me that one fundamental element is always missing in these comments and elsewhere: Why do Americans continue to send these people to Washington, election cycle in, election cycle out? We are complicit in our own demise. During the most recent presidential election democrats for the most part had nothing but praise for the so-called "Big Dog" Bill Clinton, and now we hear nothing but encouragement for Hillary's, presidential bid in 2016. So called progressives have not held Obama'sor the Clinton's feet to the fire and it's obvious that they have nothing but contempt for their base, progressives, lefties, working people and the elderly. Obama is responsible for the murder daily of people in far off lands and we say nothing.Instead of at least accepting Boenher's 800 billion in tax revenue, he lowers it to 600 hundred billion. Obama and the democrats continue to betray the american people; they are all or at least the vaste majority of our politicians are wealthy, have good pensions, healthcare and they could care less about the people who pay their salaries and make their benefits possible. The american people are hopelessly divided, know they are getting screwed yet continue to support the people doing them harm. We are going to wake up one day and social security, medicare, medicaid, public education, unions, wil be gone. And we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
 
 
+14 # engelbach 2013-01-11 12:12
I don't know why someone red flagghed you. I corrected that.

What you say is not only obvious but glaringly so. Obama's worshippers for some strange reason blind themselves to what he has actually done (as opposed to what he says).

And then they treat criticism from the left, like mine, as heresy.
 
 
+6 # mediasavvy 2013-01-11 12:21
Obama supporters drank too much koolaid. Obama's benefactors make koolaid. Its a symbiotic relationship.
 
 
+8 # mediasavvy 2013-01-11 12:30
Han't you been paying attention? The Democratic party shut down anyone who dared to critique Obama. His supporters in labor and the so-called 'progressive movement' (what a joke they are) silenced anyone who tried to organize against his banker boy policies. Then they shoved him on us again, backed up by a phenomenal fearmongering campaign and pretty much told us to vote these bastards again, or herald in the new fascist state.

The main contradiction in Bernie's comments is his support for the president - who is nothing but a Wall Street pimp - and his opposition to Lew, who is also nothing but a bagman for the investment industry. One corporate bagman appointing another to run the economy. This appointment is a payoff to Clinton for the campaign. I guess Erskine Bowles caught too much flack for the catfood commission to get past the democratic base. So he's sending an obsequious pimp instead.

This version of the democratic party creeps me out. And this generation of liberal/progres sive leaders are the most lame, pathetic and elitist phonies I've ever seen.
 
 
+4 # grouchy 2013-01-11 10:57
SUPER AMEN!
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2013-01-11 11:00
Where IS Obama diggin' up all these bods for high-ranking positions, especially as he had the vote of so many telling him otherwise.
How many foxes are they letting into the chicken house before it becomes bare of pickin's.
Mt Sanders told Amy Goodman in a recent interview that he didn't think the President was progressive and it looks like he is Hell-bent on proving it -like bungin' a gloved hand into a hat, see what comes out.
 
 
+12 # Scott479 2013-01-11 11:15
Lew is more of the same from Obama-hoping for change is all we are left with from this phony democrat.
 
 
+6 # Gord84 2013-01-11 11:29
In lieu of Lew, who?
 
 
+22 # engelbach 2013-01-11 12:13
Stiglitz.

Krugman.

Many others with the interests of working class at heart.
 
 
+9 # oldleftie 2013-01-11 11:56
Time for me to get more thumbs down, I guess. Once again, fellow workers, you like the admirable (and I mean that sincerely) Senator Sanders discount the executive process. The President is managing a fragile coalition that requires finesse. Mr. Lew may not be Paul Krugman, but he's not Alan Greenspan. He is an ethical progressive. He is a recognized force in the arena. My guess is that Senator Sanders has personal as well as political reasons for opposing Mr. Lew. But I'm not going to muddy the waters with some kind of Fox News gossip.

When we can get our own house in order, when when we can elect 60 Senators and 290 Representatives who reflect our political will, then we can consider being as intransigent and as dictatorial as our opponents seem to be. I won't be promoting that kind of narrowmindednes s but I know many of my colleagues will. In the meantime, we need to minimize gridlock, and anyone more to the liking of progressive left is not going to do the job.

If you're looking for the red button, it's up there on the right....
 
 
+3 # Scott479 2013-01-13 13:45
I like your thoughts, but this guy was brought in on a giant blue wave, a real tsunami of support the likes of which us progressives will likely never see again in our lives. He's ridden that wave like the punk surfer dude who owns all the best curls. He could have used that cult of personality-tak en the issues of intransigence to the people to rally us with ease to press and force our agenda through-but our agenda has never been his agenda except during his campaigns.
 
 
+28 # mrb46 2013-01-11 12:02
Closing the turnpike from government to Wall Street would help. So would passing a law to forbid elected officials at every level from cashing in on insider info. Election reform to limit races to 120 days of PUBLICLY FUNDED campaigning. Term limits. Filibuster reform. An Amendment to abolish Citizen's United. National voter protection laws. Severely limit lobbying and eliminate contributions to elected officials (public funding). Hold candidates directly responsible for misleading and dishonest ads and statements. ETC.
I know -- dream on.
 
 
+16 # angelfish 2013-01-11 12:27
I don't know Mr. Lew BUT I DO know Bernie Sanders and HIS opinion is good enough for me. I will be writing the White House to encourage the President to re-think his nomination! Thanks, Bernie!
 
 
+9 # Kathymoi 2013-01-11 13:34
We need Bernie Sanders to run for president in 2016, and we need him to let us know in advance who he will appoint to each cabinet position, head of staff, and advisor, so that we can be assured that his advisors will support the positions that he does. And, we need a plan of succession for each of these positions around the president, so that if the original team all dies or resigns before the next election, we know that there is a continuity of policy and not an abrupt about face. Obama sounds good when he talks to the public, but he appoints people in key advisory positions who represent a totally opposite view. This won't do.
 
 
+4 # madams12 2013-01-11 14:02
The emperor has no clothes folks....
there's an elephant sitting in the Oval Office but NO ONE WILL SPEAK ITS NAME.....
The Neocons who drove policy under Bush cheney regime have modified their approach..less in your face but still the same old same old...nothing has changed except instead of boy idiot (Bush) the powers have put a brother in the front window...but all major decisions seem to be coming out of aipac or Tel aviv offices.....Thi s is not CHANGE this is merely a continuation of the same "ganiffs" .....to make it so that there is no space between Israel and the US....we is them...they is us? Madness.....Rah m is gone....replace d by ..Axelrod...rep laced by Lew...BUT AT LEAST HE AINT GREENSPAN....so its all good?
 
 
-14 # FDRva 2013-01-12 06:53
What can you say about a self-styled 'socialist' who writes this:

"As a supporter of the president, I remain extremely concerned that virtually all of his key economic advisers have come from Wall Street...."

I lost a lot of respect for Senator Sanders a couple years back.

He first proclaimed his undying support for Single Payer healthcare--and only Single Payer--as real healthcare reform.

And promptly caved to White House pressure and voted for the HMO subsidies and rationing enacted under Romney in Massachusetts now known as the Affordable Care Act--when the vote was close.

Ironically, in the same breath as the Senator opposes Jack Lew, he says that Lew will be confirmed.

Of course, should some Goldman Sachs skeletons emerge that endanger Lew's confirmation doubtless the Senator would vote for him--with some explanation about supporting the President against the Right-wingers.
 
 
+1 # ganymede 2013-01-12 12:11
I have not come here to defend Obama...but, really,lets's get serious. I like Obama, he's a decent person compared to some of the idiots we've had previously, all Republicans, of course. Yes, he's in thrall to the banks and Wall Street - what else is new- but, just stop for a moment and think of where we would be if Romney and the Christian university graduates plus the neo-cons were in full countrol of our country. We just have to keep Obama's feet and ass to the fire. We have no choice and things could be a lot worse.
 
 
+3 # Walter J Smith 2013-01-12 15:05
Thank you Senator Sanders!

This is another golden opportunity for the D party's devotees to witness more Wall Street rape of the US, thanks to their emboldened leader, Barack Obama, who, unfortunately, has spine only for Wall Street.

OBAMA HAS NO DIFFICULTY HELPING WALL STREET REDUCE THE US TO THE FOURTH REICH!
 
 
+1 # carlos 2013-01-13 11:12
As to the question of who if not Lew, I nominate either Paul Krugman or Joseph Stiglitz, both Nobel laureates and both champions of Main Street rather than Wall Street
 
 
0 # corals33 2013-01-13 13:15
In England it's termed the revolving door syndrome or the Old boy's Network and like the banks they are just too big and smart to fail, so put your head down and go along to get along America.
 
 
0 # politicfix 2013-01-13 16:21
I think we have to accept the reality that no matter who it is Obama or Romney, they accepted money to win the election and it's payback time for Obama to choose who Wall St. tells him to choose. In Obama's first term he had women in his cabinet. This time around....only men. The words mean little if the actions don't support them. Obama doesn't have to worry about being elected so he's going to worry about his legacy rather than promises to the American people. They all end up re-writing history after the fact anyway. When the history of Bush is written it will be nothing like reality. Everyone should write Obama and express their views on his choice and ask him why he has no women in his cabinet or close circle.
 

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