Mar 14, 2011 12:47 PM GMT
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Deficit Reduction Requires Shared Sacrifice
"The rich are getting richer. The middle class and poor are getting poorer. What is the Republican solution to the deficit crisis? More tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Savage cuts in programs that are desperately needed by working families.
There is another approach, which is why I've just introduced legislation imposing a surtax on those households earning a million dollars or more and the elimination of tax loopholes which the big oil companies take advantage of.
Everyone agrees that this country has a major deficit crisis, but few discuss how we got there. When George W. Bush inherited the White House from Bill Clinton we had a significant surplus. Now we have a $1.5 trillion deficit. How did that happen?
First, against my vote, Bush and Congress launched a war in Iraq. By the time we take care of our last veteran that war will end up costing us some $3 trillion. When the war drums were beating do you recall any of our Republican friends wanting to know how that unnecessary war was going to be paid for? I don't.
Second, Republicans for years have pushed for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people. I didn't hear them ask how that was going to be paid for.
Third, under President Bush and a Republican-run House, Congress passed a $400 billion-plus Medicare prescription drug program. Written by the insurance companies and the drug companies, it barred the government from negotiating better prices. It drove up drug costs, padded pharmaceutical company profits and added to the deficit.
Fourth, again over my objection, Congress voted for a massive bailout of Wall Street. I didn't hear too many people talking about how we would pay for that $700 billion to bail out Wall Street. I didn't hear them worrying that it would drive up the deficit. Wall Street, having destroyed the economy through their reckless and illegal behavior, needed a welfare check and Congress provided it. End of story.
Those are some of the reasons we now have a deficit crisis, reasons Republicans don't talk much about when they provide soaring rhetoric about the dangers of large deficits. ..."
The Huff Post