FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Sanders writes: "Frankly, it is time that Congress started listening to the ordinary people."

Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty Images)
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty Images)


The Gap Between the Very Rich and Everyone Else

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

03 November 13

 

s a member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, I am more than aware that a $17 trillion dollar national debt and a $700 billion deficit are serious problems that must be addressed.

But I am also aware that real unemployment is close to 14 percent, that tens of millions of Americans are working for horrendously low wages, that more Americans are now living in poverty than ever before and that wealth and income inequality in the United States is now greater than in any other major country -- with the gap between the very rich and everyone else growing wider and wider.

Further, when we talk about the national budget, it is vitally important that we remember how we got into this fiscal crisis in the first place and who was responsible for it. Let us never forget that when Bill Clinton left office in January of 2001, the U.S. had a budget surplus of $236 billion with projected budget surpluses as far as the eye could see. During that time, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected a 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion, enough to erase the entire national debt by the end of 2011.

What happened? How did we, in a few short years, go from a large budget surplus into horrendous debt? The answer is not that complicated. Under President Bush we went to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- and didn't pay for them. We just put them on the credit card. The cost of those wars is estimated to be between $4 trillion to $6 trillion. Further, Bush and Congress passed an expensive prescription drug program that was unpaid for. They also reduced revenue by giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations. On top of all that, the Wall Street collapse and ensuing recession significantly reduced tax receipts and increased spending for unemployment compensation and food stamps, further exacerbating the deficit situation.

Interestingly, the so-called congressional "deficit hawks" -- Congressman Paul Ryan, Senator Jeff Sessions and other conservative Republicans -- all voted for those measures that increased the deficit. These are the same folks who now want to dismantle virtually every social program designed to protect working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. In other words, it's okay to spend trillions on a war we should never have waged and large defense budgets, and provide huge tax breaks for billionaires and multi-national corporations. It's just not okay when, in very difficult economic times, we try to protect the most vulnerable people in our country.

Where do we go from here? How do we now draft a federal budget which creates jobs, makes our country more productive, protects working families and lowers the deficit?

For a start, we have to understand that, from both a moral and economic perspective, we cannot impose more austerity on the people of our country who are already suffering. The time is now for the wealthy and multi-national corporations who are doing phenomenally well to help us rebuild America and lower our deficit.

At a time when the richest 1 percent own 38 percent of the financial wealth of America, while the bottom 60 percent own a mere 2.3 percent -- we cannot balance the budget on the backs of people who have virtually nothing. When 95 percent of all new income during 2009 through 2012 went to the top 1 percent, while tens of millions of working Americans saw a decline in their income, we cannot cut programs that these workers depend upon.

Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of one out of four corporations in America not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. At a time when multi-national corporations and the wealthy are avoiding more than $100 billion a year in taxes by stashing money in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, we need to make them pay taxes just like middle-class Americans. The truth of the matter is that according to the most recent information available profitable corporations are only paying 13 percent of their income in federal taxes which is near a 40-year low.

While in January 2013, we successfully ended Bush's tax breaks for the richest 1 percent, the truth is that they continue to exist for the top 2 percent, those households earning between $250,000 and $450,000 a year. That must end.

At a time when we now spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, we can afford to make judicious cuts in our military without compromising our military capabilities.

Frankly, it is time that Congress started listening to the ordinary people. Recently, the Republican Party learned a hard lesson when the American people stated loudly and clearly that it was wrong to shut down the government and not pay our bills because some extreme right-wing members of Congress do not like the Affordable Care Act. Well, there's another lesson that my Republican colleagues are going to have to absorb. Poll after poll make it very clear that the American people overwhelmingly do not want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, according to a recent National Journal poll, 81 percent of the American people do not want to cut Medicare at all; 76 percent of the American people do not want to cut Social Security at all; and 60 percent of the American people do not want to cut Medicaid at all. Meanwhile, other polls have made it very clear that at a time of growing income and wealth inequality, Americans believe that the wealthiest among us and large corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.

It is time to develop a federal budget which is moral and which makes good economic sense. It is time to develop a budget which invests in our future by creating jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure improvement and expanding educational opportunities. It is time for those who have so much to help us with deficit reduction. It is time that we listen to what the American people want, and not just respond to the billionaire class and major campaign contributors.



Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+69 # Abigail 2013-11-03 10:34
We have a government by the rich and for the rich. Why would they want to worry about the rest of us? As long as they can buy all the TV time they want to propagate their lies and buy our elections, why would they want to change it? Your last paragraph is well phrased, but very optimistic. Why would those in charge want to give up their power?
 
 
+26 # jwb110 2013-11-03 11:05
The one thing in everyone's favor is that the myth of an ever expanding economy hasn't proved itself anything but a myth. Given the shrinking revenues for the shrinking paychecks of the average American schmo, there won't be much to spend to save the top 1% a second time. If bloated system is left to rot the redistribution of currency to everybody will happen by default. For those of us at the bottom, it will not be any worse than it is at present. So don't threaten us with another "good time" by telling us that the poor must bailout the rich for our own good. That is exactly what happened last time and it won't float un-noticed a second time.
Anyone who takes a good look at the system can see it is already starting to unravel. Consumer spending is getting lower and lower. Revenues are on the same decline. Goods are starting to back up in other countries ports. The World no longer has the will to trust of the Word of the US Gov't and therefore the word of US Corporations or Corporations in general worldwide.
Those if us at the bottom would do better if we stopped tearing our hair out ranting at the system and came up with the system that will replace the existing one when it craps out. The "Control" of the 1% is an illusion. This has been a smoke and mirrors game since Reagan.
The "least of us" may be in the catbird seat and not know it. For us it is a waiting game for the inevitable collapse of the 1%. Lets rejoice a little bit now and then.
 
 
+5 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-11-03 13:47
There is nothing to rejoice. The collapse of the dollar is coming soon. Our government is our enemy and most of us are totally ignorant about what is going on. When the inevitable collapse comes, there will be rioting in the streets and the people will be attacked and shot by our militarized police and the U.S. Army.

Our so called 'democracy' was never really that--but we were moving toward that goal up to the time of the coup on November 22 of 1963. Kennedy was our last real president---or, at least he tried to be---and he was shot dead by the united forces of evil in our government, the CIA, the FBI. Things really got worse when these evil organizations joined the the Israeli Secret service to bring down the World Trade Center by controlled demolition, This set into motion the 'war on terror' and the complete destruction of our democracy. We are now living in a police state with out any rights to life, liberty or any chance of happiness. There is only serfdom ahead for us. Only a major uprising of resistance can give us any hope of surviving the coming collapse of the value of the 'almighty' American dollar. If you have any dollars above what you need for basic survival you must spend it now to buy things of lasting value that will help you survive in the days ahead--and not that far ahead. THe collapse may come after we have splurged our last 'holiday season' funded with future debt that will take away anything you have.
 
 
+13 # Agricanto 2013-11-03 16:42
Whew! Interesting commingling of right and left ideas (some conspiracy theories that may or may not be true) but a lament for a democracy that once was? This moribund democracy actually voted-in our first African American president twice! The franchise has never been bigger (though the GOP is trying everything to shrink it). And Americans are more aware of their class differences now than they have been at any time since the Great Depression. So I don't think we are as fuct as you think we are here, but we might bee headed that way if the corporations have their way. That's why I send money to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and others who are standing up to Wall Street and the Tea Party.

Losing hope for change is at times a realistic posture to take. But I think there is room for hope when you look at the polling that Bernie references. I haven't lost hope en los pinches gringos yet. They will ultimately do the right thing after they've tried everything else.

As for 9/11, there certainly are important questions that pilots, structural engineers, forensics and others have been (meekly) asking. I'm still flabbergasted by Mohammend Atta's passport getting "found" on a Manhattan sidewalk after it passed through the fiery collision, escaped from his breast pocket, and travelled through explosive steel and concrete to emerge intact on a sidewalk!! Amazing.
 
 
+8 # Henry Braun 2013-11-03 11:07
Some of the rich are very sweet, admirable crumbgivers.

Crumbgiving

Only from our point of view, as masters of the table,
does the eater of crumbs glow with a terrible loveliness.
He clings to our pity like a bat,
certainly. And a few, independent of us princes,
think that disgusting, our table his rafter.
They miss the light in his face when we bowl him the crumb.
For a moment he sees it with the fullest glance, a baby's
his crumb without compare.
There is nothing else in the world but its hollows, its rims,
bounding dreamily over the tablecloth like sagebrush.
From a distance he drinks the shadows in, facet by facet, and swells.
What a pleasure to hear us, the masters, counting -- two, ah,three
until, lovingly, it's his!
 
 
+29 # Joe Bob 2013-11-03 12:46
What I don't understand, why do the 99% think that they are going to be rich too ? Why should we(they) allow the rich to be richer in the crazy belief that we are going to be with them ? Is this some mindset that has been implanted in us by the 1%'s propaganda ?
WAKE THE FUCK UP !!!
 
 
+18 # tedrey 2013-11-03 11:09
The Professional Congressional Caucus yearly presents a sane and workable budget answering the stated needs of the majority of the American people. The leaders of both major parties make sure that it is stillborn every year.

http://www.epi.org/publication/back-to-work-budget-analysis-congressional-progressive/
 
 
+31 # Yakpsyche 2013-11-03 11:39
Senator Sanders is right. The psychological issue is the Bush administration had no shame and have furthered a shameless attitude among our elected officials in general. They are all so in need of campaign funds that they are shameless in selling the American public down the road so the upper 2%, who pays their bills, can have what they want. For shame, for shame, for shame!

All you Bible thumping, claiming to be Christian officials who are enslaved to Mammon: Shame on you! Where is your love for your fellow man? Where is your sworn duty to serve the people of this country? Your own egos and your fear of losing power, privilege and position cause you to ignore the very people you are hired to serve. Shame on you. Shame! Shame! Shame!
 
 
+20 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-11-03 13:53
Most important is the question, "Where are your morals?" These evil people have no moral code and no value over satisfying their rampant greed. We, the people of this nation, also need a moral rebirth. We mast reject the idea of the individual and face the fact that we are social animals and can only exist as a member of a community that has the moral code of caring for each other and sharing the bounty of the earth. "I got mine and screw you!" is the current evil moral code of our nation.
 
 
+2 # Saberoff 2013-11-03 19:59
Can there be any question of what this country is up against when: Before 9-11; Before the USA Patriot Act, and camera's mounted on every lamppost in America; And before Citizen's United, the United States Supreme Court installed George W. Bush (the biggest idiot in the world) to be President of the United States JUST SO all the rest could follow?
 
 
+14 # tswhiskers 2013-11-03 11:39
I heard this AM about the TPP, a pending trade agreement that experts say is like NAFTA on steroids and is supported by Obama. The details are deliberately being kept secret from the press, so not much is known except that one of its purposes is to exercise some control over trade with China. It certainly seems true that very few in govt. give a real damn for anyone but the top 10%. The only hope I see at present is that the GOP will awaken from its self-imposed trance re: the wealthy and taxes or be destroyed as a party in 2016. Since all the money is at the top of the economy where is it going to come from for the rest of us?
 
 
+27 # dogday 2013-11-03 11:41
We must tax the rich into cooperation. In the process, many will flee or attempt to hide assets, so strong penalties will also be needed for off-shoring claims.
 
 
0 # RLF 2013-11-05 08:27
To do that we must control the government...wh ich ain't going to happen. Let them cut food stamps. Let them put people on the street. Until people get uncomfortable enough to do something about it...we're screwed, so bring it on!
 
 
+14 # gdsharpe 2013-11-03 11:41
Good luck with that, Senator Sanders!
Reason does not work with the present Congress, and it seems the current administration has decided to go with the other team.
 
 
-70 # Penn 2013-11-03 12:04
The amount of Jealousy from the Parasitic Takers in this country will not change the success of the Hosts/Makers in this nation. If you are making less than a living wage, it is your own fault, no one else's. The difference between the Takers and the Makers is a result of the Democratic Party offering to give everything to the parasites. The result of the Great Society is the reason so many Americans believe thy have a right to someone else's money. Here is a fact: I do not owe you anything, and I will not give you anything. Take care of your self and take responsibility for your own life.
 
 
+39 # bingers 2013-11-03 13:48
The parasitic takers are the 1%, or rather the 33% of the 1% who think they should be taxed less and buy the Republican party to do their dirty deeds.

If you don't understand that then you are to be pitied.
 
 
+21 # Lloyd 2013-11-03 14:19
Quoting Penn:
The amount of Jealousy from the Parasitic Takers in this country will not change the success of the Hosts/Makers in this nation. If you are making less than a living wage, it is your own fault, no one else's. The difference between the Takers and the Makers is a result of the Democratic Party offering to give everything to the parasites. The result of the Great Society is the reason so many Americans believe thy have a right to someone else's money. Here is a fact: I do not owe you anything, and I will not give you anything. Take care of your self and take responsibility for your own life.

Penn. You sound like a very greedy person or a tea bagger. Jesus said help the poor. I suggest you read Matt 25:40 & 25:41. See what Jesus said is in store for your kind.
 
 
+13 # Lloyd 2013-11-03 14:30
Quoting Penn:
The amount of Jealousy from the Parasitic Takers in this country will not change the success of the Hosts/Makers in this nation. If you are making less than a living wage, it is your own fault, no one else's. The difference between the Takers and the Makers is a result of the Democratic Party offering to give everything to the parasites. The result of the Great Society is the reason so many Americans believe thy have a right to someone else's money. Here is a fact: I do not owe you anything, and I will not give you anything. Take care of your self and take responsibility for your own life.

Penn. I suggest your read Matt 25:40 and Matt 25:41. It tells you what may happen to people like you that will not help the poor. Greed is the biggest problem in obeying what Jesus said. He did say what you have done unto the least of these you have done them unto me.
 
 
+21 # bigkahuna671 2013-11-03 16:00
What an absolutely arrogant ass you are, Penn. The voids that you call your brain and your heart reveal you as an embarrassment to mankind. When a person takes pride in their inhumanity and selfishness, I can only remind you that karma is a bitch and what goes around comes around.
 
 
+10 # wrknight 2013-11-03 16:53
Penn, you make me want to vomit.
 
 
+10 # Saberoff 2013-11-03 20:02
(Sorry RSN)

You are a fucking idiot, Penn!
 
 
+5 # lipakala 2013-11-04 07:46
I disagree with Penn The 1% can pay their fair share of Social Security taxes the way we all do.They do not pay enough.The limit is stopped at117,300 .It should be those who make more than 250,000 who should pay more.Simple. Try to pass this with all the TPartiers.This needs to come up for discussion before the Gov. cuts S.S.
 
 
+1 # RLF 2013-11-05 08:31
MacDonalds is some maker who gets $1.3 billion in tax payer money. Talk about parasites! GE getting subsidies and not paying for the infrastructure they are destroying, all while shipping jobs overseas.The wealthy paying a smaller percentage of tax than the middle class and poor? Who are the parasites here? You are PENN!
 
 
-54 # Penn 2013-11-03 12:04
The amount of Jealousy from the Parasitic Takers in this country will not change the success of the Hosts/Makers in this nation. If you are making less than a living wage, it is your own fault, no one else's. The difference between the Takers and the Makers is a result of the Democratic Party offering to give everything to the parasites. The result of the Great Society is the reason so many Americans believe thy have a right to someone else's money. Here is a fact: I do not owe you anything, and I will not give you anything. Take care of your self and take responsibility for your own life.
 
 
+38 # Glen 2013-11-03 12:26
Penn, you have succumbed to the propaganda against citizens who are in difficult positions. I assume you do know there are not enough jobs for everyone and are low paying. There are families in which both adults are working 2 jobs, with modest expectations at home and with possessions.

Why is it folks like you do not understand or resent how much the wealthy, corporations, and the government are sucking from citizens? They do not care about you, and were the reason so many corporations and jobs were taken overseas. Is it OK with you that adults are having to work jobs only teenagers used to work? And there is no insurance included and they must continue to pay taxes, when these corporations do not.

Hell, I knew a man in his '70's who had to return to work to afford medications for he and his wife, regardless of receiving medicare. Do you also consider folks receiving SS and medicare parasites?

Hope you never experience a disaster in your family in which a job cannot be worked, medical bills pile up, and companies begin calling day after day, attempting to collect on such as utilities. How fast would you become a "parasite" yourself, or one of your children?
 
 
+20 # Working Class 2013-11-03 14:14
Quoting Penn:
The amount of Jealousy from the Parasitic Takers in this country will not change the success of the Hosts/Makers in this nation. If you are making less than a living wage, it is your own fault, no one else's. The difference between the Takers and the Makers is a result of the Democratic Party offering to give everything to the parasites. The result of the Great Society is the reason so many Americans believe thy have a right to someone else's money. Here is a fact: I do not owe you anything, and I will not give you anything. Take care of your self and take responsibility for your own life.


Based on your comments I assume don't believe in "the commons" that have made this nation what it is today. You being an honorable individual I be you refuse to use the commons - you drive on your own roads, never benefited from public schools, refuse protect from the police and fire department. What a guy!
 
 
+14 # wrknight 2013-11-03 16:48
Penn, you think McDonald's, other fast food franchises, Walmart and other corporations aren't parasites when they hire people for less than subsistence wages? They can get away with that because there are 10 people standing in line waiting for someone to quit his job or get fired for complaining.

Or maybe you think everyone else is a parasite because in actuality you are a parasite, taking whatever the government gives you and bitching about every nickel you pay in taxes.
 
 
+7 # bigkahuna671 2013-11-03 19:40
Great examples, wrk night. Don't forget the mega-corporate farms in the Midwest and California.
 
 
+6 # jcdav 2013-11-03 22:22
YUP, hope you never grow old, lad. You have drunk deep of the Rand Kool aid..I did all the conservative $ things, had a sufficient nest egg, and "the market giveth and the market taketh away"- I'm getting by..many others are not getting by...so your advice is to let em starve? Great way to breed revolution. Hope the hungry find you..you can deliver a fine lecture on responsibility.
 
 
+4 # OligarchyNot 2013-11-04 00:20
So, Penn, are you one of the makers you so adore? Something tells me you are not. You can include the oil industry in that list of takers since they receive huge subsidies from the American government.

The majority of the people who receive help from our government are children (42%); then there are the elderly and the handicapped; those who are unable to find a job (of which I am one), and those who make minimum wage, which is not enough to live on. Do you really want to live in a world where we allow our fellow man to suffer and/or die because we're too greedy and selfish to help others? Is money that important to you? If so, I suggest you find a nice, empty island somewhere and move there.

Here's an idea for you: no one in the 1% got there alone; I don't know of any business that can be run by just the owner(s) of the business. The reason why people are becoming takers is because of the rampant greed of those in business who don't pay them a living wage. To me, a taker is a CEO who makes more money than he/she can ever spend while paying his/her workers so little they require food stamps to survive.
 
 
+1 # dusty 2013-11-04 02:33
Penn, Thanks for this agitprop piece you produced to make people angry and tear off their rose colored glasses that blinds them to the true of such vast economic inequality in the USA. We need more leftists like you exposing the irrationality of the wealthy and their way of thinking.
 
 
+16 # MindDoc 2013-11-03 12:06
Quote:

Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of one out of four corporations in America not paying a nickel in federal income taxes.
Exactly. End of budget insanity meets war on the We...
Back to affluence with a goal of morality, fairness, for ALL. Just, as FDR cautioned, be mindful of fair taxation, to pay the bills, while allowing all the people to have a chance at working wage. When did undoing all our society's glue, and vacuuming up the entire economy to a few people's hands, become the only goal and more important than either the people or the Constitution?

This is so lucid and concise. Most will agree that Congress is unlikely to simply agree, see the light, and start listening to the flesh & blood people, the ones who pay taxes and aspire to what's left of the American dream.

We ALL need to be loud and clear that WE want representation and leadership. But as our individual and collective voices seem to get drowned in the tea and influence in Washington and the media, who listens? (Not that we shouldn't raise the volume.)

I'm thinking that Senator Sanders should say this publicly, in the chambers of Congress. Then let us see how the simple reality of tax welfare for the rich overtaking a decent life and strong economy for Americans is debated. Prediction: The GOP/T mantra will be "We don't need more taxes, we need less spending." Worked for them before, while we slept. Who is WE?
 
 
+21 # jellorose 2013-11-03 12:18
Economics 101: ALL economic systems originate at the BOTTOM. From there the money flows OUT and perculates UP. The 1% refuses to grasp this concept. They choose instead to believe that starving the consumer base - i.e. the very people who they expect to buy whatever their companies sell - is a viable and sustainable method of gathering wealth. Is is NOT. Right now Wall Street is keeping the smoke and mirrors game going by moving money around, a la a Ponzi scheme, but this CANNOT and will NOT last because the "money" they're passing back and forth isn't REAL money. Only by using the money stashed offshore to create REAL jobs and pay workers a truly living wage, thereby feeding the economy from the BOTTOM again, does this trend have a snowflake's chance of being reversed.

The 1% has forgotten the so-true adage that one must spend money to make money. Buying Congress, and thereby the keys to the U.S. Treasury, is NOT the way to accomplish that. Why spend money to get the keys to an empty piggy bank???
 
 
+5 # Doll 2013-11-03 17:01
I wish I could give you ten thumbs up for that observation.
 
 
+31 # Old Man 2013-11-03 12:20
I'll say it again Capitalism has failed the American people.
They should change Capitalism to Greediestism. They will never pay the taxes they owe and they don't care if this country turns into another Detroit.

Burney Sanders For PRESIDENT, he's the only guy in our government that seem to get it.
 
 
+16 # DeadlyClear 2013-11-03 12:22
It was not just the wars - Congress and Clinton in the 1990s deregulated the banks and repealed Glass-Steagall to the point that Wall Street ran amok. We've been bailing out the Wall Street banks when we should have been bailing out main street.

And all the while Washington and state politicians grow rich in Wall Street investments - while main street loses their pensions, has tax hikes and higher prices to contend with and has to fight to keep social security, medicaid and Medicare ...and can't get on the Affordable Care insurance site because it, like the entire government, is poorly designed and implemented.
 
 
+27 # James.Steele.Jr 2013-11-03 12:24
"The proper term for our government is not democracy; it's plutocracy." As the Government in this country has become a Plutocracy, which derives from the Greek πλοῦτος, ploutos, or "wealth",and κράτος, kratos, meaning "power, dominion, rule".

Plutocracy defines a society or a system ruled and dominated by the small minority
that consists of the wealthiest citizens. The first known use of the term is 1652[1]. Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy, and has no formal advocates. The concept of plutocracy may be advocated by the wealthy classes of a society in an indirect or surreptitious fashion, though the term itself is almost always used in a pejorative sense.[2]
[1]."Plutocracy"… from Merriam Webster.
[2]."The study of attitudes is reasonably easy [...] it's concluded that for roughly 70% of the population, the lower 70% on the wealth/income scale- they have no influence on policy, whatsoever. They're effectively disenfranchised .
As you move up the wealth/income ladder, you get a little bit more influence on policy. When you get to the top, which is maybe a tenth of one percent, people essentially get what they want, i.e. they determine policy. So the proper term for that is not democracy; it's plutocracy." Quote from the transcript of a speech delivered by Noam Chomsky in Bonn, Germany,at DW Global Media Forum, 15th August 2013.
 
 
+28 # wrknight 2013-11-03 13:00
According to American Heritage Dictionary, circa 1976, another name for our government is "Fascist".

The precise definition reads "fascism: a philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism."

Ring any bells? (And I don't mean the freedom bell.)
 
 
+7 # bigkahuna671 2013-11-03 19:35
wrknight, your definition is incomplete. Here is the def. from the Concise Encyclopedia: "Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority, and harsh suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal and democratic values are disparaged. Fascism arose during the 1920s and '30s partly out of fear of the rising power of the working classes; it differed from contemporary communism by its protection of business and landowning elites and its preservation of class systems." Does this definition appear familiar? It should because it's the form of govt. currently espoused by people like the Koch bros., Ted Cruz, and the multitude of GOP fascist types who promote strengthening the power of the wealthy while diminishing the middle class to the point of extinction, thus creating a third-world society in which the 99% will work for next to nothing while the 1% grows more wealthy, buying protection from private firms like Blackwater, Halliburton, and a U.S. military with general officers who are predominantly Republican and who seek to retire to work for those very companies that flaunt the rules and act as if they were above the law, encouraged by men like Dick Cheney who, as far as I am concerned, probably still owns part of Halliburton.
 
 
+4 # bigkahuna671 2013-11-03 19:38
Sorry for the run-on sentence, my H.S. English teacher at my Jesuit H.S. would blanch at this. However, the priest would undoubtedly agree with me that the GOP in the state in which I went to that Jesuit H.S., Fla., is nearing a society that would represent an example of just this definition.
 
 
+13 # fettenberg 2013-11-03 13:04
And why in hell have the Democrats become so unresponsive to working people? It's time to put our stock in more independent - as in - not bribed -candidates !!!
 
 
+14 # Working Class 2013-11-03 14:10
Senator Sanders once again demonstrates that there is some sanity in the US Senate. I only wish his common sense was catching on in the halls of government. The polls Sanders mentioned have for a long time showed that the citizens are ignored as our elected officials sell themselves to the highest bidder. As the great Will Rogers quipped “we have the best government money can buy”. Don’t expect significant change to the debacle we refer to as government until the people demand change in the form of establishing that only flesh and blood humans are “persons” under the law. Unions, non-profits, the ever expanding field of various tax code created organizations and corporations are all creatures created by humans, not our equals. If we need to amend the US Constitution to state that only human beings are “legal persons” and money is not speech, then that is what we need to do. The only part of Sanders’ article I take exception with is he implies that government does not listen to its citizens. Apparently he has not seen the stories about the National Security Agency.
 
 
+12 # Lloyd 2013-11-03 14:23
The biggest problem in USA is Greed. Jesus said help the poor Read Matt 25:40 and Matt 25:41. It tells how much Jesus meant it when he said help the poor.If we refuse to help the poor Matt 25:41 tells us there is a fire that was made for the devil and his angels that you may end up in.
 
 
+3 # Akeel1701 2013-11-03 15:16
I imagine in the long run this will lead up to the break-up of the United States.... after all, the Soviet Union never thought it would splinter but indeed it did - for economic reasons
 
 
+1 # Maturus 2013-11-04 13:24
I'm not sure you have a fair comparison. The Russian Empire had conquered large areas relatively recently when the Soviets overthrew the Tsar in 1917 and gave representation to its component parts. Stalin, for instance, was a Georgian, not a Russian. When the USSR ceased to exist its component parts were already semi-autonomous and took the opportunity to separate themselves fully. How would a US state, or group of states, achieve the same?
 
 
+1 # Charles3000 2013-11-03 16:09
It is time for someone to start talking about the monetary system; why the US Treasury sells $100 bills to banks for 9.7 cents, why the govt borrows back these bills and collects taxes from citizens to pay interest on the loans. It is time to understand that this nation has and still can print paper money and spend it, taking the full seigniorage on it rather than giving it to privately owned banks. It is time to wake up and stop being stupid. And that includes Senator Sanders.
 
 
+3 # Charles3000 2013-11-03 16:09
It is time for someone to start talking about the monetary system; why the US Treasury sells $100 bills to banks for 9.7 cents, why the govt borrows back these bills and collects taxes from citizens to pay interest on the loans. It is time to understand that this nation has and still can print paper money and spend it, taking the full seigniorage on it rather than giving it to privately owned banks. It is time to wake up and stop being stupid. And that includes Senator Sanders.
 
 
0 # robcarter.vn 2013-11-03 19:22
Bernie all elected people might take notice of more ordinary people's matters, if any of them besides the richest 1/3 50mn bothered to vote at all.

But their duty is to promote the wishes of those who elected them in the first place and that is not the 3/3rds 100mn who can't get out of bed to vote at all.
 
 
-4 # Walter J Smith 2013-11-03 21:39
RE: "As a member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, I am more than aware that a $17 trillion dollar national debt and a $700 billion deficit are serious problems that must be addressed."

Well, then, Bernie, why don't you abandon that F-35 400 billion dollar boondoggle you keep crying for?

RE:"But I am also aware that real unemployment is close to 14 percent, that tens of millions of Americans are working for horrendously low wages, that more Americans are now living in poverty than ever before and that wealth and income inequality in the United States is now greater than in any other major country -- with the gap between the very rich and everyone else growing wider and wider."

Well, then, Bernie, why do you insist in feeding that radical inequality growth with boondoggles like the F-35 major malfunction?

RE: "At a time when we now spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, we can afford to make judicious cuts in our military without compromising our military capabilities."

Yep, Bernie, time to cut the F-35 disaster!

RE: " It is time that we listen to what the American people want, and not just respond to the billionaire class and major campaign contributors."

Yes, indeed, time to eliminate the F-35 program altogether!

Unless it is an even higher priority to keep conserving and cultivating our official and personal schizophrenia.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN