Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) must be channeling Jimmy Stewart’s character from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington right now, because he’s about to enter the fifth hour of his valiant effort to filibuster the extension of Bush era tax cuts for the rich. This is filibustering done right: a principled politician addressing the Senate floor for hour after hour, spouting truth until weak in the knees. Republicans have frequently blocked legislation using the threat of a filibuster, but have failed to live up to the high standard set by Sanders’ actions today.
Sanders, a self described socialist, began his filibuster at 10:25 AM today. C-Span is currently live streaming the filibuster online. If you tune in, you’ll be treated to a spectrum of ideas rarely heard in today’s political debates.
Imagine for a moment that government can actually create jobs and stimulate economic growth. Actually, you don’t need to imagine it. The federal government is currently the nation’s largest employer. More than 2 million people work for the federal government today, according to the Department of Labor, and that’s not counting postal workers. Government bailouts pulled General Motors and Chrysler from the ashes, saving countless American jobs in the process.
Now imagine this: tax cuts that reduce revenue and increase the deficit limit government’s ability to act to save the economy. Despite this fact, tax cuts for the middle class individuals still make some sense. After all, the economic crisis has hit the middle class and the poor the hardest. Tax cuts for the rich make zero sense. Republicans claim that tax cuts for the super wealthy will spur investment and create jobs. We’ve had tax cuts for the rich for years, so where are the jobs?
What Bernie Sanders is saying makes sense. He’s using words not often heard in politics today, words like “poor” and “working class”.Â Take a moment to listen if you’re interested in hearing a politician buck the trend talk about reality for a change.
Photo of Senator Bernie Sanders from his official Congressional website. Public domain
Article Â©2010 David Anderson for Gather.com. All rights reserved