The fact that both Obama and McCain support the bailout should give every American pause. Maybe Ralph Nader and Jim Hightower are right? We think we have a two-party democracy, but in fact "both national parties now exist as wholly owned subsidiaries of corporate America, selling two brands of the same corporate agenda."
Although he is an Independent and self-described democratic socialist, Sanders usually votes with the Democrats. Yesterday's vote was not one of those occasions. Here is why:
This country faces many serious problems in the financial market, in the stock market, in our economy. We must act, but we must act in a way that improves the situation. We can do better than the legislation now before Congress.
This bill does not effectively address the issue of what the taxpayers of our country will actually own after they invest hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic assets. This bill does not effectively address the issue of oversight because the oversight board members have all been hand picked by the Bush administration. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of foreclosures and addressing that very serious issue, which is impacting millions of low- and moderate-income Americans in the aggressive, effective way that we should be. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of executive compensation and golden parachutes. Under this bill, the CEOs and the Wall Street insiders will still, with a little bit of imagination, continue to make out like bandits.
This bill does not deal at all with how we got into this crisis in the first place and the need to undo the deregulatory fervor which created trillions of dollars in complicated and unregulated financial instruments such as credit default swaps and hedge funds. This bill does not address the issue that has taken us to where we are today, the concept of too big to fail. In fact, within the last several weeks we have sat idly by and watched gigantic financial institutions like the Bank of America swallow up other gigantic financial institutions like Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. Well, who is going to bail out the Bank of America if it begins to fail? There is not one word about the issue of too big to fail in this legislation at a time when that problem is in fact becoming even more serious.
This bill does not deal with the absurdity of having the fox guarding the hen house. Maybe I'm the only person in America who thinks so, but I have a hard time understanding why we are giving $700 billion to the Secretary of the Treasury, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who along with other financial institutions, actually got us into this problem. Now, maybe I'm the only person in America who thinks that's a little bit weird, but that is what I think.
This bill does not address the major economic crisis we face: growing unemployment, low wages, the need to create decent-paying jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure and moving us to energy efficiency and sustainable energy...