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Bernie Sanders writes: "This senator is going to fight back. I was not elected to the United States Senate to make devastating cuts in Social Security, in Medicare, in Medicaid, in children's programs while lowering tax rates for the wealthiest people in this country."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). (photo: WDCpix)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). (photo: WDCpix)

"This Senator Is Going to Fight Back"

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

21 July 11


Congratulations Senator Coburn.

f there was ever a time in the modern history of America that the American people should become engaged in what's going on here in Washington, now is that time. Decisions are being made that will impact not only our generation but the lives of our children and our grandchildren for decades to come, and I fear very much that the decisions being contemplated are not good decisions, are not fair decisions.

There is increased understanding that that defaulting for the first time in our history on our debts would be a disaster for the American economy and for the world's economy. We should not do that.

There also is increased discussion about long-term deficit reduction and how we address the crisis which we face today of a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion and a $14 trillion-plus national debt.

One of the long-term deficit reduction plans came from the so-called Gang of Six. We do not know all of the details of that proposal. In fact, we never will know because a lot of the decisions are booted to committees to work out the details.

It is fair to say, however, that Senators Coburn, Crapo and Chambliss deserve congratulations. Clearly, they have won this debate in a very significant way. My guess is that they will probably get 80 percent or 90 percent of what they wanted. In this town, that is quite an achievement, but they have stood firm in their desire to represent the wealthy and the powerful and multinational corporations. They have threatened. They have been smart. They have been determined. And at the end of the day, they will get almost all of what they want. That is their victory, and I congratulate them.

Unfortunately, their victory will be a disaster for working families in this country, for the elderly, for the sick, for the children and for low-income people.

Based on the limited information that we have, I think it is important to highlight some of what is in this so-called Gang of Six proposal that the corporate media, among others, are enthralled about.

Some may remember that for a number of years, leading Democrats said that we will do everything that we can to protect Social Security, that Social Security has been an extraordinary success in our country, that for 75 years, with such volatility in the economy, Social Security has paid out every nickel owed to every eligible American. I heard Democrats say that Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. That is right because Social Security is funded by the payroll tax, not by the US Treasury. Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus today. It can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 25 years. It is an enormously popular program. Poll after poll from the American people says doesn't cut Social Security. Two and a half years ago when Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, ran for president of the United States, he made it very clear if you voted for him there would be no cuts in Social Security.

What Senators Coburn, Crapo and Chambliss have managed to do in the Gang of Six is reach an agreement where there will be major cuts in Social Security. Don't let anybody kid you about this being some minor thing. It is not. What we are talking about is that Social Security cuts would go into effect virtually immediately. Ten years from now, the typical 75-year-old person will see their Social Security benefits cut by $560 a year. The average 85-year-old will see a cut of $1,000 a year. Now, for some people here in Washington, maybe the big lobbyists who make hundreds of thousands a year, $560 a year or $1,000 a year may not seem like a lot of money, but if you are a senior trying to get by on $14,000, $15,000, $18,000 a year and you're 85 years old, the end of your life, you're totally vulnerable, you're sick - a $1,000 per year cut in what you otherwise would have received is a major, major blow.

So I congratulate Senator Coburn, Senator Crapo, Senator Chambliss for doing what president Obama said would not happen under his watch, what the Democrats have said would not happen under their watch.

But it's not just Social Security. We have 50 million Americans today who have no health insurance at all. Under the Gang of Six proposals, there will be cuts in Medicare over a 10-year period of almost $300 billion. There will be massive cuts in Medicaid and other health care programs. There will be caps on spending, which mean that there will be major cuts in education. If you are a working-class family, hoping that you're going to be able to send your kid to college and thinking that you will be eligible for a Pell grant, think twice about that. Pell grants may not be there. If you're a senior who relies on a nutrition program, that nutrition program may not be there. If you think it's a good idea that we enforce clean air and clean water provisions so that our kids can be healthy, those provisions may not be there because there will be major cuts in environmental protection.

Some people think that's not so good, but at least our Republican friends are saying we need revenue and we're going to get $1 trillion in revenue. But wait a minute,. If you read the proposal, there are very, very clear provisions making sure that we are going to make massive cuts in programs for working families, for the elderly, for the children. Those cuts are written in black and white. What about the revenue? Well, it's kind of vague. The projection is that we would rise over a 10-year period $100 billion in revenue. Where is that going to come? Is it necessarily going to come from the wealthiest people in this economy? Is it going to come from large corporations who are enjoying huge tax breaks? That is not clear at all. I want middle-class families to understand that when we talk about increased revenues, do you know where that comes from? It may come from cutbacks in the home mortgage interest deduction program, which is so very important to millions and millions of families. It may mean that if you have a health care program today, that health care program may be taxed. That's a way to raise revenue. It may be that there will be increased taxes on your retirement programs, your IRA's, your 401(k)'s. But we don't have the details for that. All we have is some kind of vague promise that we're going to raise $1 trillion over the next 10 years, no enforcement mechanism and no clarity as to where that revenue will come from.

That is why it is so terribly important that the American people become engaged in this debate which will have a huge impact on them, on their parents and on their children. The American people must fight for a fair deal. At a time when the wealthiest people in this country are doing phenomenally well and their effective tax rate is the lowest on record, at a time when the top 400 individuals in this country own more wealth than 150 million Americans, at a time when corporate profits are soaring and in many instances corporations, these same corporations pay nothing in taxes, at a time when we have tripled military spending since 1997, there are fair ways to move toward deficit reduction which do not slash programs that working families and children and the elderly desperately depend upon.

This Senator is going to fight back. I was not elected to the United States Senate to make devastating cuts in Social Security, in Medicare, in Medicaid, in children's programs, while lowering tax rates for the wealthiest people in this country. your social media marketing partner


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+158 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-07-21 10:27
Go, senator, go. More and more of us are recognizing that we are and have been Bushwhacked, Kochsucked, and Oh Bomb Ah'ed.

American Revolution II - it's a comin', and it won't be pretty. Think history will probably show that the revolution began in Wisconsin. And, you'll receive historical praise too, Sen., for your courage and truth telling in this fight to..... UNDO THE COUP!
+75 # Sheila Saperstein 2011-07-21 12:36
Senator you are a voice crying the right message in the wilderness that is the Democratic party. You voice what that party has supposedly always stood by...I have left the Democratic party and am now an Independent and cheer you on. I just wish some more of those Washington congressmen would join Dem party chair Debbie W-S , Nancy Pelosi and other supposed leaders of THAT party.
+8 # tclose 2011-07-23 12:45
I too was disenchanted with the Democratic Party in their tendency to abandon their principles of progressive government. As a result I sat on the fence as an independent. But the onslaught of the right wing of the Republican Party has pushed me solidly into the Democratic camp - they represent the only credible force to stop the onslaught, from now and going into 2012.
+26 # Howard Goldin, MD 2011-07-22 06:39
Dear Senator: You are a man of integrity as well as intelligence and this is unusual in the Congress of our country ( sadly ). In fighting for what is right and honorable you are taking on people
who represent some of the worst of our society - elected and otherwise. The Republicans are - as a group - undeserving of public confidence. The Democrats are a disgrace to the Nation as well, not much better than their adversaries. Keep up the good fight.
+137 # Joan Miles 2011-07-21 10:38
Thank goodness for Bernie Sanders. I am so grateful to be one of his constituents. The Gang of Six plan is no compromise - just look at the people who make up the six - conservative republicans and conservative democrats. I am sick of Obama caving in and negotiating in good faith with people who don't know what good faith is. Go Bernie!!
+52 # AndreM5 2011-07-21 12:30
We need to hear Senator Sanders voice loud and clear across America. It is so discouraging to see his forceful speeches on the Senate floor delivered in front of an empty chamber.

Bernie is truly great but he needs reinforcements in the Senate, House and, frankly, at all levels of local government. This is a daunting task given the scope of corruption and money influence from the corporatists.
+28 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 15:18
Go Bernie!! Fight for SS and medicare and other essential programs. What is going on in our government today on both sides is not what we elected these people to do. The Tea Party group is dangerous to the middle class and the constitution. Obama is the worst President facing the worst crisis and he lacks the personal qualities, integrity and leadership we need at this time. You may be the only politician willing to take the risk to do what needs to be done. Keep doing what you are doing. Speak loud, carry a big stick and fight for what you know is right which is upholding SS and medicare and programs that protect our citizens.
+9 # Jeanne Baker 2011-07-23 14:16
Hi Joan. I wish I lived in Vermont. You are so lucky to have Senator Sanders. He is a true statesman! I wish more people would listen to him. I am toying with the idea of helping him out by putting all those damnable miscreants in Congress on my rug!
Go Bernie!!!
+71 # dkonstruction 2011-07-21 10:54
perhaps the only one in the Senate that shouldn't be water boarded and extroadinarily rentioned someplace where they can't do any more damage to the rest of us.
+77 # wrodwell 2011-07-21 11:12
Amen to "ritaague". Why is it we only hear the voice of Bernie Sanders speaking out passionately in defense of Social Security and Medicare? Where are the prominent Democrats, especially the President? To paraphrase Obama, "let me be perfectly clear": FauxBama is a fraud and a liar and that goes for most of the Democreeps. It also goes without saying the Republicans are anti-American creeps and the Tea Partyers nothing more than proto-fascists. The Democratic party, the party that promised to protect Social Security and Medicare, is now complicit in weakening those vital programs which is the first step in their total dismantling. Let's hope the needed revolution starts soon before the scumbags in Washington ruin this country even further. The people need to rise up soon and march on the Capital but instead of holding signs and jeering the politicos, they should just throw the bums out. Ditto with the Supreme Court. We need to start all over again. It's the only way.
+21 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 15:20
This comment should be written in major newspapers as an editorial. You rock, wrodwell!
+1 # SETH 2011-07-25 19:37
Right-on wrodwell !!
+78 # Diane Johnson 2011-07-21 11:48
I would bet that the gang of six are themselves millionairs or close to it, and they have found a way to evade taxing themselves and their corporate sponsors. fachism is government by corporate economic monopoly... Mousellini called it "corporatism". looks like its here... run for pres bernie!!
+52 # vitobonespur 2011-07-21 12:17
"Mousellini..." Wasn't he the prime minister/dictat or of Little Italy?

Maybe we'll get lucky and Senator Sanders or perhaps Dennis Kucinich -- who really want what's good for the people -- will give us an option to Obama. I'm heartbroken and pissed that Obama is looking more and more like a closet Republican.
0 # Capn Canard 2011-07-23 07:59
No, I believe that Mousellini was the dictator of Rodentia. And an evil tyrant and butcher, not a statesman but a rat!
+6 # Patricia Herrick 2011-07-23 11:54
I signed a petition today to draft Bernie for 2012.
+6 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 15:20
right on DIANE!
+73 # davidhp 2011-07-21 11:57
We need 60 more senators like Bernie Sanders, end the rule of the corporate tools in the republican and democrat parties as they are making the US into a neo fascist theocratic corporate oligarchy.
+46 # umkcsteph 2011-07-21 12:14
We do not need 60 senators like this. We need 60 senators who understand the monetary system, who understand that there is no fiscal crisis -- short OR LONG TERM; that when a government is the ISSUER of its currency, it can afford anything that is for sale in that currency; that it does not have to make "tough choices" or invoke "shared sacrifice"; that it does not need to "GET" money from us in order to spend; that the deficit is a reflection of what's going on in the real economy; that the national debt is the non-government sector's ASSET; that the US government IS NOT LIKE A HOUSEHOLD; that we can never "go broke" or "bankrupt"; that when the government tightens its belt, we lose our shirts; etc.; etc.

I can deliver 100 Ph.D. economists to Senator Sanders who will attest to every one of the statements above. It is sheer folly to argue that the US faces a "debt crisis". It is a trumped up distraction to permit the wholesale gutting of the New Deal with the blessing of so-called progressives. Anyone who wants to get the facts should become an avid reader of this blog:

Stephanie Kelton, Ph.D.
Dept. of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City
-5 # Scott Steele 2011-07-21 12:58
Quoting umkcsteph:
We do not need 60 senators like this. We need 60 senators who understand the monetary system, who understand that there is no fiscal crisis -- short OR LONG TERM; that when a government is the ISSUER of its currency, it can afford anything that is for sale in that currency; that it does not have to make "tough choices" or invoke "shared sacrifice"; that it does not need to "GET" money from us in order to spend; that the deficit is a reflection of what's going on in the real economy; that the national debt is the non-government sector's ASSET; that the US government IS NOT LIKE A HOUSEHOLD; that we can never "go broke" or "bankrupt"; that when the government tightens its belt, we lose our shirts; etc.; etc.

I can deliver 100 Ph.D. economists to Senator Sanders who will attest to every one of the statements above. It is sheer folly to argue that the US faces a "debt crisis". It is a trumped up distraction to permit the wholesale gutting of the New Deal with the blessing of so-called progressives. Anyone who wants to get the facts should become an avid reader of this blog:

Stephanie Kelton, Ph.D.
Dept. of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City

What part of the Afghanistan war do you not understand?
+3 # OM 2011-07-24 19:23
The part of how continuously lies, massive profits for the MIC, and killing of innocent people justifies us being there. This should be the #1 budget cut & on the front table of newspapers & government bills, unless you have a corrupt & "bought-off" major media & government "representative s".
+15 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 15:32
EXCELLENT COMMENT! Publish it in the NW Times, Dr. Kelton. We should write in Bernie Saunders for President. He is the only politician today who speaks the truth and is CONCERNED about the welfare of the everyday man/woman. The ongoing distractions, lies and self-promoting coming from Republicans, Democrats and President Obama are condescending, facetious and fascist at the core. We need a great leader which encompasses truth-telling, character, commitment to constituents and "Good Faith". It's time Bernie Saunders stepped up to the plate.
+6 # Patricia Herrick 2011-07-23 11:55
Draft him~~~there is a petition
0 # SETH 2011-07-25 19:41
I'll sign the Petition for Bernie ANY DAY OF THE WEEK !!!!!!!!!!!!!
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-07-23 08:31
I object, Prof. Kelton. We need PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS and you are not adding any value for us. You certainly don't live in my neighborhood, but the WEALTHY DEMAND SACRIFICE of those most vulnerable and the least likely to able to afford that sacrifice. Sanders point this out and you say NO? What is your solution? To attack the one Senator who suggests more taxation on the ULTRA WEALTHY? Personally I suggest we completely ELIMINATE the MONETARY SYSTEM, and use LOCAL value of action/communit y benefit that has NO INFLATION and retains it's value, rather than centralized economic control where the threat of inflation used as a cattle prod, or some version thereof. In comparison to academicians Sanders is a lone voice for the voiceless and so you want to silence his efforts? Seriously? Who do you represent Professor? The People do not need more disasters created by the failed ideas of Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek automatons or even the unpopular Keynesian policies. We have a middle class with stagnant wages since 1980 and an exponentially growing wealth of those who are already WEALTHY. Our current monetary system does not bode well for our children, but it works great to increase WAR, CRIME, VIOLENCE, DISASTER, and especially the WEALTH for the WEALTHY.
0 # Cliff 2011-07-25 18:54
Just because Bernie did not call the whole "debt crisis" a folly, does not mean that he does not agree with your point, which is well taken. However that does not mean we don't need more Senators like Bernie. I promise that other Senators understand what you do, they just don't about anyone except themselves.

Even though I was born in Vermont and I totally support Bernie, I will still not throw my vote away. Not saying that voting for Bernie is a throwaway, I am saying wait for the polls and vote smart my friends.

Don't let outsider piss you off against the party that is on your side.
+44 # Virginia 2011-07-21 12:14
Think Bernie would run for President? Sound like he's got the testicular fortitude we could use these days.
+23 # Regina 2011-07-21 15:23
A helluva lot more important than either testicular or colonic fortitude is a BRAIN -- very rare in Congress these days. Bernie's brain is functioning in high gear -- I hope it gets the attention it deserves and the leadership position the country needs.
+50 # GLADYS 2011-07-21 12:23
Bravo Senator Sanders for having the courage to tell it like it is for uninformed Americans - your brilliance and your honor shine brightly. Thank you for speaking out so clearly.
+44 # Will Shonbrun 2011-07-21 12:23
For these and other reasons I will write in Bernie Sanders as my vote for president in the next election.
+22 # josephhill 2011-07-21 13:08
AMEN, Will Shonbrun. I wish ALL progressives would do this. I always hear a lot of anger and frustration over Obama's "compromises"; but then when it comes time to vote, too many progressives succumb to the "Lesser Evil" strategy that the Dems have been using for the past 40 years.

This just convinces the powers-that-be in the DNC that our votes can be "taken for granted" because we have "nowhere else to go". Without a viable 3rd party, We The People are without representation in Washington.

We are not going to build a 3rd party by 1) Staying Home or 2) Meekly casting our votes for a "Democratic" candidate who feeds from the same trough as the Republicans. Dammit....bite the bullet and vote your conscience. Isn't that how a genuine democracy is supposed to work?!
+17 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 16:42
Write in Bernie Saunders for President. Obama has proven he is not up to the job and now he is willing to compromise SS and medicare which he promised he would never do. He is a terrible President. The Tea Party people are dangerous and will sell out the Seniors, the middle-class, the unemployed and the poverty-stricke n without batting an eye. This election is all abour using any means to an end to get re-elected or elected and it is time the American citizens said "We won't take this anymore! We want a Presidential candidate who will not put our needs on the chopping block in order to win an election where the compromises and backroom deals will go on and on. We need a great leader and so far the only one that is talking about the citizen's needs and superceding all the lies we are hearing is Bernie Sanders. He says it well in the above editorial. Let's write him in for the 2012 election.
+25 # VSweet 2011-07-21 12:29
I thank God first of all to show me, that He has a few remnants of political leaders who have vowed to maintain and support the people of this nation who elected them to be their voice!!

Thanks for standing up!!!
-33 # ruthee 2011-07-21 12:34
umkcsteph Do you think anyone reading your comment understands you? Ph.D. means philosophy doctor......not econ or political dr. your expressions make no sense. can you write with clarity?
+20 # Chris zupanovich 2011-07-21 12:43
Quoting ruthee:
umkcsteph Do you think anyone reading your comment understands you? Ph.D. means philosophy doctor......not econ or political dr. your expressions make no sense. can you write with clarity?

Hey, Ruthee - read it again. I understood every word Dr. Kelton said.
-1 # Capn Canard 2011-07-23 20:28
Chris, at best her statement is very badly written. The monetary system is ALWAYS in constant flux. e.g. Most traders don't want to trade with the Saudi Riyal as Saudis don't actually produce anything other than Oil and everyone wants DOLLARS to buy things priced in dollars(but we got the Saudis under our thumb-it is a win-win but mostly a win for USA because we buy most of the oil, if oil goes then the power of USA goes)...for most buyers the dollar is where it's at... but I think that will change, that manufactured mortgage crisis has really put a hit on much of western banking. Great job by all those apparently deaf, dumb and blind economists most of whom were as silent as church mice! Beautiful job Econ Profs, and after that you expect our trust? The whole system is not unlike a Ponzi scheme. I believe we need to trade in actual THINGS instead of clay tablets, I.O.U.s, bank ledgers, promissory notes, or printed script. This fake system is crumbling and value is evaporating.

BTW, Chris, UMKCKSTEPH says this:

"... a government is the ISSUER of its currency,..."

Hmmm.. does the USA issue it's own currency? It seems to me that the privately owned FED can issue MONEY but BECAUSE MONEY IS DEBT IT WILL COST USA MORE DEBT. If this is true then our children are chained to DEBT. Does the good Prof have a reasonable solution? Please tell us...
+20 # Zac Reisner 2011-07-21 13:30
[quote name="ruthee"]u mkcsteph Do you think anyone reading your comment understands you? Ph.D. means philosophy doctor......not econ or political dr. your expressions make no sense. can you write with clarity?[/quote / Oh come on, now, really; her statement is VERY clear and concise; she has used not one single "big" word, or any kind of complex terminology (is "terminology" too big a word for you?) in summing up an extremely complex situation. Maybe you need to read with a little more care. And no, PhD. does NOT specifically mean a doctorate in the study of philosophy. The notation "Phd." after a person's name means that they have earned of a "Doctorate of Philosophy" in WHATEVER field of study they have specialized in. Therefore you do indeed have titles such a PhD in Economics, or PhD in Political Science, PhD Geology, Literature, Physics, etc. Your understanding of the term "PhD" is mistaken, and shows your own limited knowledge. However, this is nothing against you. There is no blame in being ignorant. No one can know everything. But you ARE at fault if you choose to remain that way.
+8 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 15:42
RUTHEE! What you don't understand is the written word. Dr. Kelton has spoken with great clarity. Her Ph.D is in Economices.Your comment makes no sense at all. Try using a dictionary
+32 # JazBing 2011-07-21 12:45
To everyone on here supporting Sanders: Please write to him via his website and/or Facebook page and let him know that you support him. It's important that he knows that he is on the side of the majority. I have written to him before and also urged him to run for president. I sincerely do not want to do a "clothespin vote" (as in on my nose) & vote for Obama. I am hoping a 3rd party candidate like Sanders will join the race.
+4 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-21 16:12
JazBing! Why don't you start a petition for Bernie Saunders for President. I am with you and according to the comments there are many others with you. We need a great and honorable leader at this time of crisis in the US. Neither OBAMA nor the Republicans who are trying to get elected are up to the challenge of leading our country at this time. None of them has demonstrated the character, authenticity, problem-solving ability, or STRENGTH to do what needs to be done to get our great country back on track. What we are seeing without compromising
+3 # Patricia Herrick 2011-07-23 11:58
There is a petition, I signed it today.
+5 # michelle 2011-07-22 11:48
and...send money because it takes lots of money. You can do it through actblue.
+20 # Winston P. Nagan 2011-07-21 12:49
Bernie, you speak truth to money-power. I fear that the money-power elite is so entrenched that they will never give in on their predatory habits. We need another Washington and Jefferson for a new American awakening,to return the country to the people. Winstin P. Nagan
+28 # rm 2011-07-21 12:53
Of course, the primary blame for the republican victory lies with Obama. He allowed the republicans to frame the debate by adopting their terms and their conceptions. He allowed them to make "entitlement spending" the issue instead of the costs of war and empire and the bush tax cuts.

The republicans seem to have given up the idea of a once in a lifetime moment to make a grand deal that would reform social security and medicare, so Obama took up that frame and has been the main force behind it. Why? Is he insane? Social security and medicare have noting to do with the deficit or debt. Republicans throw out "unfunded liabilities" as if that were debt, but it is not debt. It is just money you will spend in the future. Debt is money you have spent in the past.

We are not stupid enough to forgive Obama for selling out seniors. He was "chosen" to be president by banks like Goldman Sachs precisely becasue only a democrat could destroy social security. Now he is really close to doing it.

He'll be a one term president, little more than a footnote to the Bush/Cheney regime. He served only to finish off the rest of their agenda - opening the war on several new fronts (Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen) and destroying social security and medicare. Well done, Obama. You'll get no thanks from your republican masters.
+1 # P M K 2011-07-25 20:11
The Republicans share blame with the Democrats & all Americans who for years did nothing to try to stop these shenanigans, including me. Everyone wants to complain but not many actually do something. Posting comments is not enough, try calling your senators & representatives daily & complain to them about the poor job they are doing. They may then be able to smell the coffee.
0 # P M K 2011-07-25 20:24
I heard a quote one day: "When you point your finger at someone else, three are pointing back at you." Ask yourself what you have done to make the U.S. better? WE need to do other countries are doing before it's too late.
+27 # 2011-07-21 12:54
Sanders is the best. He could play himself in the movie about his life! It's unusual these days to see this kind of integrity and courage.

The greedy rich are taking over this country. I just want to ask them all, just how much stuff do you need?
+23 # Scott Steele 2011-07-21 12:55
Thanks Senator Sanders for your leadership on this issue. I am pleased that both my Oregon senators are on board with you as is my representative. I will see you in October as I intend to come to DC and raise a little hell. - S.
+20 # Todd Williams 2011-07-21 12:57
Dr. Kelton makes perfect sense to me. I understand every word she said and agree with her. This a manufactured crisis; manufactured by greedy corporate/banki ng interests and carried out by political lackeys. It makes no sense economically speaking. We are in the middle of the the biggest economic con job every foisted on the American people by some very skilled grifters. I am fed up with the American sheeple.
+25 # AndreM5 2011-07-21 13:59
This is not the first time this very same "debt ceiling crisis" was foisted on the American people. The Repubs have done it over and over, even to Repub presidents. Nor is this calamitous rush to "austerity" a new thing. Hoover and his goofballs pulled the same "Boehner" in the 1930's. But at that time they did not have Medicare/Medica id and SS to trash in the process. There is a collective insanity in Washington.
+8 # klondikekitty 2011-07-21 13:04
Although i am very grateful for Bernie Sanders' courage and candor about this deficit problem, but he has a snowball's chance in you-know-where of winning a presidential election as a 3rd party candidate or write-in vote . . and please, please, remember that voting for anyone besides a Republican or a Democrat is actually a vote for the Republican, because most of the time, the individual would probably vote Democrat if there was no 3rd party candidate available . . . i would love to see Dennis Kucinich as our next President, but he can't get Democratic endorsement with Obama running as an incumbent, so i will be sticking with my 2008 vote for Obama . . . he's still better than any of the Republican freaks currently in the running for that party's nomination!!
+6 # Patricia Herrick 2011-07-23 12:04
I would love to vote for Kucinich, he's been my choice the past couple of elections. I do plan to write in Bernie but, hope to see him on the ballot as a candidate. I did hold my nose last time and regretted immediately not going with my instincts. Now I realize it won't matter if it's Obama or a republican winner~~~~~two sides of the same coin.
-1 # Cliff 2011-07-25 18:43
I see it this way. The Republicans don't have anyone who can beat Obama. They will defeat themselves. I firmly believe that the Tea Baggers have been outed, and people are not going to fall for that again. I believe that the Dems will win next year, but if we ditch Obama, the Republicans could win. Even Harry Reid gave them what they wanted, but the blood-thirsty bastards wouldn't take a Democrat proposal. I say to he** with them. Forget the debt ceiling and let the dollar tank. At least that way the millionaires will suffer too.
+18 # Magdalena 2011-07-21 13:06
Members of the Congress: If you want to cut monies wasted, start with your own salaries, benefits and perks. You are as mother used to say, "cutting off your noses, to spite your face."

Thanks to this Senator for speaking up!
+21 # rblee 2011-07-21 13:22
The Great Depression ended when gov't. spending went UP and then reached an all-time peak with WWII. Post war prosperity put America at the top of the world's economy. The cry today that "we can't afford" this or that is nonsense, as Dr. Kelton suggests. When the gov't. spends money, it does not disappear; it goes into and builds the overall economy. The attitude that we see among politicians is based on the business model that pays for most of their candidacies: cut expenses at the expense of working people and public welfare and max profit for corps. This is definitely NOT a govt'. "of, by and for the People". I'm sure this is not lost on Bernie Sanders.
-2 # bh 2011-07-21 13:25
Will Senator Sanders sponsor the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall and impeach Obama? What is he waiting for? This is a policy of genocide against the American people! Lyndon LaRouche is right!
+26 # maddave 2011-07-21 13:31
In all his talk about deficit spending, did anyone notice that the D O D got a $17 Billion funding increase WHILE THE DEFICIT REDUCTION TALKS WERE IN FULL SWING? Presuming that this rate of increase continues into the future (and you can be sure that it will) in ten years this $17B increase and its annual follow-up increases - plus debt service - will increase our deficit by a total of $1,000,000,000, 000 (ONE TRILLION DOLLARS).

What the hell can these people be thinking? What the hell are we thinking when we read right past such an egregious insult to our budget - or don't read or think about it at all?

And at the same time super patriots composed by GOP hard liners and Democratic Blue Dogs are putting a bill together that will literally ROB generations of Social Security contributors of their retirement funds . . . in order NOT to tax the already filthy rich plutocrats who precipitated our current financial crisis!

They should be ashamed for doing it and we should be ashamed for letting them get away with it.
+12 # J D Walling 2011-07-21 13:33
What won't be capped? Bonuses for corrupt, greedy bankers. Who's fault? The electorate's. Why? The success of the Rupert Murdocks - & Republicans!
+15 # Helen 2011-07-21 13:48
Writing in Bernie Sanders for president is a great idea. I'm afraid that no other form of revolution will come about before I die.
0 # P M K 2011-07-25 20:01
How about WE, The People, put Referendums on the Ballot, starting with: "Age, Term & Campaign Finance" Limits? WE can dismantle the crap they have shoved down our throats afterward & cut their 'overly generous perks' they continue to give themselves.
+15 # Don Thomann 2011-07-21 13:57
Bernie Sanders for president! That's where my write-in vote goes!
+20 # croc1 2011-07-21 14:09
Go for it Bernie - show them there are still some Democrats with spine. My family and I are with you. Thank you.
Peter Brazaitis
harwinton CT
+14 # lcarrier 2011-07-21 14:47
The problem with our Congress is that nearly half of its members are millionaires--s ome many times over. So it's millionaires voting to fund millionaires, and the poor be damned.
If President Obama had any guts, he'd tell the "gang of six" that he won't abide draconian cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Instead, he'd stand tall on the 14th Amendment and tell Geithner to pay our just debts, no matter what the millionaire senators say. Would he do that? The odds are against it, because President Obama is also a multi-millionai re.
+9 # miltlau 2011-07-21 15:03
We need a credible leader to help coalesce the many voices opposing what is being done to our country and create a MOVEMENT to stop it.
+11 # Al Lampell 2011-07-21 15:26
Bernie you are truly inspiring. Our biggest problem is that we destroyed the middle class in America. Those up and coming countries who have increased there middle class will be the new leaders of the world. Only you Bernie understand that.
+11 # nemosum 2011-07-21 17:24
Several people have mentioned writing in Sen. Sanders' name on their 2012 ballots, but one wrote that she would still be voting for Obama because he's better than any of the Republican possibilities. I would say, however, that Obama is only preferable if you believe that the wolf wearing a sheep's fleece is less dangerous than the wolf that isn't.

Obama (whom I ardently supported in 2008) misrepresented himself when he was a candidate. He has turned out to be, at the very least and perhaps on more fronts (ranging from the environment, to safety-net programs, to civil liberties, and to everything in between, including spending on wars instead of domestic infrastructure) , as damaging, as untruthful, and as tied to the interests of powerful corporations and their wealthy "donor" executives as George W. Bush was. For the first time in my long life I am not going to vote at all unless, by some miracle, a credible candidate in the form of either Sen. Sanders or Rep. Kucinich, or someone who like them has been tested, is willing to run for the presidency in order for progressives to be able to coalesce around him.
0 # P M K 2011-07-25 19:56
Keep voting all 'brand new' people into office as they cannot do any worse than the professionals we have & may possibly do better.
+9 # katlat 2011-07-21 17:33
Thank you, Senator Sanders, for speaking the truth. Keep it up!! We need more like you.
+2 # michael hart 2011-07-21 21:02
nemosum -- even if your not at all pleased with obama (as I am) you need to vote the democrats in so we don't end up with corporate nut cases like in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan . Votes do make a difference sometimes.
+3 # nemosum 2011-07-22 10:07
Obama is one of the corporate nut cases. If you don't think so, you're only kidding yourself.

Read Glenn Greenwald's comment on Obama's policies in The Guardian:
+5 # michael hart 2011-07-21 21:35
you're one of the only voices of reason recently, keep it up, please
+7 # moby doug 2011-07-21 21:59
There was another Senator who would have spoken up for Social Security and working people, and against the plutocrats, as Bernie does. He was the same voice who spoke out in 2002 against Bush's trumped up coming invasion of Iraq. When he and his wife & daughter were conveniently snuffed out in the Fall of 2002, 11 days before his certain re-election, scarcely a word was said about the slaughter. His voice has been sorely missed in the Millionaires' Club, er ah, US Senate, this past decade.
+8 # Magars 2011-07-21 22:42
As one of my bumper sticker reads:"Politics is no longer Left vs. Right,it's become Truth vs. Propaganda. Senator Bernie Sanders represents the truth,the one that other politicians so called progressive are afraid to say it.Democrats voters should send a clear message to Democrats in Congress that are afraid to criticize President Obama with his Republican policy .We should switch to Independent in support to Sen. Sanders. I already did it!
+8 # btbees 2011-07-22 00:19
Wonderful thoughts but the Senator stayed politically correct by not mentioning the root cause of the deficit problem. America's bankruptcy-indu cing posture of Endless War. War is not the correct word, it is “military conflicts of choice”, that profit the financial elite. The cost of one missile would pay the salary of 280,000 teachers for one year, at a time when teachers are being laid off. No Social Security COLA for two years, yet an amount in excess of what was needed went to one military contractor, Northrop, for Drones. In D. Eisenhower’s farewell address in 1961 he warned of the Military – Industrial- Congressional Complex, and that we would find ourselves in the “Business of War”.
+5 # rf 2011-07-22 05:17
Time to start robbing banks. All of this BS in Washington...It takes one Rep. to filibuster and he can stop anything the Dems. wanted when they had a when the Dems. goes away no problem...super quick. Where are the filibustering dems??? They better start speaking up...besides the usual 3 or i'm voting Green or Socialist.
+7 # fredboy 2011-07-22 05:50
Bernie stands alone.
+6 # minmouse 2011-07-22 07:23
Lets all do a write in for Bernie Sanders. Too bad he isn't out there him self making a run for president, that would really shake up that clown we elected for president now.
+4 # Ann M. Ross 2011-07-22 07:35
Thank you, thank you ,Bernie, for your long, steadfast struggle for ordinary people. Your call for fairness in our current DC dilemma is so simple - basic to civilized human relations. But for your being there, I would despair,
+6 # granny 2011-07-22 09:19
Let's elect Bernie Sanders President. He, at least, has the brains AND THE BALLS - and he will fight for this country regardless of what ther Rethugs say or do.
+7 # Tom Camfield 2011-07-22 10:01
The Tea Party continues to look more and more like something out of Alice in Wonderland. If this short-sighted faction continues to get its way, the country will soon be at the complete mercy of small minds with massive egos.
+5 # Rebecca Heal 2011-07-22 11:46
God bless you, Bernie
+6 # WarrenM 2011-07-22 11:52
I for one will vote for anybody that opposes Obama for the Democratic nomination. Democrats need to somehow get somebody to run against Obama. We need to get a president who will fight for our needs. Obama is weak and a coward.
+9 # Lulie 2011-07-22 12:10
It seems like Bernie Sanders is the only "Mr. Smith" who went to Washington. He tells the truth, fights for right, and still manages to get re-elected. Why should he be unique in all the country? Because the others are all gutless wonders? or crazy?
Oh, how I wish Sanders would go for broke and oppose Obama. I would work my ASS off to get him elected. PLEASE, BERNIE!!!!!!!
+6 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-22 13:55
I am with YOU, LULIE! So are many others. HOW do we get this Grassroots campaign for Saunders going and let OBAMA and the TEA PARTYERS know we are serious and that we are through with their self-serving capaigning.
0 # SETH 2011-07-25 20:02
More power to you Lulie !!
+7 # Ruth A Wilding 2011-07-22 15:22
Senator Bernie Sanders is a light at the end of the tunnel.We have become a dog-eat-dog nation, without pity or compassion.As someone with security, I feel ashamed to live in a country where people will die from malnutrition nd no health care.
+2 # cherylpetro 2011-07-24 22:36
+3 # lokicat3 2011-07-22 17:06
Bush debt overrides on his watch: 8.
Reagan debt overrides on his watch: 18!
Obama does the reasonable thing and he's getting crucified by Rethugs who are snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. 58% in a CBS poll disapprove of Obama's performance. The disapproval rate for Republicans: 71!!!
+1 # SonAmericanRevelution 2011-07-23 06:06
Has anyone noticed there is no talk even from Bernie Sanders of a cut in Tribute Payments to the Chosen Ones in Israel OR a reduction in ILLEGAL WARS FOR ISRAEL, INCLUDING THE FAKE "WAR ON TERROR" FOUGHT AGAINST THE FAKE "TERROR" GROUP AL'QAIDA (THE TOILET/LIST) ??????????????? ??????????????? ?????????????
0 # P M K 2011-07-25 19:46
Yahoo censored me from giving you a thumbs up.
0 # Nick Gallup 2011-07-23 14:58
Dr. Kelton: In essence, aren't you saying we can never go broke as long as we keep printing more money? We are the issuers of that currency, and we can therefore use it to buy anything that is for sale in said currency. Right? If, however, we continue to do that and add even more to our already staggering deficit, won't our currency be worth less and less? I also suspect the number of things for sale in that currency would begin to dwindle as well. And does't Congress have to okay an increase in the deficit ceiling before we print our way out of this problem? Isn't that the root cause of the debate? Want lower taxes and increased services? Just print more money. Better yet, why even bother to collect taxes? Frankly, I think your lesson in Economics 101 is superfluous. The government, while lacking a PHD in Economics, certainly has one in Printing.
0 # P M K 2011-07-25 19:44
FYI: The Treasury is not the only one printing money. WE are being counterfeited into poverty, & the bankes are being ripped off by internet hackers as well. And our Gov't doesn't get anything resolved anymore.
+1 # antineocon 2011-07-24 04:44
+3 # Sandy1948 2011-07-24 20:00
Your my guy Bernie, I just love your common sense approach and your commitment to the people of this nation!!
+1 # mcartri 2011-07-24 21:41
Draft Bernie:
0 # cherylpetro 2011-07-24 22:33
I find it hard to believe that the President, and Nancy Pelosi would allow the worst to happen! I thought Obama was going to follow what Bill Clinton advised, and I doubt if that included giving in to Republicans, who are just trying to help themselves by helping the wealthy! What happened to the 14th Amendment idea? What happened to the Town Hall meeting, where President Obama said equal sacrifice? The Middle Class and Poor have sacrificed enough! TIME FOR THE WEALTHY TO PAY THEIR SHARE! THE COUNTRY SHOULD NOT BE RUN OFF OF THE BACKS OF THE AVERAGE WORKING CITIZEN ALONE! THANK YOU BERNIE! I WOULD VOTE FOR YOU IN A SECOND!
+4 # Patricia Chang 2011-07-25 01:34
Vietnam had become a total boondoggle. Although Johnson had gotten the Civil Rights Act passed, he was rapidly losing popularity, and his numbers showed it. He decided not to run. He read the writing on the wall. The country then voted in Watergate and Kent State. Had we gone with a third party, those miseries could possibly been avoided. A third party is a big gamble, however, because the Sheeple are too timid to trust anything new. Nevertheless, it is well to remember that public opinion did get rid of LBJ. It can rid us of Obama, as well. This is a different era. The majority of the public does not support the extremism of the Far Right.If we had a candidate of integrity, honesty, courage, candor and humanity, we would win. Call it Rebuild America! Focus on jobs, ending foreclosures, cleaning up Washington and Wall Street, public education and a clean environment, one that doesnt sicken us. End the war machine. Bring our troops home to an America that will give them a future. We dont need any more liars, who betray us. Dump Obama. Make it plain he cannot win because of what he has done and failed to do. We arent stuck with him. Those with tunnel vision and no guts just think we are.
+2 # billy joe lara 2011-07-25 02:25
Bernie Sanders is on my side; people better wake up and Load up some Balls; aye ??
0 # P M K 2011-07-25 19:35
Senator Sanders--Why you are Alone in trying to protect American Citizens?

PLEASE, please, Everyone Vote for 'NEW People' at every election until everyone except Sen. Sanders is gone (as they cannot do any worse than our current professional politicians who take care of their own.) WE are Sick of This.

I was a democrat for about 35yrs, but now am independent. Now I shout at the TV when I see these 'allegedly educated leaders' unable to find solutions. Their tunnel-vision discriminates in favor of the wealthy, but I'm sure they haven't a clue how this 'cause & effect' will end.

Their usual game plan of stretching this out to fool the American People is such a joke & I imagine they will whine that they 'didn't read the law before they signed it' as usual. Personally, I am hoping that WE, The People, will rise up in unity to make the U.S. great again.
0 # magdalena De Guzman 2011-07-27 18:07
There was no DEBT CRISIS when they wrote trillions of dollars worth of government check to bail out their friends in the investment and banking industry! However, for public education, for taking care of the common people, for covering many of our basic needs that private sectors are not willing to provide through decent and "living wage" jobs since they are sendint the jobs here abroad for less labor cost, there is only one way out and that is the COMMON FOLKS like us strengthen our HOLD on the government. We are fighting the mighty and in fact we are fighting the elements and structures in the government that weaken our access to decent services. We need to start talking to our family members, neighbors, co-workers, people you meet anyware, and just start talking about facts - millions unemployed, millions underemployes, millions of homes foreclosed, millions of college students owing billions of dollars of student loans, millions with no health care coverage... that's our government? Read, talk, and form a group and make that group larger and more prominent that you get noticed.
0 # Henry 2016-07-24 07:58
This guy would make a GREAT PRESIDENT.

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