Posted on December 14, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
ermont/U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said during a recent interview on a FOX business show that he was thinking about running for President of the United States in 2016. Perhaps one is putting the “cart before the horse” in referring to him as President Sanders at this stage, but then again there’s the other cliché about being “careful what you wish for”.
During her introduction of Senator Sanders before the brief FOX interview, FOX’s female host referred to him as being in the “far, far left” of the political spectrum. The senator responded to that characterization by noting that each of his twelve points for action for America are perceived positively by a large majority of the people. One could observe that, since the political mix in the United States Congress has shifted so far to the right on the spectrum, that Mr. Sanders is actually center left – now the “new” extreme among today’s politicians in Washington, D.C.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both opposed Citigroup’s own preferred language in the trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill provision that leaves taxpayers on the hook when the largest Wall Street megabanks mega-gamble and mega-lose mega-dollars in high risk derivatives trading. On the other hand, neither have taken a “far, far left” stand in the case of Israel-Palestine, in other words going so far as to call for a Palestinian State like Sweden, Britain, Spain, and France have done recently, joining many other nations around the world.
If members of the U.S. government were actually “far, far left” on the spectrum, they would have denounced Israel as a terrorist state as the Bolivian government did after the Israeli massacre of over 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza over the summer, instead of going along with a virtual unanimous vote to continue sending arms and economic aid to Israel of some $3 billion/year.
Given that John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Paul Wellstone and other leaders died by assassination for their political, economic, and societal views, it is possible that today’s politicians are painfully aware of the extreme negative consequences for being a person in the public limelight espousing certain “taboo” positions which threaten the status-quo interests of the world’s most powerful.
Other issues where today’s Washington politicians dare not go are in the areas of monetary reform/public banking, a real investigation of the events on September 11, 2001, taking on in a powerful way the decades-old – enabled by the world’s largest banking and accounting firms – trillion-dollar/year tax haven industry, prosecution of high level politicians for financial, war, torture, and/or other crimes, plus others.
So, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are not members of the “far, far left” branch of the political spectrum, but are two people among others now holding elected positions in Washington, D.C. who have exhibited integrity and morality to some extent and spoken to issues which are important for the American people. Bernie Sanders speaks to the, what he considers, overly large amounts in the nation’s spending going to the military. After Dwight Eisenhower articulately warned of the misplaced power and disproportionate influence of the military industrial complex in his farewell address, one could reasonably think that all 535 of America’s elected officials in Congress would speak out as well, so Mr. Sanders’ concern here is nothing really extraordinary.
When he speaks critically about the middle class disappearing and the extreme wealth/income inequality in the U.S., he touches upon an issue that has persisted for decades, so there is nothing new or special there. If memory serves, a book written around the year 1970 titled “The Rich and the Super Rich” by an author whose name escapes, described how many years ago powerful Hollywood producer Louis B. Meyer somehow ended up the only person in the entire nation whose situation pertained to a single-line provision in the tax code – so Citigroup’s self-written provision placing American taxpayers on the hook for extremely high risk swaps/derivatives betting inserted into the omnibus bill is nothing surprising.
What is truly astonishing is that – in particular referring to the Citigroup renewed taxpayer liability language in the bill; the provision which has the most potential by far to severely damage the economy and living conditions of Americans, perhaps to an even more profound, multiplied extent than 2008 – all 535 elected men and women in Congress were not unanimously opposed.
(Thank you to Bernie Sanders at YouTube)