Bernie Sanders in Outsider in the White House, by Bernie Sanders


On Corporations: Deregulation led to incredible greed of $39B in CEO bonuses

In our country today we have the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on Earth, with the top 1% earning more income than the bottom 50%, and the top 1% owning more wealth than the bottom 90%. We are living at a time when we have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthiest people in this country; when, among others, CEO's of Wall Street firms receive unbelievable amounts in bonuses, including $39 billion in bonuses in the year 2007 alone for just the 5 major investment houses. We have seen the incredible greed of the financial service industry manifested in the hundreds of millions of dollars they have spent on campaign contributions and lobbyists in order to deregulate their industry so hedge funds and other unregulated financial institutions could flourish. We have seen them play with trillions and trillions of dollars in esoteric financial instruments in unregulated industries which no more than a handful of people even understand.
Source: Outsider in the White House, by Bernie Sanders, p.323 Oct 1, 2008

On Welfare & Poverty: Predatory lending practices caused 2008 recession

We have seen the financial services industry charge 30% interest rates on credit card loans and tack on outrageous late fees and other costs to unsuspecting customers. We have seen them engaged in despicable predatory lending practices, taking advantage of the vulnerable and the uneducated. We have seen them send out billions of deceptive solicitations to almost every mailbox in America. What they hoped to do was to gain new customers for credit card companies and then, through the very small print on the back of the solicitation, have the opportunity, have the ability to monkey around with interest rates so when people thought they were getting zero interest or 2%, it turns out that a few months later they were paying very high interest rates. Most important, of course, we have seen the financial services industry lure people into mortgages they could not afford to pay, which is one of the basic reasons we are tonight in the midst of all of this.
Source: Outsider in the White House, by Bernie Sanders, p.323-324 Oct 1, 2008

On Budget & Economy: Middle class spending $2,200 each to bail out Wall Street

We have a bailout package today which says to the middle class that you are being asked to place at risk $700 billion, which is $2,200 for every man, woman, and child in this country. You are being asked to do that in order to undo the damage caused by this excessive Wall Street greed. In other words, the "Masters of the Universe," those brilliant Wall Street insiders who have made more money than the average American can even dream of, have brought our financial system to the brink of collapse, and now, as the American and world financial systems teeter on the edge of a meltdown, these multimillionaires are demanding that the middle class, which has already suffered under Bush's disastrous economic policies, pick up the pieces they broke. That is wrong and that is something I will not support.
Source: Outsider in the White House, by Bernie Sanders, p.324 Oct 1, 2008

On Gun Control: 1988: NRA opposed Congressional opponents more than him

The National Rifle Association turned against [my Republican opponent for U.S. Congress, Peter Plympton] Smith. In 1988, the NRA had supported both Smith and [my Democratic opponent, Paul] Poirier, and had opposed me. During that campaign, I was very clear that while I opposed the Brady bill because I felt that a handgun waiting period could be dealt with at the state level, I supported a ban on certain types of assault weapons, which was clearly a national issue. Both Smith and Poirier adopted the anti-gun control position of the NRA.

A few months after taking office, Smith suddenly announced that he would vote FOR the ban on assault weapons. The NRA and other elements in Vermont's sportsmen community were furious at his about-face. They felt betrayed and worked hard to defeat him. While the NRA has never endorsed me or given me a nickel, their efforts against Smith in 1988 clearly helped my candidacy. (I should add here that in 1992, '94, and '96, the NRA strongly opposed me.)

Source: Outsider in the White House , by Bernie Sanders, p. 106 Sep 28, 2015

On Gun Control: 1988: NRA opposed Congressional opponents more than him

The National Rifle Association turned against [my Republican opponent for U.S. Congress, Peter Plympton] Smith. In 1988, the NRA had supported both Smith and [my Democratic opponent, Paul] Poirier, and had opposed me. During that campaign, I was very clear that while I opposed the Brady bill because I felt that a handgun waiting period could be dealt with at the state level, I supported a ban on certain types of assault weapons, which was clearly a national issue. Both Smith and Poirier adopted the anti-gun control position of the NRA.

A few months after taking office, Smith suddenly announced that he would vote FOR the ban on assault weapons. The NRA and other elements in Vermont's sportsmen community were furious at his about-face. They felt betrayed and worked hard to defeat him. While the NRA has never endorsed me or given me a nickel, their efforts against Smith in 1988 clearly helped my candidacy. (I should add here that in 1992, '94, and '96, the NRA strongly opposed me.)

Source: Outsider in the White House , by Bernie Sanders, p. 106 Sep 28, 2015

The above quotations are from Outsider in the White House
by Bernie Sanders.
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