In a must see 25 minute speech, Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor and challenged Congress to break free of its billionaire masters and work for the American people.
Here is the video:
Sanders said, “The American people are angry. They are angry that the middle class is collapsing because of the Wall Street-caused recession, they are angry that unemployment is sky high, that 50 million people lack health insurance, and that working families can’t afford college for their kids. Meanwhile, the wealthy and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well and now billionaires and their congressional friends want to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.”
The Vermont senator discussed income inequality, “Today,” he said, “the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America – 150 million people. Today, the six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune own more wealth than the bottom 30 percent. Today, the top one percent own 40 percent of all wealth, while the bottom sixty percent owns less than 2 percent. Incredibly, the bottom 40 percent of all Americans own just 0.3 percent of the wealth of the country.”
Sanders also debunked the Republican talking point that millions of Americans aren’t paying taxes, “And I know we have some of my colleagues coming up here saying look not everybody in America’s paying taxes. Got millions of people who are not paying any taxes. No kidding? They don’t have any money, because all of the money is at the top.”
Sen. Sanders pointed out the hypocrisy of bailing out Wall Street whole doing nothing for average Americans, “The same politicians who were yelling and screaming about how important and how appropriate it was for our government to bail out the crooks on Wall Street, are nowhere to be heard when it comes to having government help average Americans.”
The high point was Sen. Sanders calling out Congress for putting their rich donors ahead of working people, “Now in my view working families all over this country are saying enough is enough. They want this Congress to start standing for them and not just the millionaires the billionaires who are spending unbelievable sums of money in this campaign. So it seems to me Mr. President that what we have got to do is start listening to the needs of working families. The vast majority of our people, and not just the people who make campaign contributions, now I know that’s a very radical idea, I do know that. But you know it might be a good idea to try a little bit to reaffirm the faith of the American people in their democratic form of government. Let them know just a little bit that maybe we are hearing their pain, their unemployment, their debt. The fact they are losing their houses, the fact that they don’t have any healthcare. The fact they can’t afford to send their kids to college. Maybe just maybe, we might want to listen to them before we go running out to another fundraising event with millionaires and billionaires.”
The speech is 25 minutes of dynamite that sums up where millions of Americans find themselves today. I wish that we had dozens of representatives and senators flooding the media’s cameras and microphones with this message, but instead our media is dominated by bogus scandals like Fast and Furious while the American people continue to suffer.
It is my hope that every American will talk to the members of Congress who are supposed to representing them and demand that they discuss income inequality and Citizens United. There needs to be a collective groundswell that storms town hall meetings across the country and demands accountability from those that they have elected.
Bernie Sanders has done a great service by giving voice to the voiceless, but every single American who has been devastated by this recession needs to issue an ultimatum to this Congress.
Either speak for us, or get out.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association