Published on Thursday, June 2, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Statement and Senate Floor Remarks by Sen. Bernie Sanders
WASHINGTON – Congress and the White House are now focused on how we deal with our huge deficit — a crisis brought about over the last 10 years by two wars, tax breaks for the rich, the Wall Street bailout and a prescription drug program — all unpaid for. The deficit also increased as a result of the declining tax revenues during a current recession, caused by the greed and illegal behavior of Wall Street.
The debate over deficit reduction comes at an unusual moment in American economic history. While the middle class is in rapid decline and poverty is increasing, the wealthiest people in our country and largest corporations are doing phenomenally well. Over the last several decades almost all new income created in this country has gone to the top 1 percent, who now earn more income than the bottom 50 percent. Further, the United States now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country with the top 400 individuals owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million.
Given the reality of record-breaking corporate profits and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, it should be a surprise to no one that every recently published poll suggests that the overwhelming majority of the American people want the deficit to be addressed through shared sacrifice. They do not believe that the deficit should be reduced solely on the backs of working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor — many of whom are already suffering as a result of the recession. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Republicans have proposed.
Phi Beta Iota: The hypocrisy of the Democratic Administration is exceeded only by the hypocrisy of the Republican Party–one bird, two wings, same shit, just different colors. We await a knight speaking truth.