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Mr. President, this is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. In the coming days and weeks, decisions will be made about our national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American in this country for decades to come. The time is now for the American people to become significantly involved in that debate and not leave it to a small number of people here in Washington.
At a time when the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in our country are doing phenomenally well and in many cases have never had it so good, while the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing, it is absolutely imperative that any deficit-reduction package that passes this Congress not include the horrendous cuts, the cruel cuts in programs that working people desperately need that are utilized every day by the elderly, by the sick, by our children, and by the lowest income people in our country, that the Republicans in Congress, dominated by their extreme rightwing, are demanding.
America is not about giving tax breaks to billionaires and attacking the most vulnerable people in our country. We must not allow that to happen.
In my view, the President of the United States needs to stand with the vast majority of the American people and say no to the Republican leadership and make it clear that enough is enough. No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in this country--on our children, on our seniors and the sick. No, we will not do that. Working families in this country have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, lost pensions. The working families of this country are hurting right now. Enough is enough.
Now is the time to say to the millionaires and the billionaires in this country and to the largest corporations that in many ways have never had it so good that they must participate in deficit reduction, that there must be shared sacrifice, that deficit reduction cannot be based on cutting back on the needs of working families and the middle class but that the rich and large corporations have also got to participate in this process.
The middle class, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor have already sacrificed enough. It is time for those people on top, the people who are doing extremely well, to also understand they are Americans, they are part of our country, and they have to contribute to deficit reduction. The fact is, moving toward deficit reduction in a way that is fair is not as complicated as some would have us believe. In fact, if you are not beholden to Wall Street, large corporations and wealthy campaign contributors and you are not frightened about the number of 30-second ads that may be thrown at you if you take these guys on, it is quite easy.
You want another idea? At a time when our manufacturing sector is collapsing, when 50,000 factories have shut down in the last 10 years, when millions of workers have lost good-paying jobs, the U.S. Government continues to reward companies that move U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas through loopholes in the Tax Code known as deferral and foreign source income.
Fourth, if we ended tax breaks and subsidies for big oil and gas companies, we can reduce the deficit by more than $40 billion over the next 10 years.
Fifth, if we prohibited abusive and illegal offshore tax shelters--what I just talked about a moment ago--we could bring in $1 trillion over 10 years. That says to the corporations and the wealthy: Sorry, you are no longer
Sixth, if we established a Wall Street speculation fee of less than 1 percent on the sale and purchase of credit default swaps, derivatives, stock options and futures, we could reduce the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade and also--also--tell Wall Street we are not going to tolerate their outrageous behavior which led us into this recession in the first place. We are going to try to get a handle on their speculation.
I can tell you that I, my office, requested a GAO report that found that the Pentagon had $36.9 billion in spare parts it does not need and which are collecting dust in government warehouses. We can do better than that. Frankly, in my view--I think I speak for the majority of the people in my State of Vermont, I suspect, in this country--it is time to begin bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan at an accelerated rate. We have been in Afghanistan now for 10 years. It is time for the Afghan people and their military to take responsibility, in terms of defeating the Taliban.
Further, I will not deny for one second that there is waste and fraud and bureaucracy in almost every government program out there. I think we have to take a hard look at them all. I believe that in addition to the Pentagon, we can save hundreds of billions of dollars a year by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy. The ideas I have enumerated, and some I have not but which will become part of the Record, if we did all or some of these things, we could easily reduce the deficit by well over $4 trillion over the next decade, if not, in fact, much more. It would be done in a way that is fair, and it would not unnecessarily and needlessly ruin the lives of some of the most desperate and fragile and hurting people in our country today, millions of people who are just struggling to make ends meet. Those people would be spared.
Mistake #2: He didn't address the real issues at the core of this entire fiasco (being the demise of our Republic)
Originally posted by boondock-saint
OP u r missing the point I was making.
here let me help you understand.
Dear Mr. President,
cut the Fed Gov in half
cut the military budget in half
debt problem solved
Sanders does have the guts to say it, unlike the spineless democrats. I wouldn't just say spineless, I'd say many Democrats know exactly what they are doing, many of whom are one in the same with the Republicans. I still cannot believe for the life of me that people still buy this Ayn Rand tricke down BS, I really don't, and then they want to refer to this current president as socialist.
Trickle economics has done nothing for this country. The day we decided to focus on the wealthy creating jobs was the day that started it all. It was under Reagan that the debt ceiling exceeded $1 trillion and more than doubled through his administration. It was under Bush that this financial crises occured. Obama is continuing the same cycle, we're at $14 trillion now and what has he left us with? A renewed patriot act, billions wasted further on Libya and this marijuana war, and yes, the continued Bush Tax cuts. Seriously.
So what would the libertarians have us do? Continue the same charade, but take it to the next level. What a joke, and yet when Ron Paul gains a mere 4 or 2% of the vote, it's a conspiracy, everybody is sheeple, nobody wants to vote for another hack that will allow the corporations to completely loot what's left of this country. But people can continue their fantasies here on ATS about libertarianism and Ron Paul, the fringe of conservatism, this country needs a good lesson and it clearly hasn't experienced on, elected somebody like Ron paul will really show this country what Ayn Rands vision creates.
It's the 2012 elections, there's nobody I have to look to... I thought I did, but the progressive party is looking like a joke at this point, no sign of them running, no sigh of a plan. If Sanders or Dennis Kucinich run, they'll have my vote... to the lesser extent Kucinich, but I can see myself voting for him.